Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pets as Presents?

It's hard to resist the joy of giving your favorite loved one the pet they've always wanted for Christmas. However, the result of many of these well intentioned gifts is animals that are unwanted, uncared for and oftentimes sent to shelters. 

An animal of any kind (even one as small as a fish or a hamster) is not a light, last minute purchase. Bringing a new life into the house should be well thought out and discussed with the entire family. 

Holiday pets often get ignored in the holiday rush. Christmas morning is filled with so many presents, lots of food, family and relatives coming over...then there's New Years in a few days. You think it's stressful on you? Thank about what a pet who's never been in your house before would be thinking. A new pet needs lots of quiet and calm. A new puppy or kitten needs to watched constantly and settle into a routine so they can become a happy member of the family. This is impossible to accomplish on Christmas. The new pet will just end up confused and scared. 

You should never pick an actual pet for another person, even a child. Bring the child along to pick out the animal and let it be a family event. All animals (even hamsters and fish) have distinct personalities and letting your entire family help with the choice makes the animal more special to them. Besides, don't you want to see how the puppy interacts with your entire family? That great puppy you pick out for your son might not like kids. Your son might decide the puppy you like plays too rough. Your kids may decide they'd rather have a cat! 

New Puppies

Almost every child asks Santa for one, however a dog is MAJOR purchase and a new puppy needs lots of attention and care. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas/New Year holiday, the puppy probably won't get the attention it needs. That's not even taking into account all the ribbon, trees, rich Christmas foods, chocolate and other dangers the puppy could unintentionally get in while your family is busy with their other gifts. 

Alternate ideas: Give the kids a stuffed puppy and tell them the new puppy is coming. Wrap a puppy bowl, collar, crate and other puppy supplies with a "certificate" to get a puppy at a later date. All of this stuff should be set up and ready for the puppy when it comes home anyway. This way, you and your family can set it up while you tell them about the responsibility of a new dog. Another great idea is a few books on puppy care (especially if you have an older child).

New Kittens

Kittens don't take quite as much attention as puppies but they can still get into a lot of trouble at Christmas. Kittens are notorious for swallowing tinsel and ribbon and getting lots of stomach problems. Small kittens scare easily and the safest retreat will probably be up the tree which can be dangerous. 

Alternate ideas: Cat care kits, litter boxes, cat toys, books on kitten care. The litter box and a bed for kitty should be in place before he gets to his new house. You and the kids can decide where to put it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wildlife Center of Venice

Wildlife Center of Venice says Thank You to everyone who donated a total of $314 during our Santa photos event. They were thrilled and so grateful. Since they serve about 85% of Sarasota plus all of Venice's wildlife emergencies, they are always looking for volunteers. Check out their website at

Friday, December 2, 2011

Photos with Santa at Brandt Veterinary Clinic!

Santa Claus is coming to Brandt Veterinary Clinic on December 6th and December 8th from 10:00am to 12:00pm and from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Call us at 941-485-1555 to schedule your photo sitting! All day we will have decorations, refreshments and holiday cheer. If your pet is camera shy, visit us just for the refreshments!


National Mutt Day!

Today is National Mutt Day! National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. There are millions of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, which are desperately searching for a new home. Consider a mixed breed pet for your next furry family member! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Senior Pet of the Week-Hercules

Hercules is our Senior Pet of the Week! Hercules is a 12 years old Torkie Mix. He is tiny but mighty! Hercules has ongoing but manageable medical conditions and is the light of his owners life! We love seeing Hercules come into Brandt Veterinary Clinic!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Black Cat Day

Black cats have it bad in America. The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare found that in shelters, black cats are half as likely to get adopted as are tabby cats and two-thirds less likely to be adopted than white cats.

Many rescue organizations and shelters even have to prohibit the adoption of black cats during October due to the nasty treatment many unfortunately receive.

