Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins, Oh My! Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Scary creatures are coming out of the woodworks for the Halloween holiday, and you may be getting your costume together, too. Halloween is a favorite holiday for many of us, and of course we want to include our furry family members in the festivities. 

For many pets, Halloween is actually a stressful event. But with our best tips for keeping your pet healthy and safe, you can help her to enjoy the night (or even let her skip it altogether). Read on for more from Halloween pet safety tips from Huntington Veterinary Hospital.

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Nasty Habit: Why Do Some Dogs Eat Poop

An under-the-belly photo of a dog wearing a red bandana around its neck, leaning down to eat something in the grasses.

You are at the park with your pet and are just about to give them a hug and kiss, when you notice they just gobbled down something. Oh no! Poop! This gross habit that some pets develop may be ghastly to us, but to them it is a perfectly natural thing to do. 

Some dogs are more prone to eating excrement, though, and there are a number of reasons why they do it. Huntington Veterinary Hospital wants to help you understand this gross but common issue of why some dogs eat poop. 

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Kick Off Summer Fun with Pets

The sun is shining, your sunscreen is on, and it’s time for summer fun! For most of us, this means summer fun with pets, too. 

Whether you’ve already made your summer bucket list or you’re late to the party, Huntington Veterinary Hospital has some tips and ideas for both lazing around and getting active with pets this summer.

Wet and Wild

Swimming and relaxing is essential to summer fun if you have a water loving dog. And in our area, we have to start off with the beach! Seek out dog friendly beaches, like Huntington Dog Beach or Rosie’s Dog Beach.

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Welcome Home! Introducing a New Pet

When it comes to introducing a new pet to your existing pets, patience is a virtue. It can be tempting to try and make them a member of the family immediately, but you’ll avoid problems and stress all around by taking your time.

How to go about introducing a new pet? Take our tips for a successful meeting to heart, and you’ll all be well on your way to a home of happy pets (and pet parents!).

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Lost and Found: The Power of Pet Microchipping

Pet microchipping can help a lost pet become a found pet

As a pet owner, the only thing scarier than the thought of losing your pet is the fear that you’ll never find them. This fear is based in reality. Of the estimated 8 million pets who wind up in shelters each year, less than 30% of dogs and 5% of cats are ever reunited with their original families.

Fortunately, there is something you can do to improve the odds of a happy reunion: pet microchipping! Having your pet microchipped is the best insurance against a broken heart. The team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital is excited to share more about the benefits of this wonderful technology!

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Reflections from Huntington Veterinary Hospital: Our Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

fall pet safety tips

Most people view their pet as a bonafide member of the family and treat them accordingly. With increased awareness of what a pet needs to thrive, we’re seeing our community of responsible pet owners grow each year.

Routine wellness checks have lasting impacts on long-term health, and we’re continually struck by dedicated pet owners who go the distance to ensure the wellbeing of their best friend. In response to the questions we often receive at Huntington Veterinary Hospital, we publish pet care blogs each month. We hope the information and tips we provide are relevant and effective.

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Pot and Pets: A Recipe for Disaster

pot and pets don't mix and can cause pet toxicity

California has always led the effort to legalize marijuana use, and so far, these efforts have proven successful. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize the use of medical marijuana, and has recently made history again with the passage of Proposition 64, which allows for the regulated sale and use of recreational marijuana.

As this trend continues to grow nationwide, veterinarians are seeing an increase in cases of marijuana toxicity in pets. In fact, a Colorado study in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care showed that the number of pets treated for marijuana poisoning quadrupled from 2005 to 2010.

Simply put, pot and pets are a dangerous combination, and it’s critically important for owners to be aware of how dangerous marijuana can be to their pets.

Pot and Pets

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for producing the desired effects. Because a pet’s body is so much smaller than a human’s, it doesn’t take much to result in a pet poisoning.

Pets are generally exposed to pot from inhalation (birds are extremely sensitive and can die from exposure to smoke), ingestion of dried or fresh plant material, or ingestion of edible marijuana products.

This last method of exposure is the most concerning, as many pets (particularly dogs) are extremely interested in people food and will overindulge if given the chance. Edible marijuana products also contain other substances that are toxic to pets, such as chocolate, nuts, or xylitol (a common sugar substitute).

Exposure Effects

Whether it’s through ingestion or inhalation of secondhand smoke, any amount of exposure to marijuana can be toxic to pets. Symptoms typically appear within a few hours and may include:

  • Stumbling, loss of coordination
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Dribbling urine
  • Slowed respiratory rate
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Any type or amount of marijuana consumption should be considered a pet emergency. While there’s no specific antidote for pot exposure, supportive care is typically needed as the effects of the drug wear off.

A Safe Space

If you suspect your pet may have come into contact with marijuana, please let us know right away. At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, the health and safety of your pet is our top priority. We aren’t here to judge or get you into trouble. Being honest is your pet’s best chance at a full recovery.

Keeping pot and pets separate is the surest way to protect your furry family member. Store marijuana and marijuana products out of your pet’s reach, and always supervise your pet in other people’s homes.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Huntington Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns about pot and pets.

Peace of Mind: The Benefits of Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can help you afford veterinary careWe all love our pets and want to do the very best we can to take care of them. Most of us know this means annual veterinary preventive care and feeding them a high-quality diet. But what about unexpected costs?

With the annual cost of veterinary care topping $1,800 annually, it’s no wonder that a pet injury or illness could put a significant financial strain on many families. That’s where pet insurance comes in. Designed to bridge the gap between cost and care, a pet insurance policy means you never have to choose between your pet and your wallet. Continue…

What to Do When It Comes to Expired Veterinary Drugs

expired veterinary drugs could threaten pet health and cause a pet emergencyAn ear infection here, a cut paw pad there, and a routine surgery later, many times as a pet owner you may find yourself with some leftover medications for your furry friend. If you are like most of us, you probably find yourself stashing extras in a leftover cabinet, in hopes that you can use it a little later.

Not all drugs keep, and most medications do have an expiration date. Knowing whether to keep or toss isn’t always easy. Luckily, your friends at Huntington Veterinary Hospital know just what to do when it comes to expired veterinary drugs.

Veterinary Drug Safety

Using leftover medications in your pet’s medical supplies isn’t always as benign as it sounds. Over time, drugs may undergo chemical changes that can render them less effective, or, in less frequent cases, harmful. Continue…

Take to the Water and Dog-Paddle! Swimming Safety for Dogs

Swimming safety for dogs is an important part of summer fun with pets.When temperatures increase and the water is so appealing, what self-respecting pooch doesn’t want to take a dip in the pool, lake, or river? Many dogs naturally take to water, but not every dog likes being wet or is comfortable with this form of exercise. Even if your water-loving fur ball loves to swim, there are several things to consider to keep them safe.

To help you and your bestie enjoy the hotter months ahead, here are our top tips regarding swimming safety for dogs. Continue…