Pet Safe Ice Melt

Did you know that many of the products used to melt ice on sidewalks and steps can be harmful to pets, as well as small children and the environment?

Many de-icers are made with harmful salts. Rock salt and other salt-based ice melters contain sodium chloride or potassium chloride which can heat up to 175 degrees when exposed to water, ice, and low temperatures. Exposure to these salt-based ice melters can can be especially dangerous to dogs. The salts get frozen into the dogs paws and fur. When they are inside with higher temperatures, these salts can burn the skin causing ulcers and redness to tissue which can lead to bacterial infections. Dogs can also develop intestinal problems and inflammation of the stomach (gastritis) from licking the salt-based products off their paws.

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PetravelR™ recommends using a salt-free ice melter, such as Safe Paw.  According to the manufacturer, Safe Paw benefits include:

  • Guaranteed safe for pets and children
  • Environmentally safe
  • Won’t harm decking of any kind
  • Safe on asphalt, concrete, and pavers
  • Safe on plants and shrubs
  • Proprietary traction agent (helps prevent
  • slips and falls)
  • Won’t stain or destroy flooring

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Available at many retailers, including Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart. Also available online at PetSolutions, HealthyPets, EntirelyPets, and Amazon.

Can Your Dog Catch Your Cold?

If you’re sniffling and coughing your way through a winter cold and are worried that your dog might catch it, you have nothing to worry about according to petMD.

The common cold is not communicable between species, and dogs suffer from a different type of cold that the kind that afflicts humans, so your dog can’t catch a cold from you – or vice versa.  But while there are differences in the types of viruses that infect humans versus dogs, the symptoms are basically the same:  sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, andwatery eyes.

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If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, but is in otherwise good health, petMD recommends that you treat the condition as you would a simple human cold — with lots of liquids, healthy foods, warmth, and maybe even some time in a warm and humid room. This can be done by placing a humidifier near his rest area or by filling the bathtub with steaming water and letting the dog hang out in the bathroom for a bit (not in the water), just to let the steam loosen up his sinuses and lungs. But if your dog’s condition doesn’t begin to improve in a few days, or if your dog is very young, very old, or suffers from other health issues, a visit to your veterinarian is in order.

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Read the full article on petMD here.

PetravelR™ wishes you and your pets good health! Gesundheit!

Keep Your Pet Safe on New Year’s Eve!

It’s New Year’s Eve, and as you prepare to celebrate another year shot to hell (only kidding – celebrate the incoming year filled with hope and promise!), PetravelR™ wants to remind you of these important tips to keep your pet safe -

San Antonio Humane

Be Prepared – Plan ahead to keep your pet safe, secure, and comfortable:

  • Keep your pets on their normal diet because any change can cause severe indigestion and diarrhea,
  • Lavish some extra attention on your pets before the festivities begin,
  • Give them plenty of exercise during the day, so that they will be less agitated and sleep more restfully,
  • Create a comfortable, quiet refuge for your pet with his/her favorite toys, and with doors, windows and blinds closed,
  • Ask your veterinarian for tranquilizers if your pet has a history of extreme uneasiness around loud noises or crowds,
  • If you will be out New Years Eve, consider having a neighbor keep a close watch on your pet during the New Year activities.

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Fireworks – Exposure to fireworks can can severe burns and trauma to pets (as well as people), and exploding fireworks frighten many animals:

  • Keep your pets aware from all fireworks, even unexploded ones, because they often contain toxic substances,
  • If you are going out to watch fireworks, be sure to leave your pets at home,
  • Keep your pets indoors for the evening, in a comfortable and secure area,
  • White noise or soothing music can mask the sound of fireworks,
  • Turn on the TV or radio to distract your pets from outside noise,
  • If your pet is particularly sensitive to loud noise, consider a Thundershirt or Calming Collar.

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Parties – Crowds, party food, alcoholic drinks, and open doors can pose a risk to pets:

  • Consider keeping pets in a room with plenty of water and pet food that’s off-limits to guests,
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them because they can be poisonous to pets,
  • Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals,
  • Make sure every guest agrees NO HUMAN FOOD FOR PETS; the #1 reason for trips to the emergency vet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is because a pet is sick from too much or the wrong people food,
  • Keep pets away from snack tables and garbage cans,
  • Be careful with party favors because a pet can easily choke on Hawaiian plastic leis, the blower attachment of party horns or parts of party hats,
  • Don’t put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it because, if ingested — though not highly toxic — they can still cause excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation, or intestinal blockage,
  • The phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435.

dog-tagsDon’t Lose Your Pet – The number of lost and runaway pets increases on New Year’s Eve:

  • Make sure all fences and gates are secure, so if pets escape through an open door or screen, they are confined to the yard,
  • Be sure that your dogs and cats are wearing collars and ID tags with up-to-date contact information,
  • Microchipping is the best way to insure that your pet can be identified if he/she slips a collar or loses ID tags,
  • Keep outside visits to a minimum, but if your pet needs to go out for a “relief” call, make sure to use a leash with a snug fitting collar or harness.
  • Whether you are going out, throwing a party, or staying at home to enjoy the evening with your pets, PetravelR™ wishes you a safe and fun-filled New Year’s celebration!

