A bite of chocolate may make our day, but it can mean trouble for our pets. Learn more about the danger chocolate poses to your pet in this handy, printable infographic.
Click here for a printable PDF!
(click to enlarge)
There’s nothing like the bright eyes of a cat to catch your attention. But what if your cat’s eyes become crusty or cloudy? Our friends at the ASPCA® have some great tips to keep your cat’s eyes healthy.
These symptoms may indicate something is amiss:
• Red or white eyelid linings
• Crusty gunk in the corners of the eye
• Tear-stained fur
• Closed eye(s)
• Cloudiness or change in eye color
• Visible third eyelid
As always, check in with your veterinarian for any questions about your feline’s eye health.
The holidays bring family, friends and full bellies all around! As you’re celebrating this wonderful time of year, don’t forget to take some extra safety measures to make sure your pet has a healthy and happy holiday, too.
• No Bones About It
The aftermath of a delicious holiday meal leaves many bones. Don’t give in to your dog’s begging or let your cat’s curiosity cause trouble. A ham or turkey bone can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth or get stuck in the throat or stomach. If you want to include your pet in the feast, offer safe foods like bits of cooked turkey or plain mashed potato. Learn more
• Our Door Is Always Open
With holiday guests coming and going, your door may be open more often and longer than usual. For an adventurous dog or speedy cat, this can be the perfect opportunity to flee. You may not even notice your fur ball sneak by. To prevent an unwanted escape, put your pet in a quiet room while family and friends flood the foyer. Learn more
• Keep Your Paws Off The Decor
Decorations are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. But keep on eye on your pet around those lights and baubles, particularly breakable ornaments, exposed electrical cords and lit candles. You should also be aware of holiday plants (like holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and pine needles) that can make your pet sick, if nibbled on. Learn more
Remember, if your pet has a poison emergency, the ASPCA® Animal Poison Control Center can help at 1-888-426-4435. They’re available 24/7, including holidays! For more safety tips, check out our website.
If you are planning a trip with your pet north across the border, AAA has some tips to help make your crossing a bit smoother.
Also, don’t forget you can visit any licensed veterinarian in Canada as well as in the US with your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan!
Learn important holiday safety tips for your pet and get 3 chances to win at our Howliday Safety Twitter Party. The party will be held on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 8-9 pm EST. Use the hashtag #PetSafety to join the conversation and play our trivia contest.
Tips for joining a Twitter party:
• Sign up for a Twitter account
• Follow the party hosts. For the Howliday Safety party, make sure you’re following ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and our co-host, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
• Twitter parties are easiest to follow if you’re using a dashboard like TweetChat, Tweetdeck, or Tweetgrid.
• Use the party hashtag (#PetSafety) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.
No purchase necessary. See official rules here.
Technology can make our lives easier, but electrical cords can be a hazard to our pets. Check out these tips to keep your pets from chewing something they shouldn’t.
Here are some more safety tips from the folks at Dogtime:
• Protect wiring with tough plastic cable covers, aluminum foil tape or double-sided tape.
• When not using them, place electronics well out of a pet’s reach.
• Use a tough protective cover on outlets.
• Never place gadgets near your coffee cup or other liquids.
Vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to supplement your pet’s regular canned or dry food diet. Just make sure they’re pet-safe, and always consult your vet before introducing new foods.
Notoriously independent, cats may hide or mask symptoms of injury or illness, but these clues can help detect a health problem with your kitty.
Clue #1: Weight change
Unexplained weight loss or weight gain can be an indicator that something isn't right with your cat.
Clue #2: Messy coat
Cats may stop taking care of their fur if they're unwell. Over-grooming can also be a cause for concern.
Clue #3: Eye and ear issues
Check ears for inflammation or discoloration, and peek at the eyes. Pupils should be the same size with no cloudy film.
Clue #4: Mouth trouble
Cat breath may not be sweet, but it shouldn't smell terrible. Discolored gums can also be a sign of sickness.
Clue #5: Behavioral problems
Changes in behavior, like sudden irritability or litter box problems, can mean an illness is bothering your furry friend.
Of course, if you have any suspicion your cat isn't feeling right, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Having a pet in the family is a personal choice, of course, but children can benefit from pets in many ways. In addition to being lots of fun, pets can also:
• Provide a source of emotional and physical comfort
• Help boost a child's confidence and self-esteem
• Support a connection to nature and a respect for living things
• Promote exercise with walks outside or interactive games
• Teach responsibility, especially to older kids who can help care for a pet
Browse the ASPCA® Kids and Pets Interaction Guide on the ASPCA's website for more information.
Are you adding a furry friend to the family? Maybe you've met your human love match and need to combine pet households. It can take time and patience, but even cats and dogs have been known to live happily ever after. Here a few tips to help:
Dog + Dog: Keep initial interactions short and supervised. Watch for signs of aggression and separate them if you sense trouble. Praise and reward them when they get along well.
Cat + Cat: Take a staged approach and keep them in separate rooms at first. Once they get used to hearing and smelling each other, let them spend time together under your supervision.
Cat + Dog: Make the introduction as stress-free as possible. For instance, consider keeping an energetic dog on a leash. Let the cat set the pace, and never force interaction.
Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for advice on your specific situation. You can also find more suggestions from our friends at the ASPCA® on bringing together dogs and dogs, cats and cats or cats and dogs.