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Closed July 4

Hi Everyone. We will be closed on July 4 so please plan accordingly. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July and keep your pets inside!!

News Pet Safety

Hot Days Ahead

It’s going to be an extremely hot week for us in the Northwest. Please keep your pets safe and cool!

Do not leave pets in the car on warm days, even for a few minutes!

Make sure your pets have lots of cool, clean water to drink and access to shade or a cool room in the house.

Keep screens on your windows so kitties don’t fall (or jump) out when trying to catch a cool breeze.

Be careful of hot surfaces. Asphalt can be very hot and uncomfortable for dog feet. If you wouldn’t walk on it barefoot, chances are your dog doesn’t want to either!

This is a great week to take your dog out for some fun in the water, but use common sense. Don’t leave you dog unsupervised. Don’t assume that all dogs can swim well, or that they all like to swim. Be careful on hot sand and also watch dog paws on our local beaches that can be covered with sharp oyster shells, rocks, and barnacles. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink lots of salt water at the beach or chlorinated water from pools.

Take your walks in the early morning or late evening, when it’s cooler. Be especially careful with older pets. If you are a runner, you might want to leave your older dog at home this week.

If your cat isn’t much of a drinker, you might want to add a little extra water to any wet food you feed them.

If you have fans on in the house, make sure they are stable so pets can’t knock them over.

It's a great week for water fun, but be safe!

It’s a great week for water fun, but be safe!

Summer Safety

Closed June 3

Hi Everyone! Just a reminder that we will be closed tomorrow, Saturday June 3. We will be open on Sunday.

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Winter Tips for Pets

Winter is here, even if the calendar says it’s a few more days! Here are some tips to keep your pets comfortable during the cold weather.

Make sure you have plenty of food and meds for your pets if the weather looks dicey. You don’t want to get caught low on munchies if you get snowed in or there is flooding on the roads.

Check water dishes frequently. Even though the temps are dropping, your pets still need lots of clean water. If you have any outside bowls, make sure they are not iced over. Your dogs will appreciate it if they go out for a romp.

Keep your pets inside when it gets cold and/or wet. If you wouldn’t want to be stuck outside, they won’t either. Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they won’t get cold.

When you do take pets on outings, be prepared. Dogs with medium to long coats should be fine, but just-clipped or very short-haired dogs will benefit from a coat of some kind. Watch the paws as well. Many dogs love the snow but they can build up ice crystals between their toes, which can sometimes cause bleeding. Also be careful around places that use salt or chemicals to de-ice the pavement. Wash those paws when you get home! And of course, keep your pets away from antifreeze.

Careful with the decorations for the holidays. Pointsettias in particular are poisonous to cats and dogs. Ribbon from presents can also cause huge problems if ingested (and it’s quite tempting, especially to playful kitties). Don’t leave packages with food items under the tree, unless you want them unwrapped quickly!

Candles can be easily knocked down by pets, so be careful.

Watch the people food. It’s tempting to share holiday meals with our four-footed friends, but rich sauces, salted foods, meat cooked with onions, and other such human goodies can cause digestive problems for critters. Don’t put candy dishes within snout reach!

Pets should not be left in cars for any length of time. Cold temps can be very dangerous. Tap the hood of your car before starting up your cars to make sure no cats or other small critters have hidden under the hood looking for warmth.

Don’t bathe your pets as much during the winter. If you do, make sure they are completely dry before going out anywhere.

Pets should have a warm cozy bed inside, away from drafts and windows. They like a little extra comfort in the winter, just like us!

Stay safe and warm!

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cats Dogs holiday tips Pet Health Pet Safety

Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Halloween can be lots of fun for families, with costumes, parties, trick-or-treat, and lots of sweets. But the same things that make Halloween so fun for humans can be scary or downright dangerous for pets. The most important thing you can do for your furry friends is to keep them inside both on and near Halloween, especially if you have black cats. They are sadly a target for some very sick people. Watch your pets carefully when trick-or-treaters come to the door. You don’t want them slipping out while you are handing out candy. You can use a child gate to keep dogs away from the door or simply keep pets in a quiet, closed room away from the main door. Turning on a TV or some soft music will help. In addition to keeping your pets inside, it will also keep overly excitable dogs away from small children. Even the friendliest dog can be terrifying to a young child if it is rushing toward them. Halloween evening would be a great time to present your pets with a special treat to keep them distracted from the constant ringing of the doorbell.