Black cats and wonderful and should be celebrated.
So, here are top ten reasons why everyone should adopt a black cat:
    10. You’ll save money on their Halloween costumes.
    9. You can always find them in the snow.
    8. Holding a black cat is very slimming.
    7. Black cats will match any decor.
    6. A link brush isn’t required for a black-tie affair.
    5. When you love a black cat, luck is on your side.
    4. Black cats are like onyx, a beautiful gem! 
    3. They love to play just as much as any cat. 
    2.They are least likely to be adopted. 
    1. Love knows no color.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Senior Pet Highlight-Hope

In honor of National Senior Pet Month, we would like to highlight Hope. Hope is a 10 year old calico kitty who loves coming to Brandt Veterinary Clinic. Her mom keeps a close watch over her and always attends to her medical needs!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day from Brandt Veterinary Clinic. Thank you to all those that have served and continue to serve our great country

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oscar-Senior Pet of the Month

Oscar, a Cinnamon Ocicat, was born on July 1, 1998 at a cattery in Nebraska and his mother's name is Pocahontas. I adopted him from a pet store in the Buckland Hills Mall in Connecticut...( I went clothes shopping and ended up coming home with a kitten instead!). He became a father of five ( four girls and one boy) on June 19, 1999. Oscar's daughter, Shelby, has remained his best friend and partner in crime while residing with me in CT, RI, MA, and here in FL. His three other daughters and son were placed in good homes with neighbors and friends. He is enjoying his "retirement" in Florida and loves to hang out in the pool cage where he watches birds and chases squirrels and lizards. Oscar reminds me to tell you that he loves everyone (especially Dr. Kate) at Brandt Veterinary!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November is National Senior Pet Month

November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Facebook Contest!!!!!
Earn points for participation and get cool stuff at Brandt!
Contest running 10/28/11 thru 1/31/12

How do you earn points?:
        1 Point for a “Like” or thumbs up on a BVC post or picture
        3 Points for a post on BVC’s wall or tagging us in a photo of your
           pets, the clinic, or the Doctors and staff at BVC
        5 Points for a “Share your BVC story” post…Did the Dr’s or staff do something extraordinary for your pet? Please share!

What can I get?:
Lean Treats                   10 pts                         Bath                                         50 pts    
Pill Gun                        15 pts                         1 Night of Boarding                     50 pts    
$5 account credit           20 pt                           Eggercisor/BusyBuddy/Chuckle Toy  75pts
Nail Trim                       20 pts                        CET Chews                             75 pts
$10 account credit         40 pts                         Bag of RC food 5 #                  80 pts  
                                                                        $25 account credit                    100 pts

Keep track of your points & call ahead to cash them in. We will schedule your services or have your goodies ready for you! Happy Facebooking!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pet of the Month-COCOA

Cocoa is our Pet of the Month! Cocoa is a twelve year old Himalayan and also goe...s by the nickname "Slowbo". He has struggled with health issues in the past and is feeling great now! He eats only a special hypoallergenic diet, and wishes to thank the doctors for getting him on the right treatment. We are proud to honor Cocoa as our Pet of the Month this October. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Brandt Veterinary Clinic is now scheduling boarding reservations for Thanksgiving. Please call ahead to 941-485-1555. Just a reminder that Saturday, Sunday and holiday discharges are available from 5:30pm - 6:30pm.
Brandt Veterinary Clinic is proud to have four team members working diligently to become Credentialed Veterinary Technicians. Margaret Kennedy, Amanda Fornaro, Shannon Andrews, Danielle Bennett, and Tami Longstreet are all working hard on the completion of their certification, to better provide your pets with the very best in veterinary medical care.

24th Annual Venice Area Chamber of Commerce Consumer Expo

Join us for the 24th Annual Venice Area Chamber of Commerce Consumer Expo, held on Friday October 21st and Saturday October 22nd at the Venice Community Center, located at 326 Nokomis Avenue Booth #67! There will be 100 displays set up, drawings, giveaways, food and prizes. Maya, our clinic mascot will also be there!

National Pet Wellness Month

October is National Pet Wellness Month! This month focuses on educating pet owners about wellness examinations, disease prevention, and pet health insurance. When was your pet's last wellness exam? Call us at 941-485-1555 to schedule your pet's wellness examination today!

