Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Uuuuuuhhhhh...I shouldn't have eaten the whole thing....

Uuuuuuhhhhh…I shouldn’t have eaten the whole thing….

It’s the time of year that we see an increase in visits due to dietary indiscretion, so we thought it would be a good idea to review some of the safety, health, and comfort issues for your pet during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Foods

It is best to keep your pet on his/her regular diet during the holidays.  However, we also like to be able to include our furry family in our celebration.  Here are some pet-safe traditional Thanksgiving food items you can mix in as a treat with their regular food:  pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, or even a small amount of skinless, boneless turkey can be safe items to include.

Avoid giving foods that have added fats (gravy, butter, fried food), sweetened foods (candy, candied yams, marshmallows), or spicy food.  Do not give your pet any dough, bones, raw meat, onions, grapes or alcoholic beverages.  Remember–key a sharp eye out for your counter surfers!  They just love to strike when you are busy and distracted (and everything smells so good!).

Guests

Having a lot of guests around can be very stressful for your pet, so we ask that you make sure they have a safe, quiet place to retreat if things get a little too crazy.  Cats tend to find a quiet place on their own if there is too much going on for them (although they will find that one family member that has cat allergies and cling to them like Velcro!).  Get your dogs outside for some good exercise before guests arrive.  It may be a good idea to have a busy toy or chew available as a distraction.  We carry some great West Paw toys that have space for a treat for a dog to work on.  If you are concerned about your pet’s ability to handle certain aspects of the holiday, be sure to discuss options with your veterinarian.

Travel

If you are traveling away from Spokane with your pets, be sure they are current on their vaccines and have been put on a flea/tick preventative for the duration.  We also strongly recommend flea preventatives if you are boarding locally.  If you are flying with your pet, be sure to check with your airline for any requirements.  It may even be a good idea to put your pets on preventatives if you have out-of-the-area furry family members visiting your home.  Remember that the west side of the state is flea central!  We can certainly provide recommendations specific to your travel plans.  Just give us a call!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at SouthCare!

Pets and their People are our Passion!

Fleas in Spokane

Fleas are usually much harder to see...

Fleas are usually much harder to see…

In Spokane, we do not typically see flea problems that many other areas of the world experience on a frustratingly regular basis.  However, sometimes we experience a weather pattern that is conducive to a flea population explosion.  This year’s mild August, wet October, and unusually warm November likely have created the perfect conditions that fleas just love! (Flea love is not good news for you or your pets!)

When we have weather patterns like this, it can be a really good idea continue the preventatives we recommend for our tick season until we see a good extended freeze.  If you are using Bravecto for your dogs and have had a dose within the last three months, your dog should be covered. If not, just give us a call and we can get your dog(s) a refill.  For your cats, you should continue to apply Frontline Plus.  You can also give us a call and we can recommend another safe, effective flea preventative product and we are happy to answer any questions!

Other risk factors

There are certain risk factors that can make it more likely that your pet may pick up fleas and we also recommend using a recommend flea preventative if your pet life style includes any of the following:

  • Playing at dog parks.
  • Attending doggie daycare.
  • Using grooming or boarding facilities.
  • Exposure to pet shelters or bringing a shelter pet into the household.
  • Moving into a rental apartment or home.
  • Travel to other areas with heavy flea populations, like the west “wet” side of the state.

We are lucky to live in the Inland Northwest, where parasites tend to be more uncommon!

If you would like more information about fleas, please visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s flea information page.