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Halloween Can Be a Scary Holiday for Pets

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As much as you and your children might enjoy Halloween, this particular holiday can be a stressful one for pets. They don’t understand why you have decorations and carved pumpkins with candles in them around the house and naturally feel curious enough to investigate. Your dog or cat may end up swallowing something inedible or even starting a fire by knocking over a candle. These are just two of several Halloween safety concerns to keep in mind. Westgate Pet Clinic wants to provide the following safety tips to help keep your pets safe and happy during the month of October.

 

Don’t Share Your Candy

If anyone breaks out the treats before Halloween, instruct them not to share with the family pet regardless of how much he stares at them with sad eyes. Chocolate is especially problematic for pets because it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms associated with gastric distress. The artificial sweetener Xylitol may cause similar problems. If you really want to give your pet a treat, order something especially created for pets from our online store.

 

Pets Should Remain Indoors

The doorbell ringing and seeing groups of excited children at the door can be too much for your pet to handle. He may try to slip out the door or even become aggressive. To avoid these issues, plan to keep your dog or cat in an area of the house where you can close the door, and reduce noise and anxiety causing stimuli.  Be sure to provide his food, bedding, and toys while he stays in the room and check in frequently to make sure he’s okay. You can even buy food puzzles (which lengthen time your pet engages with his food) or toys from our online store to help pass the time.

 

Another reason pets should stay inside is that October 31 tends to bring out people who like to play pranks or are deliberately cruel to animals. Due to unfounded superstitions about them, this is especially true of black cats. The problem is so widespread that many animal shelters will not allow people to adopt a black cat on or near Halloween.

 

How to Choose a Safe Costume

Some stores sell such adorable Halloween costumes for pets that it can be hard to resist buying one. If you choose to dress up your dog or cat, be sure you’re always nearby to supervise. Ensure he has no breathing obstructions and can see clearly. Very importantly, watch him carefully for signs of irritation, discomfort or fear which may indicate that he is probably not enjoying being dressed up for the event. Also remember that your pet might chew on the costume and end up swallowing a piece of it. A close eye on your pet’s environment is definitely a “must” for Halloween.

 

Should you experience an emergency with your pet, call us at (612) 925-1121. If it is after hours, you’ll be directed for the appropriate number to call.  Happy Halloween from the staff of Westgate Pet Clinic!

 

 

Image credit:
JasonOndreicka / Stock / Getty Images Plus

July is Preventive Care Exam Awareness Month

If you only visit Westgate Pet Clinic when your pet is injured or sick, you’re missing the opportunity to get a complete picture of her health. The preventive care exam allows our doctors to detect potential health issues and begin monitoring or treating them right away.  By committing to preventive care, you could extend it by months or years. It’s well worth the investment when you consider how much love and joy your pet brings into your life.

Our Recommended Schedule for Preventive Care Exams
If your pet is normally healthy and between the ages of 12 months and seven years, an annual exam is usually sufficient. Pets enter middle-age around age seven and their senior years around age 10, so we recommend bi-annual check-ups for pets in this age group. This is when we most often start seeing issues such arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. Your puppy or kitten under one year will need to come in several times before his first birthday for routine vaccinations and monitoring.

Required vaccines for dogs include canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. The first shot offers protection for both hepatitis and respiratory disease. Essential vaccines for cats include feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, rabies, and rhinotracheitis. Westgate Pet Clinic will also discuss several optional vaccines you may want to consider for your pet depending on her species, age, lifestyle, and general health. Unless you plan to breed your dog or cat, we recommend sterilization as soon as possible. We can complete the spay or neuter procedure as early as six months.

A Typical Preventive Care Exam
If your pet needs a new vaccine or booster, we will provide it at this appointment. This is also a great time to talk to our staff about any behavioral concerns, parasite prevention, exercise, and diet. We will check your pet for parasites and let you know if we discover any. Our comprehensive preventive care exam also consists of the following:

  • Intestinal or stomach problems, which might show up as abnormal stools, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Unusual urinary discharge or mammary gland issues in females
  • Nasal issues, which might include labored breathing, allergies, asthma, coughing, or sneezing
  • Coat and skin for problems with anal sacs, hair loss, pigment changes, or excessive shedding
  • Teeth and gums for oral health diseases
  • Legs and feet for problems such as torn nails, weakness, limping, or joint pain
  • Eyes and ears for signs of normal vision and hearing as well as absence of unusual discharge
  • We will check your pet's weight at each visit to establish a baseline and let you know if we have any concerns about being overweight or underweight
Our staff will complete further diagnostic testing if we notice any potential issues during your pet’s exam. This may include a blood or urine test, x-ray, stool sample, or whatever is necessary to diagnose the health condition. We will contact you with the results as soon as possible and discuss a treatment plan at that time as well. If your pet needs medication or other follow-up treatment, you may be able to order what you need from our online store. 

If it’s been more than a year since your adult pet’s last preventive care exam or six months since your senior pet had an exam, please contact us at (612) 925-1121 or online to schedule an appointment. We will let you know our preferred schedule for puppies and kittens the first time you bring your new pet to see us. 

Our Mission:

We provide the quality care our clients expect and their pets deserve, by relying on the expertise and
compassion of each team member.

 
 
 

Contact Us

Westgate Pet Clinic
4345 France Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Directions to Our Clinic
(612)925-1121
(612)925-6297 Fax
(612)568-1405 Pharmacy

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