Elsie Happy New YearWhether you are going out, throwing a party, or staying at home to enjoy the evening with your pets, PetravelR™ wishes you a safe and fun-filled New Year’s celebration!

This article was originally published by PetravelR™ on December 30, 2014.

Sources: Adopt a Pet, Tampa Bay Animal Hospitals, Examiner.com, and the San Antonio Humane Society,

Are Your Decorations Pet-Safe?

Holiday decorations can be beautiful, but be sure to keep your pet safe with these important tips from the ASPCA, American Humane Association, and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) -

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  • Anchor your Christmas tree securely so that climbing cats and wagging tails don’t knock it over, possibly injuring your pets. Consider tying your tree to the ceiling or a doorframe with using fishing line.
  • Prevent your pets from drinking the tree water.  Fertilizers and preservative chemicals in the water can be poisonous to pets.  Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.
  • Clean up tree needles frequently. They can be toxic if eaten by your pet.
  • Don’t use tinsel, ribbons and garland anywhere that pets can access. Cats are particularly attracted to tinsel and may chew on it. If swallowed, tinsel can  become lodged in their digestive tract, causing severe vomiting and dehydration, as well as intestinal obstructions requiring emergency surgery.
  • Hang breakable glass and hard plastic ornaments well out of reach. The small glass and metal fastenings can be stepped on or even swallowed by your pet. Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.
  • Keep lights, wires, extension cords, and batteries safely secured or covered to deter chewing. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Invest in pet-proof extension cords or spray with products such as Bitter Apple or Chew Stop.
  • Flowers and festive plants can result in an emergency veterinary visit. Mistletoe, holly, lilies, amaryllis, ivy, hibiscus, balsam, pine, and cedar and are among the common holiday plants that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Mistletoe, especially the berries, is highly toxic, can cause stomach upset, and has the potential to cause fatal heart problems; holly, when ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; many varieties of lilies can lead to kidney failure in cats if ingested; amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea; certain types of ivy, such as English ivy, can also cause severe harm to pets; hibiscus can cause diarrhea. (Poinsettias, although not as toxic as people often think, can still upset your pet’s digestive system.)
  • Don’t leave lighted candles unattended (This is a good safety tip, even if you don’t have pets!).  The flames and fragrance may be enticing to pets, who may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over.  The fumes from some candles can also be harmful to birds.
  • Potpourris and sachets can be very dangerous and should be kept out of reach of inquisitive pets. Exposure to the essential oils and cationic detergents in liquid potpourris can severely damage your pet’s mouth, eyes and skin and may cause illness or death. Solid potpourris can be toxic if ingested.

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PetravelR™ wishes you and your pets a safe and joyous holiday season!

Photos courtesy of the ASPCA and AVMA.

Special Pet Harness for In-Cabin Travel

Because many people will be flying with their pets this holiday season, PetravelR™ wants to remind* you about the TSA Fast Pass® leash & harness set developed specifically for pets traveling in the airplane passenger cabin.

TSA Fast Pass Header The step-in design makes it easy to put the harness on your cat or dog and to remove it. The TSA Fast Pass® is metal-free, making airport security inspections quick, easy, and hassle free. Just remove your pet from the carrier and send the carrier through the X-ray machine, while you carry your cat or lead your dog in his/her harness and leash through the metal detectors. The manufacturer guarantees that it will NOT set off any alarms.

The TSA Fast Pass® comes in four sizes (S, M, L, XL) and is available online for $19.99 at DryFur, PetTravelStore, and Kats ‘N Us.

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* This post originally ran on November 18, 2014.

Reducing the Stress of Holiday Travel for Your Pet

The holidays can be stressful.  Traveling can be stressful.  So PetravelR™ wants to remind you that holiday travel can really stress out your pet.

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Here are some helpful tips from petMD for traveling with your pet this holiday season (or anytime, for that matter) -

Leaving the familiarity of home can provoke anxiety in people and animals. If you are traveling by car, be sure to bring along some of your pet’s favorite toys, a blanket or pillow bed, and his regular food. If your pet is used to sleeping in a crate, bring it along so he can sleep in his familiar space.

