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    Being Pet Prepared in the Case of a Natural Disaster


    Only one-fifth of the 15,000+ animals stranded by Hurricane Katrina were ever reunited with their owners. That means that more than 12,000 pets never found their way back home following this devastating storm! This is the sad reality of natural disasters, but hopefully this article will inspire you to first develop a plan for your family and do a few important things to make sure your pets are taken care of as well.

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    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Storms, Hurricanes, Disasters, Emergency, Tornadoes, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

    Light Up Your Pumpkin—Not Your Pets


    Do you have carved pumpkins you want to light up?

    When it comes time to lighting up your (beautifully) carved creations, it’s best if you opt for an alternative to traditional or tea light candles.

    Not only will options like a powered flameless candle likely last longer than a regular candle, but you’ll also avoid the potential for your pet to burn themselves or the house while walking past or investigating your pumpkins. Carved pumpkins do smell good!!

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    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, Dog, Blog, Burns, Cat

    Pets Shouldn't Do Yard Work


    Yard work. Some of you love doing it and some get others to do it for them. Whichever it is, it's a good idea to keep your pets inside.


    Power tool culprits:
    lawn mowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers. AND the projectiles they fling about, like rocks, sticks and other debris.

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    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Garden

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 11 - Cyclamen)


    DAY 11: Cyclamen

    I suspect this is a pet toxicity that many of you were unaware of. In fact, I suspect many of you have never even heard of a cyclamen before – right? However, you've likely seen them around and may have even had them on your holiday table – these plants are common in supermarket floral departments and home & garden centers.

    Although not nearly as popular as the poinsettia around the holidays, the cyclamen is often found in homes this time of year. And not many people know about the dangers of the cyclamen.
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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Poinsettias, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Cyclamen

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 10 - Liquid Potpourri)


    DAY 10: Liquid Potpourri

    Some of the nicest things about the holidays are the smells, wouldn't you agree? Whether it's the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree, cookies baking in the oven, or a crackling wood fire – the smells make this time of year is so enjoyable.

    Liquid potpourri is a substance that can create or help to mimic some of those wonderful holiday smells. And while these oily liquids can fill a house with a sensory overload of wonderful aromas without all the 'hassle' of baking cookies, lighting a fire, or cutting down a pine tree, they also pose a very real, and potentially very significant, hazard to your pets - especially your cats.

    Be aware

    Liquid potpourris typically contain two substances that can be toxic to your pets - essential oils and cationic detergents. Whether or not they're specifically listed on the label, they're almost always present, albeit in varying concentrations.

    While the essential oil component of the liquid potpourris can cause problems for your pets (depending on the type and concentration of the essential oil), typically it’s the cationic detergents that cause the bigger problems.

    The cationic detergents present in liquid potpourri can cause severe ulceration and chemical burns to the surfaces within your pet's mouth and along their digestive tract. They can cause similar problems if they come into contact with their skin or their eyes, too.

    As you might imagine, burns within your pet’s mouth, or anywhere along their digestive tract, can be extremely painful. This pain often causes affected pets to go off their food, and this, in turn, can lead to a whole other set of problems. Of particular concern, especially if your cat is overweight or obese, is the development of hepatic lipidosis.

    If the concentration of the detergents within the potpourri is high enough, and the burns sustained severe enough, your pet could wind up with a perforated ulcer, or hole, in their esophagus. This carries a very poor prognosis for survival, sometimes even in spite of appropriate and timely treatment.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet poison control, Hepatic Lipidosis, Pet emergency, Cationic detergents, Do not induce vomiting, Liquid Potpourri

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 6 - Ornaments)


    DAY 6: Ornaments & Other Tree Decorations

    From cuts on paws from those that break to gastrointestinal obstruction from those that get ingested, ornaments and other Christmas tree decorations pose a wide array of hazards to your pets. It’s this scope of problems and the prevalence of such decorations in homes this time of year that make Christmas tree decorations the 'poster children' for Day 6 of our The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, String, Dog Booties, Christmas pet hazards, Pet emergency, To pull or not to pull, Cats and string, Bandages, Use of bandages, Septic peritonitis

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 3 - Mistletoe)


    DAY 3: Mistletoe

    Before you pucker up to kiss your sweetheart, be sure that bunch of mistletoe is well secured to the door jam. Though a strategically placed sprig of mistletoe may get you that Christmas "snog" you've been dreaming about all year, it may also land your dog or cat in the hospital if it falls to the ground or they find another way to get their paws on it.