Keep any candy and human treats out of reach from pets, especially dogs. If you think it’s high enough, you may want to move it just a little higher. Dogs can be very persistent in trying to get at something that might be tasty! Chocolate and treats containing xylitol are especially dangerous to pets. Candy wrappers, small toys, and Halloween decorations can also be a hazard to cats and dogs. Dogs may try to eat the wrappers, while cats often want to play with things, especially anything stringy. If your pet ingests any of these items, call your vet immediately. There are emergency clinics in most areas that can answer after-hours questions or see your pet if they need to be taken in right away.

Costumes are fun and many people like to dress their pets up as well. If you do, make sure the costume fits well and does not have small parts that could easily be eaten. Never leave a pet in a costume unattended. Watch your pet’s reaction as well. Some animals are very tolerant of costumes, while others can be overly stressed by them.

If you follow these tips, everyone in the family can have a happy and safe Halloween!

SharkCat

No cats were harmed in the making of this image! Anya posed for a few pictures and the costume was quickly removed. She was appropriately rewarded with salmon treats!

cats Dogs Halloween holiday tips Pet Health Pet Safety

Puppy Shots

Puppies are little bundles of joy and it’s important to get them started off right! Most vets recommend a series of basic shots for young pups, starting at about six to seven weeks and then again around 12 and 16 weeks. Which shots your puppy will need and exactly when will depend partly on where in the country you live, what breed of dog you own, and what individual risk factors your particular pup may have. Make sure to check with your vet as soon as you get your new puppy.

Many vets consider the core shots necessary to protect your new friend to be vaccines for parvovirus, canine distemper, hepatitis, and rabies (which is usually given at the end of the series). Do check with your state laws as well regarding rabies. This is the one vaccination that is usually required by law. Other factors, such as location and if you travel frequently, show or board your dogs, or live in an area with tick problems, might indicate that other shots be given as well, including lyme, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and bordetella. Your local vet will know if any of these are appropriate.

Most puppies come through their series of vaccinations just fine, but do be aware of possible side effects and keep a close eye on your pup after each shot. Normal symptoms would include being slightly tired or a little uncomfortable, but severe weakness, trouble breathing, staggering, swelling or hives, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, or diarrhea warrant a call to your vet ASAP.

One of the biggest concerns among new puppy owners is when can they take their pups out. Socialization is very important for puppies, and according to many experts, the best time for this is, unfortunately, right during the series of vaccinations. Talk to your vet about your plans and when they feel it is safe. Dog parks and big, open areas where other dogs may be done their business is out of the question until the series is finished. But there are now many other opportunities to safely get your puppy out and about. Many places offer Puppy Socialization and Puppy Training classes. Check them out first and make sure the place is clean and well supervised, but these are great options. If you have friends with dogs that you know have been vaccinated, you can invite them over for some supervised play, as long as the dogs are not too big or aggressive. Supervision and knowing that any dog coming in contact with your puppy has been vaccinated are the keys. On the flip side, don’t be too afraid and keep your pup isolated. One of the biggest reasons dogs end up in shelters is that they are not well socialized. Just use common sense and you should be fine!

Enjoy that new puppy!

Dogs Pet Health Training

Heat Exhaustion is a Serious Matter

Our dogs and cats often enjoy a sunny day as much as we do, but when it gets too hot we need to pay attention to our furry friends. They can’t sweat the way we do, nor can they tell us if they are too hot or need water or shade. It’s our job to provide for them and keep them cool and comfortable when the temperature goes up.

Walk or exercise your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid the hotter midday temps. Be aware that pavement can get very hot. We have shoes, they don’t. Pets need shade outside and cool, well-ventilated rooms inside. If you are working in the attic or out in the garage on a hot day, make sure your cat hasn’t snuck in before you lock up. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your pets! Put out some extra water bowls if you are going to be gone all day. Above all, do not ever leave your pet alone in a car when it’s hot. Even on a mild day, temps in the car can rise dramatically in a very short time.