Friday, October 14, 2011

National Feral Cat Day

National Feral Cat Day is this Sunday October 16th! This is your opportunity to raise awareness about feral cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return, and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them.

Click here for more info!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pet of the Month

We are proud to announce that Shakey is our Pet of the Month! He is a 14 year old Yorkshire Terrier and has served as a Therapy Dog for the past 7 years. He is helping his owner battle cancer and is also a regular visitor of the clinic with lots of friends and family.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wackiest Pet Names of 2011

Ozzy Pawsbourne and Almost-A-Dog top this year's list of quirkiest monikers.
Fido, Spot or Fluffy? For some peculiar pet owners, these names are just too traditional. Although "Bella" and "Max" currently lead the pack as the nation's most popular pet names, thousands of other four-legged friends have much more distinctive names.

So drumroll, please... the 10 Most Unusual Dog and Cat Names for 2011:
  1. Almost-A-Dog
  2. Franco Furter
  3. Stinkie Mcstinkerson
  4. Sir Seamus McPoop
  5. Audrey Shepburn
  6. Dewey Decimell
  7. Knuckles Capone
  8. Beagle Lugosi
  9. Shooter Mclovin
  10. Uzi Duzi-Du
  1. Ozzy Pawsbourne
  2. Mr. Meowgi
  3. Murderface
  4. Fuglee
  5. Scruffernutter
  6. Corporal Cuddles
  7. Cat Masterson
  8. Spam
  9. Tape W. Orm
  10. Louisiana Purchase

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Meet Harbor - The new dog with the longest ears in the world

A Black and Tan Coonhound named 'Harbor', aged 8, from Boulder, Colorado, USA, has earned a spot in the upcoming Guinness World Records 2012 Edition for having the Longest Ears on a Living Dog.

Owned by Jennifer Wert, Harbor's left and right ears measure 12.25 inches and 13.5 inches respectively.

As a puppy Harbor would struggle with his colossal ears; frequently causing him to trip over them and roll down stairs.

Now at the age of 8 the purebred has grown into his ears (only occasionally tripping over!), the only trouble being caused by the attention he receives from members of the public.

Jennifer explains: "Cars will literally stop in the street to take a closer look and get a picture. Often strangers will tug his ears which he really doesn't enjoy!"

Contrary to popular belief, this particular breed's long ears are for smelling and not enhanced hearing. When moving around Harbor's ears will fall into a rhythm that helps sweep scents into his nose.

Jennifer goes on to say: "Most days I forget how oddly long his ears are. He's a phenomenon in the world and he creates smiles wherever we go."

Harbor takes the new title from Tigger (13.5 inch ears), a bloodhound from Illinois, who sadly passed away of old age two year ago.

Harbor's ear-span is greater than the height of the world's shortest man - Junrey Balawing (PHL) is 23.5 in!
Harbor's ear-span is wider than the smallest road-legal car - Perry Watkin's 'Wind Up' (UK) is 26 inches wide!

You could fit the world's shortest dog (Brandy (US), 6in long) comfortably on each of Harbor's ear twice!

For more amazing record breaking animals plus the latest records in science, nature, sport, entertainment and everything else, check out the upcoming Guinness World Records 2012 Edition on the 15th of September.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Cat Month

The CATalyst Council has declared September as Happy Cat Month. This month is dedicated to finding ways to keep our feline friends happy, healthy and purring all year long. Click the link below for the top 10 ways to keep your feline friend happy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pet of the Month-Zack Konzelman

Zack Konzelman is our August Pet of the Month! Nine year old Zack is a rescued G...erman Shepard who was one of the fortunate ones to be adopted shortly after Hurricane Charlie. He is a regular visitor to our Pet Resort and enjoys Playtime with toys and staff twice daily when he visits. He loves relaxing and loving on our staff, and thinks his bath before going home is truly a spa treatment. What really stands out in Zack for everyone who meets him, is his always undeniably quiet (as long as other dogs aren’t around), sweet and gentle nature. Zack is truly a pet who knows (in his father's words) "love and loyalty". 

