Tag Archives: animal hospital Valrico FL

Holiday Hazards for Cats

With the holidays approaching, many kitties are partaking in seasonal kitty traditions, like helping their humans with wrapping gifts, or bringing down Christmas trees. Fluffy is certainly an adorable part of the family, and is great for snuggling with on those Florida ‘winter’ nights. However, this can be a dangerous time of year for her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some holiday dangers for people owned by cats to be aware of.

Plants

Kitties often like to nibble on green leaves, or peek out from behind them. However, many popular holiday plants are toxic to Fluffy. Lilies, for example, are very poisonous to cats. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and pine needles are also unsafe.

The Tree

It could probably be argued that cats are as dangerous to trees as trees are to cats. Fluffy may very well see your Christmas tree as a cat tower hung with fun toys! However, your furball could get entangled, or cut herself on sharp ornaments or bulbs. If you get a real tree, the water itself is also a concern, as it could contain residue from sap and/or chemicals, such as fertilizer. Opt for an artificial tree, which will be harder for your feline buddy to climb.

Decorations

Many seasonal decorations can be hazardous to kitties! Ribbons, tinsel, and ornament hooks are a few things to be concerned with here. Strands of lights are also dangerous, as are edible decorations, such as popcorn strands. Pick up strands of tinsel and ornament hooks off the floor, and keep other hazardous decorations out of paw’s reach.

Food

Those mouth-watering holiday foods are a big part of holiday traditions. Many people like to offer their furry friends special treats at this time of year. This is fine, but you do need to be careful with what you offer your feline friend. Never give Fluffy anything that contains garlic, onion, scallions, or chives. Nuts, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, pitted fruits, and sugary foods are also on the no-no list, as are meat on the bone; grapes, currants, and raisins; and raw meat, dough, or yeast.

Flames

Candles and fireplaces offer that special, cozy glow, but they definitely aren’t pet-safe. If you burn candles or use potpourri burners, keep them in high spots Fluffy can’t reach.

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Animal Medical Center. Please call us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime!

Thunderstorm Anxiety in Dogs

Does your canine buddy become a quivering ball of fear at the sound of thunder? Does Fido run and hide when skies darken? Man’s Best Friend is often very frightened by storms. In this article, a local Brandon, FL vet discusses thunderstorm anxiety in dogs.

Why Do Storms Scare Dogs?

There actually could be several reasons for dogs to be nervous about thunderstorms. Static electricity is one possibility. As one can imagine, it probably isn’t very comfortable to be covered in fur when static electricity is high. Our furry pals may also be frightened by the smell of ozone. Subsonic noises are another possibility: Fido’s sensitive ears could be picking up noises that are undetectable to us. Of course, it’s also possible that Man’s Best Friend just doesn’t like the noise and lightning flashes. After all, your cute pet can’t read weather reports!

Helping Fido Cope

There are a few things you can do to help keep Fido calmer during storms. First, if you know it’s going to storm later, walk him before the skies darken. You may also want to tire your pup out before bad weather arrives, as he’ll be calmer—and hopefully less jittery—if he’s a bit tired. Your canine pal may also be more comfortable in his crate or an interior room. Put a TV or radio on to mask the noise, and give your pooch a puzzle toy or chew stick to occupy himself with. You can also try desensitizing your four-legged friend. Get an app or CD that plays thunderstorm sounds, and play it at low volume. Once your furry companion has gotten used to it, slowly start increasing the volume. If your pooch gets accustomed to the background noise, storm sounds may not bother him as much. Pet-calming products, such as treats, sprays, and doggy shirts, can also help. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Tips

Never punish your furry buddy for misbehaving during a storm. Fido is acting out of fear, so reprimanding him for it may just make matters worse. However, you don’t want to coddle your canine friend too much, either. This would basically be rewarding your dog for acting scared, which may just reinforce his behavior. Ask your vet for more information.

Please reach out to us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are happy to help!