It’s important to know the signs of heat stress and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is very serious and if not dealt with immediately, it can lead to organ failure or even death. Older pets, obese pets, and breeds with short faces and noses are more susceptible (such as pugs, Bostons and bulldogs, as well as Persian cats). It’s helpful to start by knowing your pet’s normal temperature, which should be around 100-102. Too much exercise and hot and/or humid days are major causes of heat exhaustion.

Some of the early signs of heat stress include restlessness and panting or drooling. As heat exhaustion sets in, the pet will start developing rapid pulse and breathing, redness of the tongue and mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, irregular heart beat, stumbling or clumsiness, and disorientation. Pets at this point may produce very small amounts of urine and sometimes black, tarry stools. If the pet’s temperature gets to 104 or higher, they are in serious danger. Ultimately, seizures, collapse, and death can result, if nothing is done quickly to help your pet.

It is imperative to deal with this immediately. Start by getting your pet into the shade or a cool area. Spray with cool water and/or wrap them with a cool, wet tool. Pay special attention to the armpit and groin areas. Get a fan going if you have access to one. Do not use ice cold water! Cool is much safer. Get the pet to drink a little cool water if you can, but go slowly. Do not force them to drink. As soon as you can, get your pet to the vet. This is not something you want to deal with all by yourself. There are so many problems that can result from heat exhaustion so you really do need to get to the vet ASAP. The best way to deal with heat exhaustion is to do everything you can to avoid it in the first place! So enjoy these summer days, but make sure your furry friends are enjoying them safely!

Stay cool!

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Tips for Summer Car Travel With Pets

Summer is the time when many of us hit the road for adventure, often with our best furry friends. Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe, comfortable, and happy on your journeys.

1. Plan a vet visit before you go, especially if you are going on a long trip or over state lines. Make sure you have an up-to-date copy of medical records (including proof of rabies vaccination, which you may need if entering another state), microchip with correct information recorded, and an adequate supply of any medications your pet needs.

2. Call ahead to make sure your pet is welcome at any planned stops. There are many pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and other venues but it is important to check ahead. If you are hiking in or near a National Park, be aware that many do not allow dogs on the trails, even with leashes (this includes Mt. Rainier and the Olympics). Pets are generally allowed in the campgrounds and on trails in National Forests.

3. Pack a separate bag for your pet, stocked with leashes, bowls for food and water, poop bags, a first aid kit, a few favorite toys, litter and some sort of litter pan for cats, wipes, treats, a few towels, any medications needed plus medical records, and a blanket or bed. Your pet needs a collar and ID tag. It’s best to bring water from home, and don’t forget the food! Never assume that you can buy your pet’s food along the way. If you will be at the beach or hiking, it’s nice to have a container of water in the car just for rinsing off sandy or muddy paws.

4. Restrain your pet properly in the car, with a harness, car seat, or carrier. Pets should not be in the front seat and should never, ever be on your lap if you are driving! Keep heads inside, especially on the freeway, keep your car cool, and make plenty of rest stops. Never leave your pet alone in the car during any stops.

5. Don’t feed your pet too much before a long drive. A light meal or snack is best, with a normal meal once you are settled into your destination.

6. Try to keep to a schedule of feeding and exercise as best you can. Pets like routines, even on a new adventure!

Happy travels!

Duke

Pet Health Pet Safety Travel with Pets

Hot Dogs, Hot Cars

Summer is almost here, and with it, lots of adventures with our canine friends. Often those trips involve some driving in the car, so it never hurts to remind people of the dangers of leaving their pets in a locked car, even if it’s just for a short time. Here in the Northwest, it’s especially important to plan your outings carefully at this time of year, as our weather can be just a wee bit erratic! It might be cool and rainy when you leave your home in the morning, but 20 miles down the road, or 30 minutes later in the same place, the sun can come out and temperatures go up. Even if the outside air is pleasant, temperatures in a car can rise very quickly to a dangerous level. According to the US Humane Society, an outside temperature of 72° translates to about 116° in a closed car within an hour.

