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Halloween Pet Safety Tips for Your Dog or Cat

Halloween Pet Safety Tips for Your Dog or CatHalloween Safety Tips for Keeping Your Dog or Cat Safe

Even though Halloween can be a fun and festive time for your children and family, in many cases that is not t same for your pet. In fact, for many pets Halloween can be a nightmare for these family members. Stress and danger can be very real for many pets. Please take the time to read this article and hopefully your pet will have a happy Halloween also.


Candy and Halloween Treats Safety Tips:

“All forms of chocolate, especially baking or dark chocolate, can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures.
Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Halloween Safety Tip – Confine Your Pet – Keep Inside and Away from the Door

Keep your pet inside. Don’t put outside. It has been known that pranksters have teased, injured, stolen, and even killed pets on Halloween night. Be careful and avoid this potential tragedy.

Keep your pet away from the door. Your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween. Also strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This could be scary for your pet. Dogs being territorial may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night and who wants to be searching for a lost pet on Halloween?

Especially, If your pet is scared of strangers or has a tendency to bite, be sure to put it in different room when trick-or-treating is occurring or give your pet a safe place to hide.

If you have an outside cat, keep the cat inside a few days before and after Halloween. Do not let cat to be outside on Halloween. Black cats are especially susceptible to pranksters and most humane shelters do not adopt out black cats in October.

Plants and Pumpkins Halloween Pet Safety Tips

All pumpkins, corn and any other Halloween plants need to be out of reach to all pets. Even though these are generally nontoxic, these can induce gastrointestinal upset if your pets should ingest them in large quantities. Also, Intestinal blockage can even occur, especially with corn cobs, if large pieces are ingested.

Also don’t keep lit pumpkins around your pet. They could possibly knock it over, burn themself or even start a house fire. A curious kitten is especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame.

Halloween Decorations Pet Safety Tips for Dogs and Cats

If you have electical decorations be sure wires and electrical cords out of reach. If chewed, your pour pet chews on the decortions it could be cut from shards of glass or plastic. If the electricl cord is chewed the peourt could get possible life-threatening electrical shock.
If you use glow sticks and have glow jewelry, be sure to keep it away from your pets. Even though the liquid material in these products is non-toxic, the taste is really bad and will makes your pet salivate profusely and act weird.

Halloween Pet Costumes Safety Tips

It is best not to put a pet in a costume unless you know that they love being dressed up. Also place the costume on your pet the before Halloween. This will give a chance to see how your pet reacts to the costume. Take the time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and don’t leave your pet without supervision while wearing a costume.

If your pet gets distressed, becomes nervous, or demonstrate other abnormal behavior, just let go in their “birthday suit”. Use a simple festive bandanna instead.

“The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.”

Pet Halloween Safety Tip – Have Proper ID

While opening and closing the door for trick-or-treaters, be diligent that your dog or cat doesn’t rush out the door. Just in case, be sure your pet is wearing proper identification, a collar with ID tags (be sure that the information is up to date) or a microchip can be your best way of finding a lost pet.

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Heat Stroke – Common Dog and Pet Problem in Brandon Florida

It is that time of year again. Living in Florida, as a pet owner, heatstroke is very common here in the Sunshine state and you should know what precautions to take. Also recognizing when heatstroke may be affecting your pet and what steps need to be taken if this occurs are essential.

The following article from the Veterinary Emergency Clinic (Learn About Heatstroke in Pets) provides some basic information about heatstroke.

Heat Stroke

One of the best things about living in Florida is the gorgeous weather we get to experience year round. However, we must also endure month’s humidity and high heat during the hot summer months. Just like it’s important for us to stay hydrated and protect ourselves from the sun, pets need to have certain precautions and care from the sun as well. At the Veterinary Emergency Clinic of Central Florida (VEC), we unfortunately see many animals (mainly dogs) suffering from heat stroke all through the high heat months.


Heat stroke in pets’ occur when an animal’s body temperature increases to a dangerous temperature of 105 degrees or over. This is known as hyperthermia. Heat stoke begins with your animal panting, hyper salivating and having difficulty breathing. These symptoms can quickly progress to bloody diarrhea, collapse and even death. Heat stroke in your pet can be extremely dangerous and requires immediate veterinary attention.


Heatstroke generally occurs in hot summer weather when:

  • Animals are left with inadequate ventilation in hot vehicles or garages. (Cracking a window is NOT enough!)
  • Animals are left outside without proper shade or water.
  • Animals are exercised in hot/humid weather.

If your animal does become hyperthermic, move your pet to a cool environment, take their temperature (if able) and seek veterinary care immediately. DO NOT put your animal in an ice bath. Cooling an animal too quickly can be harmful. To help avoid heatstroke in your pet, walk them in the early morning and evening time, and keep them inside in the peak hot hours of the day (12pm-4pm). Additionally, make sure they have access to water.


