5 Holiday Food Safety Tips for Pets

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‘Tis the season for family, friends, and of course…FOOD! While you’re busy cooking and baking, keep an eye on your pet. Some “people food” contains ingredients that can actually be toxic to pets, causing them to become sick or worse. Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa recommends that you consider the following five holiday food safety tips to keep your pet happy and healthy this holiday season. And remember, we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for emergency care, should an accident occur.

 

  1. Use Caution If Feeding Your Pet Turkey

 

Protein is an important part of everyone’s diet, including your pet, so a lean meat like turkey (fully cooked, of course) is usually a safe food to feed to your four-legged friend—if you feed your pet table food, that is. White meat is the safest option, since it contains less fat. Just be sure to remove any bone fragments first, as they can cause choking or gastrointestinal problems if your pet ingests them. Also make sure there isn’t any gravy on the turkey.

 

  1. Know Which Fruits & Veggies Are Safe

 

Lucky for you and your pet, turkey isn’t the only food that’s safe for pets to eat. As you know, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and fiber, making them a healthy choice for your pet, but not ALL fruits and vegetables are safe. Some of the ones that are safe include raw veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumbers and fruits like apples and blueberries. On the “no-no” list is grapes, which are toxic to pets. Just make sure to chop any fruit or veggie in small bite-sized pieces before giving them to your pet.

 

  1. Don’t Share Your Dessert With Your Pet

 

Despite how sweet and sad those big eyes look as your dog begs for a taste of your chocolate brownie, don’t give them any chocolate. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine that’s poisonous to dogs and cats. The sugar substitute xylitol, which is common in certain gums and candies, is also toxic, so avoid giving your pet any sweet food altogether to be on the safe side. If you ever suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate or any other toxic food (toxicity symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea), contact Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa as soon as possible at 918-665-0508.

 

  1. Avoid Feeding Your Pet Garlic

 

Garlic, chives, onions, and leeks are all part of the allium family, and all of which are mildly or moderately poisonous to dogs and cats. Toxicity symptoms can range from vomiting, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. With that in mind, these foods are also definitely on the “no-no” list when it comes to sharing your food with your pet.

 

  1. Keep Your Garbage Can Sealed

 

Your pet’s sense of smell is a lot stronger than yours, so while you’re busy entertaining your guest, your pet might go digging through your trash for scraps if the bag isn’t properly sealed. Always make sure the garbage can lid is secured as well, and when the trash gets full, take the bag outside to eliminate your pet’s temptations.

 

If you have any questions about toxic and non-toxic foods for pets, or if you think your pet may have eaten a toxic food, call Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa at 918-665-0508. We’re available 24/7 to assist you and your pet. We hope you have a safe, happy holiday season with your family and four-legged friend.

 

 

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5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Tulsa, OK

The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and Halloween is just weeks away. While this is a day that many kids look forward to, it can be a dangerous time for your pet if you’re not prepared. Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa wants to make this Halloween a safe, fun holiday for your furry friends, which is why we recommend the following five safety tips. And remember, if your pet is ever in need of emergency care, our doctors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  1. Make Sure Your Pet Has Identification

Sadly, Halloween is a time when many pets go missing, either because they’re left outside or because they escape from an open door in pursuit of costumed trick-or-treaters. This is why it’s so important to make sure your pet has sufficient identification. At the very least, we recommend an ID tag with all of your contact information on it. A microchip is another option. This permanent form of identification is a tiny device that can be scanned by most animal hospitals and shelters. Microchips are typically placed just beneath the surface of the skin near the shoulder blades. Speak with your family veterinarian to determine if microchipping is an available service for your pet.

 Don’t Feed Your Pet Candy

Although you or your children may be tempted to share some of that Halloween candy with your canine or feline companion, keep in mind that chocolate is actually toxic to pets if ingested—especially dark chocolate. The more chocolate that’s consumed, the greater the risk of toxicity. Some of the initial symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting and diarrhea, but if a larger amount is consumed, the symptoms can be far worse. Even some candies are toxic if they contain the sugar substitute xylitol, which can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar in pets. Consider purchasing some new dog or cat treats for your pet so he/she can enjoy his/her OWN Halloween treats…without getting sick.