Friday, August 26, 2011

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day! Today is the day to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledge family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Tell us your favorite story about the canine companion in your life.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Today is National Assistance Dog Day! Assistance Dogs transform the lives of their human partners with physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, best friend and close member of their family. We would like recognize and honor the hardworking assistance dogs and honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs as well as recognize the heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our community.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Does your dog suffer from anxiety? This is a surprisingly common problem and includes issues like fear of thunder, fireworks, separation, travel, crating, problem barking and much more. Brandt Veterinary Clinic now offers Thundershirt's to help with your pet's anxiety issues, whatever they may be. Thundershirt’s gentle, constant presure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt. Ask us about Thundershirt's at your next appointment.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pet of the Month-Beacon

Beacon is a very vocal cat, extremely nosy and requires lots of attention.  She just celebrated her Golden 21st Birthday this past May which is particularly remarkable since she lost 1/3 the function of her kidneys in 2002 and went into kidney failure.  Her pet parents give her fluids 2'xs a week, which they call her spa treatments.  Since she climbed screaming on top of her siblings at the humane society – which landed her a home – she has extremely spoiled, has a catitude, thinks she is a princess in a fur coat and that her mom and dad are her loyal staff.  Since she was a kitten, she has had her own basket with a handle and a blanket that she sleeps and travels everywhere in.  She even has a real pearl necklace with a bell and fish charm.  Congratulations Beacon & her family – our Pet of the Month

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy items for humans but certain ones can be harmful for your pets. Apple seeds, avocados, raw onions, grapes and raisins should never be to pets given as they can cause severe illness, even death. Visit and click on The Animal Poison Center, then scroll down to resources. Just a summer tip from your friends at Brandt Veterinary Clinic! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pets in Cars

It's the first day of Summer! It’s fun to take your pet in the car when you’re running errands, but in the summer heat, the car can become a potential death trap. Inside temperatures can quickly climb to more than 120 degrees on even a mild sunny day. Never leave your pet unattended inside the car during the summer months. Be sure to bring your pet plenty of water to keep them cool as the season heats up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Brandt Veterinary Clinic is so proud to honor Bingo as our June Pet of the Month! Bingo, a 13 year old mixed breed, was brought into the humane society at the age of 1. He was found shot on the side of the road. He was rehabilitated and became an assisted living dog. When Bingo lost the use of his legs at 5 years old, he was outfitted with wheels which is how he has gotten around for the last 8 years...and HE GETS AROUND! When his assisted living caretaker retired, Bingo retired with her to Florida and has been coming to Brandt Veterinary Clinic since 2007. We are happy to honor Bingo this month!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cookouts and Pets

Cookouts and family reunions are great activities this time of year.  However, the food we often enjoy at these events can make pets sick and even cause Pancreatitis, which is a very serious disease.  We want to remind you to bring plenty of food and treats for your pets so they can join in the fun without risking a stomachache or other illness later. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We would like to share this tip about how to handle your pets during a storm. Fear of thunder and other loud noises may drive pets to seek shelter. Their attempts to seek immediate shelter may damage property and cause injury to themselves. Pets that react to loud noises can be trained not to panic through a process called progressive desensitization. We can review this process and recommend solutions that may help your pet weather through the storm!  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When temperatures soar, remember to watch your pet closely for signs of heatstroke or dehydration. Because dogs and cats don’t perspire heavily, their body temperatures rise much quicker than people’s body temperatures. We recommend scheduling exercise in the cooler mornings and evenings…and stopping for rest if your pet is lagging behind, even slightly. Plenty of shade and fresh water is a must, and keep your pet inside for those particularly hot afternoons. Just a tip so you and your pet can enjoy this great season together!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring is here! It's time to go outdoors with your pet and check out all flowers and plants.  Make sure to keep an eye on your pet in case a bee decides he doesn't want your pet to get up close and personal.  There are all sorts of flying critters out in the garden, so make sure your pet is protected from allergic reactions to insect bites or stings. Protect your pet so you both can enjoy the spring season together! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

We would like to wish a Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the mom's out there. You are appreciated and we are sure if your pets could, they would say the same thing! Have a great Mother's Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This week is Be Kind to Animals Week!