Additionally, as of May 2016, Florida passed a law stating that people may break into a locked car if there is reason to believe that a pet or vulnerable person (like an infant) is in immediate danger. The person breaking into the vehicle may not be sued for property damage if:

  • They have checked to make sure the vehicle is actually locked.
  • Have a reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstance, that entering into the vehicle is necessary because the vulnerable person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.
  • Called 911 or law enforcement either before or immediately after breaking into the vehicle.
  • Use only the necessary amount of force to break in.
  • Remain with the person, child or animal until first-responders arrive on the scene.


With all the fun that our Florida summertime can bring, an added responsibility to our beloved pets is also required. By paying close attention to their moods and behaviors, and by being aware of how to prevent heat stroke in your pet, you should be able to enjoy the hot months in Florida.


If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heat stroke, seek veterinary care immediately. Remember that complications may arise when your regular veterinarian is closed, so it’s important to know where your closest Veterinary Emergency Clinic is located.



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Warning – Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) is Back in Brandon FL

Last year, the dog flu hit Chicago with a vengeance. A new strain of dog flu has been spreading in the United States with the main area of concern at this time is in the West. One recent case has occurred in Montana. Also the Washington State Health Department is warning pet owners about the possible spread of this new strain. Seattle has been affected where at least 90 dogs have been exposed and some dogs testing positive for the disease.

Luckily the disease is rarely fatal but your pet should be seen by your veterinarian if you suspect anything is wrong. General symptoms are coughing, lehtargy, not eating or just being tired. All could suggest your pet has a fever. Dogs get sick just like us when we get the flu. The disease spreads rapidly in dogs that are not immune. Grooming shops, boarding kennels, doggy day care and dog parks are places where the virus can spread rapidly.



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Ebola | Can Pets Transmit This Disease?

Ebola is all over the news. A dog was euthanized in Spain because the owner came down with Ebola. This has created a controversy. The bottom line is we don’t really have enough facts and research to really make an educated decision. It would have been nice to have quarantined the dog so we could have gotten more information about the potential danger, if any. Below is an article created by Veterinary News Network (VNN) which will provide some information for you.

Can Ebola Virus affect our Dogs and Cats


• For the past several months, countries in West Africa have been experiencing an outbreak of illness caused by the Ebola virus. People infected with this virus usually show a fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea, followed by dysentery or blood in the diarrhea and abdominal pain. It is basically a viral hemorragic fever.


• Sadly, although recoveries can happen they are rarew and up to 90 percentage of people who test positive for Ebola will die. There is currently no cure. As with many diseases, the only treatment is supportive care, such as rehydration and treating any direct symptom as best as possible.


• With the recent news that a second person has tested positive for Ebola here in North America even after taking all the precautions of a health care worker in a major hospital, many people are becoming alarmed about the transmission of the disease especially considering the uncontrolled migration of people through our southern border and other unidentified viral infections that are known to have come to our contry via this route.


• Further, with the euthanasia of the an infected patient’s dog in Spain (and the outrage that caused around the world), the concerns of the Ebola virus are not limited to protecting only people, but also whether or not our pets are at risk of infection or could possibly transmit the disease to people or other animals.


• Here is what we know at this time; precious little research has been devoted to whether dogs or cats can become infected with Ebola, consequently facts are known. At least one study has indicated that dogs can become infected with the virus, deveop a titer, but the dogs in the study did not demonstrate transmission. (


• However, even though dogs do develop antibodies to the virus, at this point there is no evidence that dogs actually get sick or even show symptoms. What’s more important though is that there are no documented cases of dogs passing the virus to humans. And it must be emphasized – this is true AT THIS POINT, as wse are early in our experience with this disease outside of Africa.


• Because no studies of this particular virus have been done on a large scale in dogs and cats, we are simply in uncharted territory and do not know. Because of this we all have to be vigilant and watch for these general signs and get out pets treated immediately.


• Both the CDC and all veterinary health authorities, public health agnencies and epidemiologists and microbiolobists are on alert around the clock, it is important to understand everything is being done to monitor populationis of people and all animals for unusual signs and even testing where necessary.


• If your pet is sick or shows any symptoms such as fever (usually seen as lack of appetite), vomiting, diarrhea etc., you should see your veterinarian immediately and we’ll make our best effort to get a diagnosis and treat your pet.




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Stop Dog Bites! Ten Things You Can Do to Help

Have you heard there was a National Dog Bite Prevention Week?

Yes, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) National Dog Bite Prevention Week in 2014 is from the 18th of May until May 24 and the purpose, as always, will be on informing people about preventing dog bites.