  1. Keep Your Pet Indoors

You may have read or heard about the stories of cruel pranksters who steal black cats or other pets from yards on or near Halloween. To keep your pet safe from these pranksters, limit their time outdoors—especially at night—in the days before and after Halloween. Also keep in mind that some pets tend to get spooked by all the trick-or-treaters walking through the neighborhood in Tulsa, which is another reason it’s best to keep your four-legged friend inside, where they can be safe.

  1. Keep Your Pet Away From the Front Door

While inside your home is usually safer for a pet on Halloween than out in your yard, you should still take some precautionary steps. Every time your doorbell rings is an invitation for your pet to come running to greet the person on the other side of the door, but if that person is a small child who’s afraid of animals, you probably wouldn’t want your pet to go near the door. If they’re not trained, some pets might even attempt to slip through the open door. So for the safety of your pet and the trick-or-treaters, it’s best to block your pet’s access to the front door, either with a gate or simply by leaving him/her in a closed room.

  1. Use Caution If Dressing Your Pet

It seems like every year, there are more and more adorable or humorous costumes available for pets, so it can be hard to resist the urge to dress up your own pet. While some costumes are harmless and even comforting for pets, others are poorly made and can cause your pet to become uneasy. If you’ll be dressing your pet up this Halloween, make sure the costume fits well (not too tight or loose) and that there aren’t any parts (needles, sharp ends, etc.) that can potentially harm your pet. Also look out for any loose or dangling pieces that can be easily chewed off and pose a choking hazard or intestinal obstruction. This is especially important for cats.

Remember, Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all pet emergencies. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (918) 665-0508 if you have any questions or if you need to bring your pet in.

 

 

 

 

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Missing the litter box

A tabby cat walking away from his litterbox.

 

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.

An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.

Health factors

Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.

Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.

Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.

Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.

Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat

SOURCE: https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/behavior/missing_the_litter_box.aspx

 

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Disaster Preparedness Tips

Animal Disaster Preparedness Tips

Oklahoma is in the heart of tornado country, so it’s important to be prepared for your family and pets, in case a tornado hits. Animal Emergency Center of Tulsa has provided the following five disaster preparedness tips that are geared specifically toward your pet family. And although we hope your pet is always safe, remember that we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all pet emergencies. Just give us a call at (918) 665-0508.

1. Have an Emergency Supply/Travel Kit Packed: Your kit should include a pet first-aid kit, several days’ worth of pet food, bottled water, a leash and collar, bowls, litter and disposable litter trays (for cats), and a blanket. Your regular veterinarian can advise you on additional items that should be included in your kit. Keep your kit in a safe area that can be easily accessed, and make sure your entire family knows where it is.

2. Be Prepared for an Evacuation: It may seem like obvious advice to bring your pet inside during inclement weather, but sadly, many pets DO get left outside during tornados and other natural disasters. Don’t let your pet be one of them. Make sure that your pet and emergency kit are part of your evacuation plan. Be sure to perform several evacuation drills with your family so that everyone can be prepared.

3. Have a Tornado-Safe Area Planned: There may be times when time simply does not allow for a safe evacuation, which is why it’s important to have a tornado-safe area that’s pet friendly to resort to. This can be your basement, storm cellar, or the lowest level of your home. Make sure your pet is already trained and comfortable to go to this area and that you know how to quickly and safely secure them.

4. Make Sure Your Pet Has Sufficient Identification: Although the ID tag and collar should already be part of your emergency kit, a permanent form of identification can greatly increase the chances of a safe reunion, should your pet ever become separated from you. Some permanent forms of identification include microchips and tattoos. Ask your regular veterinary what methods they offer and schedule an appointment for placement.

5. Wait Until the Storm Completely Passes: Keep your pets close by and secured with you even after the storm passes. Once you know that it’s safe to exit from your tornado-safe area, keep your pet on a leash. The whole ordeal can obviously be very stressful for a pet and result in unpredictable behavior, so it’s best to keep them leashed long after the storm passes.

If you have any questions about the tips above, or if your pet is ever in need of emergency care, please feel free to contact us at (918) 665-0508, and we’ll be happy to help you.

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