Pets are more than just animals; for many, they are a beloved member of the family. Naturally this means trying to keep our pets as safe as possible. Here are a few ways to help prevent common pet emergencies and take proper care of your furry friends.
1. Poison: Know what's in your home.
Most people know that chocolate is poisonous to pets, but there are a great deal of other common household items that may be harmful for your animal. Most household cleaners are poisonous, as well as common food items such as grapes, onions, and macadamia nuts. House plants like lilies and sago palms are extremely poisonous and should ideally not be kept around your home. Read up on animal poisons, and make sure they are safely stored away from any pet's reach.
Signs and symptoms that your pet may be suffering from poison include vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. If you suspect you animal has gotten into something it shouldn't have, try to identify the eaten object and call poison control.
2. Heatstroke: Keep your pets cool.
Animals are at similar risks for heatstroke as humans. When the summer heat rolls in, it's important to know how to protect your pet from succumbing to the scorching temperatures. Make sure your pet has constant access to water and a cool, shaded area to reside. Never leave a pet in an unventilated room or car while unattended; even in shaded areas, the temperature inside the car will rise, making it unsafe.
Heatstroke develops quickly and may result in organ dysfunction, brain damage, and death. Take your animal to the vet immediately if he has a body temperature over 103 degrees. Pets that are obese or very young or old are at higher risk of heatstroke.
3. Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus: Watch what they eat.
Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, or GDV, is a common yet life-threatening condition experienced mainly in dogs. GDV is characterized by the bloating and turning of a dog's stomach. Though the exact reasons for GDV are still debated, there seems to be a link between dogs' exercise level and eating habits. GDV usually occurs 2-3 hours following eating or drinking a large quantity, especially after strenuous exercise. You may help prevent GDV by limiting your dog's water and food intake after extensive activity. Feed your dog in smaller, more manageable amounts.
Making your home a safer place for your pet is good insurance, but not fool proof. If your pet has a high fever, severe vomiting, or is simply not responding or acting in a proper manner, it is always best to err on the safe side and call a local vet or animal hospital, such as Denville Animal Hospital.