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Have a Not-So-Scary October

2020 has been scary enough, so there’s no need for any extra worries this year. To help keep your pets safe this October, we’re offering you our top tricks to keeping the treat in this sweet month.

1. Chocolate, Raisins, and Xylitol

When it comes to trick-or-treating goodies, keep them out of paw’s reach. You likely know that chocolate is poisonous to pups, but did you know that raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute, are too? It’s true.

What else should every pup parent know about these not-so-sweet treats? There’s no way to predict how sensitive a dog will be to grapes and raisins. Some become extremely ill by eating just a couple of small berries, while others don’t react to them at all. If your neighbors insist on giving out those tiny boxes of raisins, don’t risk having them raided by your dog: raisin poisoning can cause liver failure.

Xylitol is a sweetener typically found in gum and gummies. It’s highly toxic to dogs and can cause them to become very ill, very fast. If a canine consumes this sugar replacement, it can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.

What about chocolate? The darker, the more dangerous, but any amount of chocolate can be too hazardous for dogs to eat.

What should you do if your dog eats any of these substances? Give us a call and immediately.

2. Keep Your Pets Away from the Door

Why shouldn’t your pets crowd the door as trick-or-treaters come to make their demands? Your dog or cat may be scared of the costumes, and the noise and excitement of visitors can make pets nervous.

When pets are anxious, escaping out of the front door looks awfully appealing. This is why many cats and dogs wind up at the shelter on Halloween night, a very spooky place for any pet.

Did you adopt a COVID puppy or kitty? Be sure your pet has a shiny new ID tag and consider microchipping them if you haven’t yet done so. If your pet already has a chip, make sure it’s up-to-date with your information.

3. Jack-O-Lanterns and Candles Can Be a Spooky Problem

Many newly-adopted dogs and cats are still learning about the human world, and some lessons can get them into trouble. Even pets that have been with you for years can find themselves in precarious situations during this season.

Something as simple as burning candles and displaying a jack-o-lantern can be a Halloween hazard for pets. For example, while cooked pumpkin is beneficial for dogs to eat, your pup won’t know your carved pumpkin isn’t dinner and may take a nibble of a raw one, go overboard, and get sick. Fall is also when we frequently hear about candles causing burns to pets and even starting fires.

To keep your pet safe, choose battery-powered candles, and keep your jack-o-lantern away from curious noses.

4. Planning to Dress Your Pet in a Cute Costume?

We love all the silly and adorable pet costumes that are popular these days. While these get-ups are cute, they can also become dangerous for pets.

Doggie or kitty dress-up is a great activity when the outfit fits appropriately and doesn’t have choking hazards, but even so, never leave your pet unattended while they are wearing a costume. When wrestling to get garments off, pets can get tangled in ties or pull off buttons, which can quickly become a choking hazard.

When dressing your senior pet, be sure to be gentle. Stretching your pet’s limbs can be painful for pups and cats with arthritis or joint pain.

5. Keep Your Pet Safe from Fall Decor and More

Decorating for Halloween is one of the most fun activities this time of year. As much as we love the aesthetic, dried corn, winter gourds, themed wreaths, and spooky webs or ribbons can create intestinal blockages if a pet eats them. Try to keep these decorations up high on walls or doors, so nobody nibbles them.

Electric cords connected to outdoor inflatables and other decorations can cause severe burns if a curious pet bites into one, and are a fire hazard if they get chewed. Keep cords taped down or secured far from your pet.

Have a Not-So-Scary Halloween This Year!

Have a safe, happy Howl-o-ween! We hope your pet has a warm and cozy fall season. If you need a little help keeping the creepy crawling parasites we see this time of year from coming indoors with your companion, make an appointment to see us today. It’s always a treat to see you and your pet!

3 Hidden Signs of Pet Pain - Is Your Pet Trying to Tell You Something?

3 Hidden Signs of Pet Pain - Is Your Pet Trying to Tell You Something?

Pain and your pet: two things you never want to think about together. When our pets hurt, our hearts break. We do everything we can to help our beloved companions avoid the irritation and anguish of physical discomfort. Yet it can be challenging to recognize how your pet experiences pain and exhibits distress. It would be so much easier if our furry family members spoke human!

What is pet pain like? Our dogs, cats, and other domestic animals are prone to the same types of pain we experience, like surgical pain, arthritis, or trauma-related pain, to name a few. Sharp or acute pain is often from an injury and is typically accompanied by limping or vocalizing. Long-term aches and soreness caused by internal discomfort may be harder to spot as your pet instinctually hides their compromised health.

If you’ve wondered if your pet’s behavior changes are more than “just signs of aging,” we can help. To bring attention to Pain Awareness Month this September, we’ve put together the common signs of pet pain to help you spot if your pet is stoically suffering. Keep reading to see if it’s time to bring your furry friend in for an evaluation.

1. Your Pet Doesn’t Eat as Well They Used To

Chronic and acute pain can wreak havoc on your pet’s appetite or ability to eat a nutritious meal. If your pet no longer looks forward to their dinner after a lifetime of being a chowhound, it could be because of pain.

A common reason for a decreased appetite in pets is an infection or underlying diseases, like diabetes, cancer, or hyperthyroidism. Stomach or intestinal blockages are often seen in curious pets who get into the garbage or big dogs who chew small toys. Dental issues and mouth pain can also make a pet hesitant to eat.

Have you noticed any of these changes in your pet’s eating habits?

  • Less enthusiasm for a meal
  • Not finishing their regular portion
  • Avoiding harder food or treats
  • Chewing less
  • Vomiting after they eat

2. Not Partaking in Activities Your Pet Once Loved

Have you seen your pet stop joining or enjoying the activities they once loved? Maybe your birdwatching cat hesitates to jump up on the windowsill, or your social dog won’t play with friends. Often these changes are gradual and can be attributed to aging. But they could also be a sign your dog or cat is experiencing chronic pain, typically from culprits like arthritis and inflamed joints.

Have you seen a change in your pet’s interest in these activities?

  • Walks
  • Playtime
  • Being pet
  • Grooming

3. Your Pet’s Personality Isn’t the Same

You’ve likely seen a senior dog react to a puppy by showing their teeth or snapping to tell the young upstart to get lost. Even if your pet isn’t aggressive by nature, they may often exhibit a change in personality when they’re in pain.

The ache and stress of pain can cause your pet to become more withdrawn, defensive, or aggressive. These are natural instincts to protect themselves and a side effect of not feeling well.

What changes in personality should you look out for?

  • Change in sleeping pattern
  • Restlessness
  • Increased neediness
  • Avoiding other pets
  • Avoiding people
  • Being snippy

Provide Your Pet with a Pain-Free Life

Did you recognize any of these signs of pain in your pet? Concerned about how aging will affect your senior cat or dog? If you notice any of these symptoms or other changes that have you worried, make an appointment for an examination today.

Along with paying close attention to your animal companion’s habits, keeping an annual exam on your calendar is the essential commitment you can make to their health. Regular checkups help us diagnose developing conditions and prevent problems before they get worse. We can provide you with guidance to help your pet age gracefully and answer questions you may have about what’s normal and what’s a cause for concern.

There are many options for treating your pet’s pain, including medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage. Schedule an appointment today and we’ll help you find the right fit for your companion, lifestyle, and budget. You and your pet will rest easier when they find relief from pain.

 

 

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

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Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-1121
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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