Join the event that’s been celebrated every year since 1915 -- American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week. In this annual tradition, we commemorate the role animals play in our lives, promote ways to continue to treat them humanely, and encourage others, especially children, to do the same. While Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated only once a year, we should strive to always be kind to animals every day. What is the kindest thing you've done for your pet today?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


As the temperature begins to raise so does something else…the flea population! Ideally, flea control should begin as flea prevention…before flea season starts. As a loving pet owner, you’d do anything to prevent your cat or dog from suffering, after all, they’re part of the family. Yet every year when flea season begins, it’s like an ...old broken record. Fleas bite, and the scratching and chewing starts again. It’s a painful and irritating routine for you and your pet. But that’s not all. The adult fleas on your pet can actually cause serious medical problems…like flea allergy dermatitis or tapeworms, and in some extreme cases, anemia. We can help! Ask us about how to keep your pet flea free, at your next visit!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pets and Cookouts

Cookouts and family get-togethers are great springtime activities.  However, the food we often enjoy at these events can make pets sick and even cause Pancreatitis, which is a very serious disease. Any food that is not made for your pet…is not good for them.  We want to remind you to bring plenty of food and treats for your pets so they can join in the fun without risking a stomachache or other illness later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Avoiding The Easter Holiday Hazards!

With the arrival of the holiday season our pets are often prone to new un-thought of risks. Nothing makes a holiday more memorable than a panicked trip to the vets. But pet owners need not fret. Here's what you need to know to have an emergency-free celebration this Easter.
Festive Foods: One of the biggest risks to pets at Easter time is "CHOCOLATE". The canine nose is an expert in sniffing out all the lovely sweet goodies in an instant. And birds, cats & dogs alike are drawn to the bright colors & shiny wrappers. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and parrots. Baker's chocolate has the highest concentration of theobromine. How a pet reacts to chocolate depends on its size, as well as the amount and type of chocolate eaten. Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of chocolate toxicosis, and while rare, too much chocolate can even be fatal. Carob chocolate is a natural, delicious and  pet friendly alternative.

Foil packaging, ribbon and pretty sparkly plastic wadding  are irresistible to cats and birds, while a big shiny Easter egg appears as a fun ball for a dog.  Pets love to play with these items and they will sometimes swallow them. Known as linear foreign bodies in vet speak, they are undigestible and can cause a partial or complete obstruction. They are often sharp and run the risk of cutting through the wall of the intestinal tract which can cause peritonitis.

While we all love our pets and wish to include them in the festivities, it is important to remember that now matter how much they beg, what they want may not always be what is best for them. Rich fatty foods can cause an upset stomach, vomiting or even pancreatitis in the extreme. Onions both raw or cooked can be poisonous to cats and dogs. As little as one bite of an onion can cause some of the red bloods cells to be destroyed (haemolytic anaemia) symptoms can include pale gums, reddish urine and lethargy.

It is important to remember never to feed your pets cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. The same applies to feeding your pets fish which might contain bones. Bowls of nuts and raisin-laden fruitcakes or chocolate covered sultanas are also common holiday treats. Macadamia Nuts are toxic to dogs. Although one nut is not likely to harm your dog, a number of them could require a trip to the emergency ward. Dogs who ingest macadamia nuts could suffer weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

Foods that are healthy for us may not be so good for our beloved pets. Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats and dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure and even death. While avocados are harmful to dogs, cats, birds and Guinea pigs. They contain a toxic fatty acid called persin which can cause vomiting, gastrointestinal irritation, congestion, respiratory disease, fluid accumulation around the heart tissue and may cause death, especially in small animals and birds. So please be careful when serving fruit platters or salads this Easter.