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises people not to leave their pets in a closed car if the outside temps are hotter than 62° or colder than 32°. As much as your dog may love to ride in the car, if you are just planning to do errands and you know some of the businesses don’t allow pets, leave your dog at home. If you do take your dog, plan ahead. There are many pet-friendly businesses, eateries, and hotels, and the numbers are rising each year. If you have someone with you, one person can run inside and the other can take the dog for a short stroll.

Sadly, hundreds of pets die in cars every year, because their owners didn’t realize how hot it can get in a car. People say they are just going to be a minute or two, but something distracts them, the line is longer than they thought, or they run into a friend. Temperatures can rise 20° in just ten minutes. On an 85° day, temps can reach 114° in 30 minutes and 125° within an hour. Cracking your window just doesn’t help much.

In July 2015, Washington State passed a law making leaving a pet in a car under dangerous conditions a civil offense. This includes situations in which the pet could be harmed by heat, cold, or lack of water or ventilation. It authorizes police or animal control personnel to break in to rescue the animal and clears them of liability. It does not make it legal for citizens to do the same. However, there are things you can do if you see a pet in a car and you are concerned. The best option is to call the proper authorities and/or go to the local businesses to try to track the owner down. There is a very good guide of what to do at www.preventivevet.com/hot-happens-fast. This guide provides detailed steps so you can assess the situation and provide the best assistance, as well as protect yourself (especially if you feel you must rescue the animal before help arrives) and the pet.

Dogs Pet Health Pet Safety

Flea Season is Here Again

No doubt about it, our warmer winters the last few years mean more bugs, and that includes fleas! Flea season is already upon us. Your best bet to deal with fleas is to act before they arrive. Feed your pet a healthy diet, take them to their vet checkups, groom them regularly, vacuum your house frequently, wash pet bedding, and watch your yard.

If you still get fleas, be patient and diligent about treating your pets. There are many chemical-based treatments out there, but be very careful. These can be very toxic to your pets, and often they don’t work as well as they should. If you wouldn’t put it on your own skin, don’t use it on your pet, who is much smaller and often more sensitive than you. Also consider the fact that if you have children and you use a topical flea treatment on your pets, your children will end up with it on their hands any time they pet the dog or cat.

As is often the case, the best way to deal with fleas is not always the easiest, but it is usually better for your animal’s health (and your own!). Start by vacuuming your house (dispose of the bag immediately–you don’t want it in your house!), wash any pet bedding in hot water and a hot dry cycle, wash your pet with a non-toxic flea shampoo if necessary, and then sit down and use a good flea comb. Be methodical. If you groom your pets on a regular basis, it won’t be so bad. My cat actually loves the flea comb and will come running if he sees me bring it out! Have a basin of soapy water handy, and some sort of toweling. When you see fleas in the comb, dunk them in the water or pinch them to kill them. They are pretty tough so pinch hard! Dump the water down the toilet and flush them away. Remember to keep at it. It’s going to take more than a few groomings.

There are a number of non-toxic products that will help with fleas. Diatomaceous earth can be a big help. It comes in a powder form and can be used on carpets, furniture, and especially in areas where a vacuum will not reach. You can also use it directly on your pet if they do not have open sores from the fleas but be very careful to keep it out of eyes, ears, and noses (yours too). You must get food-grade diatomaceous earth. Absolutely do not use the kind that is used for pools or yards. Also, be careful, as it is drying to the skin. It’s something that shouldn’t be used too frequently. It’s a bit messy to apply, but it’s cheap and effective if used properly.

Many people add Brewer’s yeast to their pet’s food and apple cider vinegar added to drinking water can help, especially with dogs (you might want to ask your vet before using this with cats, as they have a very delicate system as far as acid/alkaline balance). Apple cider vinegar diluted with water can be a soothing wash that helps with fleas, as can a lemon rinse (slice and let sit in hot water overnight–don’t use citrus oil). There are also several treatments using essential oils. These can be effective but be careful if your pet has sensitive skin, and be aware that what is good for dogs is often not good for cats. Pennyroyal, tea tree, and eucalyptus are among the many oils that should be avoided for cats. It should be mentioned here as well, that if you do choose a treatment from the vet, or over the counter, DO NOT EVER use a dog treatment for a cat.

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