Well, the the majority of these attacks can be greatly reduced. Who gets bitten the more often? Of course kids! Therefore, educating kids needs to be the job of the parents, especially if there are dogs in the family.

With 70 million dogs in the United States, there’s got to be a significant number of dog bites. How about 4.5 – 5 million dog bites occur every year. About 20% of these dog bites need a doctor’s attention. That is 800,000 every year and half of those are kids. Senior citizens are the next most common group suffering from a dog bite. Children are frequently more seriously traumatized. The offending dog is usually familiar to the victim. The dog bites often occurs during routine daily involvement with the dog.

So what ideas can we provide to help reduce this significant problem? Listed are ten steps someone can do.

Do some research and homework about different breeds

Among the most important things is to do some research about different breed personalities and behavioral trends prior to selecting a dog for the family. Don’t adopt or get a pet based on impulse for emotional factors, feeling sorry for the dog or guilty. Don’t let someone force a pet on you. This generally turns out badly. Particularly if this is your first dog. Learn what to try to find in an animal. Speak to a vet, a reliable breeder, at least someone in the veterinary or pet care field. Iindividuals who have had years of experience handling and working with different canines. If you are not alone, the other people, specifically grownups, have to be on the same page completely. Do not permit kids to make the selection. You have to look at your household situation and see if the dog fits (sex, breed, size, activity level, personality, type of coat, monetary dedication, etc.) into your lifestyle.

If thinking about a puppy, check out the parents, at least the mother of the puppy

Personality is a heritable trait. Exactly how does she react when you approach and touch her? Will she sit on command? Are you able to get her to rest on her side? Take the puppy and pick it up. Exactly how does it respond? Put the puppy on its back and side? Exactly how does it react? If it fights you, vocalizes or tries to bite, do not take it. You will have troubles in socializing it.

You must have human interactivity with the puppy

With that mentioned, make sure that your puppy is well-socialized. The ability to interact socially the pet is crucial in having a excellent and obedient animal. You need to work with your dog to comply with the essential commands such as sit, remain, rest, obey when you say no and listen to you when you call. The dog has to be comfortable walking on a leash (ie. – strolls with you in a calm way, does not drag you and is at hand). The most necessary thing you can do to prevent behavioral problems and reduce the threat of your dog biting somebody is appropiate socialization. If your dog has an obedient nature, you will substantially decrease the risk of biting someone and misbehaving. You will substantially lower the risk of biting somebody and misbehaving if your dog has an obedient nature.

Workout with your dog daily

Exercising your dog is also vital, especially in specific breeds. Dogs have energy that needs to be burnt on a regular day-to-day basis. Relying on the dog, the exercise could be long strolls or need to be more aerobic. Great regular workout likewise provides psychological stimulation for the pet and will make the pet better within the family.

Play properly with your dog

When anyone or the kids play with the dog, eliminate the play fighting or tug-of-war sort of games. This style of activity is over exciting and vies the pet dog against you. Don’t tease the dog with your hands. Offering your fingers, hands or arms in the animal’s mouth is saying to the pet it is OK to bite, even if it is in a playful manner. In addition, don’t ever place your dog in a circumstance where he/she really feels teased or endangered.

Leash instruction is required

As previously mentioned, you need to consistently utilize a leash when you walk your dog in public. You need to maintain control. You don’t have control, when your dog is dragging you along. Each family members need to have proper control when walking the dog, not just a single person. You ought to find out some obedience training if you have a serious problem when walking your dog.

Do not leave your dog outdoors by itself in the yard

Keeping a pet out in the fenced yard alone can lead to issues. Digging holes and jumping the fence are commonplace issues. You can get a few territorial and aggression problems if anotherpet is adjoining to your yard. This could undo the job you have already done.

Timely spaying and neutering can assist

Spaying and neutering are good things to do. Eliminating the hormonal impacts can reduce some natural aggression tendencies present among intact dogs. You really need to discuss the timing of neutering and spaying with your veterinary clinic.

Get yearly wellness and physical examinations

Regular wellness and physical examinations ought to be performed at a minimum yearly. If touched where there is soreness, dogs in pain from osteoarthritis could well potentially nip. Your animal medical practitioner can supply medication for arthritic pain.

Take time to educate and teach your kids

You should teach your children how to approach and act with not only your own pet but other dogs that they may run into. Be sure that they know not to just go up a pet and extend their hand to touch the animal. Do not go to hug a dog or grab the pet in any way. They should never approach a pet that is not on a leash and under an adult’s control. You really should never leave an infant or small child alone with any dog, even your own.

Watch the videos below to help teach your child about dogs:


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Brandon, FL 33511

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