    Be aware

    Even when eaten in small quantities, mistletoe can cause your pets excessive drooling and digestive upset. The latter of which may manifest as vomiting and diarrhea - which kinda ruins the thought of the previously mentioned snog I guess, doesn't it? But even bigger problems are in store for your pet if they ingest a larger quantity of this common Christmas decoration.

    In these situations your pet may experience heart and/or neurologic problems, which could include abnormal heart rate and rhythm, decreased blood pressure, and a staggered walk. If left untreated, these signs can progress to collapse, seizures, coma, and even death. Now I've really ruined the thought of the snog, haven't I? I'm sorry, truly, I am... but you really should be aware of this.

    If your pet has ingested any quantity of mistletoe...

    ...you should seek immediate veterinary advice. You can do so from your regular veterinarian, the local Animal ER, or from a dedicated animal poison control hotline . Though severe toxicity from mistletoe is uncommon, many factors will influence the degree of toxicity your pet will experience should they be unfortunate enough to ingest it. And as with all potential or known toxicities, you should not delay in seeking professional veterinary advice. The sooner appropriate actions are taken, the greater the chances that a better outcome will be realized.

    Preventing mistletoe toxicity

    • If you hang mistletoe in your home, be sure it's well secured.
    • Take the berries off of any mistletoe you hang in your home.
    • Be careful when putting up (and taking down) your holiday decorations; do not leave the mistletoe laying around where your pets can get to it.
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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, toxicity, Plants Poisonous for Cats, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Poison control, Christmas pet hazards, Diarrhea, Neurological problems, Plants Poisonous for Dogs, Mistletoe

    The 12 Days of Christmas: Pet Hazards Series (Day 9 - Ribbons & Bows)


    DAY 9: Ribbons & Bows

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that curly ribbon and gift bows are good toys for your cats – after all, pictures and videos of playful cats rolling around with such objects can be found everywhere online, on television, and in print ads. But we in the veterinary profession also want pet owners to be aware that another place we commonly see kittens and cats playing with Christmas ribbons – or at least the debilitating and expensive results of such activities – is in the veterinary clinics and Animal ERs all across the country.

    This article will tell you what you need to know to recognize, react, and prevent this common holiday pet hazard. So dig in, read on, and don’t forget to share this information with your friends and family.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, holiday pet safety tips, Vomiting, Christmas pet hazards, Pet safety and houseguests, Linear Foreign Body, Cats and string, Diarrhea, Hiding, Septic peritonitis

    Pets and Pacifiers – When children and animals don’t mix

    Welcoming a new baby into your family and home is truly one of the greatest joys in life. But if you’re a pet owner, this great joy can also come with a host of new things to consider. Children and pets can adore each other and grow up as great allies, but they can also cause each other harm – whether intentional or not. It’s imperative to plan ahead and take necessary precautions in order to avoid emergencies and create a home that is comfortable for all family members – pets included. 

    Here are some quick facts you should be aware of when bringing your new baby into your life with pets (or a new pet into your life with children):

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    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Dog Bite Prevention, Child Pet safety, Benefits of Growing Up with Pets, Dog Bite, Cat Stress, Cat Bite, Children and dogs, Children and Cats

    An Overview of Summer Pet Safety

    Come June, who among you isn’t ready for the sunshine, BBQs, fireworks, trips to the river, lake, beach, and all the other joys that summer brings?

    Believe it or not, there is one group that likely isn’t ready…
    your pets!

    With a few simple steps you can help prepare your pets and keep them safe this summer. This article will serve as an overview of the summer hazards that commonly sicken, injure, and kill cats and dogs this time of year. Awareness is such an important part of prevention. So please, give this article a good read and be sure to share it with your pet-loving friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Here’s to a safe and wonderful summer for all – human and pet, alike!

    Summer Pet Safety Tips:

    1. Summer carries dangers from heat, water, toxins, and an increase in injuries.
    2. Always consider your pet’s safety and comfort.
    3. Sometimes it’s better to leave your pet safe in the home, rather than exposed to danger.

    HEAT

    Though that beautiful glowing orb in the sky improves our collective mood and helps to sustain life on our planet, it can lead to a few significant problems for our beloved pets, too.
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    Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, flea treatment, High Rise Syndrome, Dogs, Safety, Cats, Summer, Heat Stroke, Pets, Swimming, Boating, Barbeques, Sunburn, Blue Green Algae, Snails, Paw Pad Burns, Fireworks, Slugs, Antifreeze

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.