As Old Man Winter barrels down on much of the United States, snow and ice build up on sidewalks and driveways. To rid our walkways of the dangers of icy conditions, which can lead to falls and broken bones, we often put down ice melt. However, those can have their own hazards, especially for our pets.
The primary ingredient in most ice melt products can be sodium chloride or calcium chloride. These substances can irritate the paws of pets and can also be harmful, even deadly, if ingested. A dog or cat that’s been outside and picks up salt or ice melt on its feet then licks its paw after coming indoors could experience vomiting or diarrhea. Even just a few ounces of sodium chloride or calcium chloride in a small dog or cat can be deadly.
There are two positive solutions to ice melt concerns.
Crystals from salt and ice melt can get between your pet’s pads, causing irritation and potential burns. Take time to clean your dogs’ feet after a walk and your cats’ paws if they venture outdoors during winter. Paying close attention to your animals’ feet will help keep them more safe and healthy during these snowy months.
For some references on ice melts, visit these websites:
If your pet ingests ice melt, contact your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680), or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
Christmas is just a few short days away. Nothing can ruin the holiday season quicker than a health emergency, whether it involves a human or a beloved pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association lists several things that you as a pet parent can avoid in order to keep your pets healthy and safe. Here are a few:
Safety applies to travel as well. GoPetFriendly lists some tips for holiday car traveling and home visits with your pet, including:
For airline travel safety trips, visit http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/pets/articles/holiday-pet-travel-guide.
Find more thoughts on holiday pet safety at these websites:
Merry Christmas to you and your beloved furry ones!
“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care…” so goes the poem written by Clement Moore called ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. So, the stockings are ready, the Christmas tree stands stately in the living room, and the outdoor lights sparkle with the season. Gift shopping commences, and you don’t want to forget the furry ones in your family. What do you get your beloved cat and/or dog companion?
From toys and treats to beds and trees, there’s a myriad of gift ideas for our pets. Articles made by hand (your own or someone else’s) or typical box-store items… which do we get? Maybe a mix of both. Here are a few gift ideas for your special pet this year:
Whether you make your own gifts for your pets or buy online or in-store, Christmas presents for our pets are fun to give – our beloved dogs and cats often get as excited as young children to receive Christmas presents. Just remember to keep your spending in check (see previous blog post).
For a variety of pet gift ideas at a low cost, read these recently published articles:
Woman’s Day: http://www.womansday.com/life/pet-care/g946/pet-gifts/?slide=2
Town and Country: http://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/tips/g2993/best-pet-gifts/
Are you like me during the holiday season and hang Christmas stockings filled with goodies for your pets? Do you splurge, spoil, and spend hard-earned cash on your animals, especially at this time of year?
Although it’s fun to make our pets feel special, just as we are delighted to enhance all of our loved ones’ holiday, whether it’s kids, grandkids, spouses, or parents, we also need to be wise to not over-indulge. As author, speaker, and radio show host Dave Ramsey says, “You can have a giving spirit without having a negative checking account.”
Here are a few tips for not breaking the bank this Christmas:
People do spend money on their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, the amount of money people spend on their pets increases every year. In 2015, pet parents spent just over $60 billion (yes, billion with a “b!”) dollars on their animals; the following year, that amount increased to more than $66 billion, and in 2017, the organization predicts pet owners will spend nearly $70 billion dollars. Dogtime reports that $20 billion is spent on Halloween costumes, but Christmas gifts vie for an important role in pet-parent spending as well, averaging $36 per pet in the United States (pet parents in England spend a tad more, about $46 per pet).
There are NUMEROUS pet gift ideas, from Amazon picks to items at the big box stores. Some of the most delightful suggestions I’ve seen are listed/linked below:
In addition to Christmas gifts and everyday items like pet food, medical care for pets is also an expense – and can have a major effect on people’s finances. As we all know, pet care takes a lot of green (or plastic), whether that’s staples like food or for medical care. There are organizations and agencies, in states and nationally, who can help with various pet care costs, from spay/neuter procedures to prescription drugs. The Simple Dollar provides an online guide to these groups; check out your state’s pet organizations and foundations, as well as the national groups, by visiting the website with the article from The Simple Dollar.
Enjoy the holiday season without getting into financial hot water come January! And, if you need extra help with pet care needs, consider the resources listed at The Simple Dollar.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.