One very real concern to pets are products containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol. This absolutely needs to be avoided. It will cause low blood sugar if ingested in toxic amounts and has been known to cause fatal liver failure.
During the festive season it is easy to forget the dangers of leaving alcoholic drinks within reach of our pets. It may seem  harmless enough to offer your best mate a frosty cold one to celebrate alongside the humans. But alcohol poisoning is a very real danger to our pets. problems equate to the amount of alcohol ingested compared to weight. Even a very small amount of alcohol can cause severe poisoning in a small pet. The yeast contained in beer can also lead to bloating and abdominal pain.

The good news is there is now a specially designed non alcoholic doggy beer on the market called *Paw Rex* It is made with beef stock so dogs love it and even comes in a six pack.

It is also important to remember that most cats and dogs are lactose intolerant so avoid giving them any dairy products. Specially designed lactose free animal products are an available alternative.  It's up to us to make sure hazards are kept out of reach and that visitors or children know the risks. Remember prevention is better than cure. For healthy Easter treat alternatives to spoil your best friend, please visit our Pet Gourmet section in this special Easter addition of Pet Scene Magazine.

Unexpected Hazards:With all the coming and going and busy rush that comes with the holiday seasons it is easy for opportunities to arise to get our pets into trouble. It is not uncommon for visitors who are not used to pets to leave gates or doors open. This welcomes the opportunity for your pet to flee the house with all it's strange new smells, noise and people. An open window makes for a great escape root for cats or free flying birds. Many pets wind up getting lost or struck by vehicles as a result of this careless mistake. If you have a pet who becomes nervous around new people or strange activity it may be a good idea to plan in advance to have area of the house or yard which is separate where they can feel safe and secure. Visitors who aren't used to living with pets may inadvertently leave their medications within reach. This brings opportunities for serious problems. Dogs are not deterred by childproof caps and can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble. Warn guests to keep medications well out of reach.

Traveling with pets:If your going out of town with your pet this Easter there are a few things to remember:

* Make sure your pet is in a cool well ventilated position and never left alone in a closed car, temperatures can sore very quickly.

* Make sure your pet is secured in either a pet crate or safety harness.

* If your pet suffers from motion sickness it's recommended that you consult with your vet prior to travel to arrange an appropriate treatment.

* Make sure you plan for toileting and drink breaks. Our pets need to refresh too. 

* If you are planing to go out on the water these holidays be sure to pack your pet a life vest.

*  If you are going on holiday this Easter with your pets, be sure you have a full supply of any medications they may be taking with you.

The humble Easter LilyMany cat owners will be surprised to learn that lilies ( Liliaceae) are extremely toxic to their feline friends. The exact cause is unknown, however even the smallest amounts if ingested by cats can  be fatal, while dogs who ingest large amounts only develop signs of mild gastrointestinal upset. Early warning signs of Lily toxicity include vomiting, depression and a lack of appetite. There is no antidote, but with early detection and aggressive treatment the cat stands a better chances of survival. Cats may sometimes appear to be improving after the first onset of symptoms, but 24-72hrs later crash and become critically ill as they go into acute renal failure. If you suspect there is a chance your cat may have ingested this plant it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated cats die within 3-7 days. Cat owners should never grow Lilies in the garden and should ensure that lilies are never part of floral arrangements. This is important to remember these holidays with the popular Easter Lily appearing  in most flower arrangements.

We hope that these tips will help you and your pets have a happy and safe
holiday season.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

As winter leads into spring, there are other safety concerns that you should be aware of regarding your pets. One of the main concerns involves lawn and garden products. Fertilizers can be very harmful and even deadly to pets so be sure to keep these products out of reach. Follow the directions on the fertilizer bag to the T!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

As you enjoy the outdoors and related activities this year, don’t forget to frequently check your pets for fleas and ticks. These parasites will attach themselves to any available, warm-blooded host and engorge themselves. They can carry a variety of serious diseases, some even life-threatening. Ask any one of our staff members for recommendations on how to protect your pets from fleas and ticks at your next visit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is upon us and that means Spring break is quickly approaching. If you're taking a vacation and can’t bring your pet along…then leave them with us! We proudly offer boarding services. Spring Break rolls around fast, so make sure to schedule your appointment ahead of time!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away. Do you ever leave your dog a message on the answering machine when you know that they are home?