We advise keeping pets in a travel safe crate so that the animal is not able to move freely though the car. This covers a few bases. Keeping animals in travel crates prevents them from getting underfoot or on your lap while you are driving — an obvious hazard — it prevents them from being thrown from the car should an accident occur, and it prevents them from getting free/running away during rest stops or after minor accidents have occurred. We can tell you that these unhappy events do occur and are reported in the news frequently enough to make them worth noting. If you cannot fit a crate into your car, you can use a pet approved safety belt/harness to keep your pet in her seat, where she belongs.

On that note, make sure your pet is wearing identification at all times, and pack an emergency first aid kit for pets in case of an emergency. And don’t forget to take frequent breaks to allow for rest and relief.

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Read the full petMD article Tips for Dealing with Holiday Stress – for You and Your Pet for more tips on helping your pet cope with the holidays.

 

Atlanta Pizza Wars Animal Fundraiser

The 1st Annual Atlanta Pizza Wars will be held Saturday November 28, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Wills Park Equestrian Center in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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PetravelR™ likes how this unique event combines a love for pizza and for pets. Your ticket will include an unlimited sampling of pies from more than a dozen participating pizzeria’s. In addition, there will be fun dog demonstrations and kids activities.  There will also be live music from some great bands throughout the day.

Pizza war Bands

The culmination of the day will include a head-to-head battle for pizza supremacy! Each pizzeria will be competing in the following 3 categories:

  • Best Specialty
  • Best Cheese
  • Fan Vote

A panel of celebrity judges will determine the out come of Best Specialty & Best Cheese.  Celebrity Judges: Victoria Stillwell, Blake Rashad, Ashley Daniele Carestia & Phipps, and Bob Otis!

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Your paid admission includes 1 fan vote per adult on the day of the event. The champions in each division will be awarded a custom engraved wrestling belt for bragging rights and to proudly display in their pizzeria!

Tickets:  Adults $15, Kids 12 & under free. Leashed pets welcome!  Proceeds benefit a number of animal charities and rescue groups.

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Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

This week’s Tuesday Tips is all about keeping your pet safe of Thanksgiving. Whether you’re traveling across the country, across town, or staying at home, here’s some important advice from the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA.

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Photo courtesy of hngn.com and Google images

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has these recommendations for keeping your pets safe and healthy at Thanksgiving:

  • Carefully consider whether to take your pet with you on a trip (air travel can be dangerous).
  • If Fluffy and Fido are staying home while you travel, be sure to choose a pet sitter or boarding kennel wisely.
  • Wherever your pets spend Thanksgiving, dogs and cats should all have collars and tags with ID giving a way to reach you.
  • Keep your pets well during cold weather.
  • The excitement of a party may overwhelm some pets, so provide your cat or dog with a quiet, out-of-the-way room during holiday parties.
  • Avoid the urge to give your pets table scraps, especially bones. Bones easily splinter and can cause serious health problems, even death.

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The ASPCA offers this advice about sharing Thanksgiving food with your pet:

  • Turkey: Do not feed your pet raw or undercooked turkey, which could contain salmonella. If you offer a nibble of turkey, be sure that it is well-cooked and that all bones have been removed.
  • Stuffing or Dressing: Sage and many other herbs can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities, because they contain certain essential oils and resins. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.
  • Bread Dough: When raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
  • Cake Batter: Raw cake batter — especially if it includes raw eggs — could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
  • Overfeeding: A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. But overindulgence in holiday foods can cause your pet stomach upset, diarrhea, or a serious case of pancreatitis. The ASPCA recommends that you keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays, but provide them with some extra treats, like doggie chew bones or a Kong toy stuffed with their regular food with a few added tidbits of turkey, sweet potato or green beans, and dribbles of gravy.

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PetravelR™ wishes you and your pets a safe and happy holiday!

 

Harris County TX: VOTE YES ON PROP 3!

This week’s Tuesday tip is a special Election Day shout out to Harris County, Texas!

Harris County Shelter Bond banner

Today Harris County Texas voters have the opportunity to vote “for or against” issuing bonds to build a new Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston.

Harris County, PROPOSITION NO. THREE designates $24,000,000 in bonds for a Veterinary Public Health Adoption and Care Center. The proposed new Veterinary Public Health Adoption and Care Center will have five times more kennel space than the current shelter.

Harris County Bond fact sheet

As an open admission facility, the current shelter is terribly overcrowded and so small that they are forced to euthanize dozens of adoptable pets every week. The additional space will allow sheltered animals to be held longer which will provide more time to find them forever homes.

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PetravelR™ urges all Harris County voters to get to the polls tomorrow and vote YES on Prop 3!

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Whether you’re traveling with your pets this Halloween, taking your dog trick or treating, hosting a spooky party, or just staying at home and handing out candy, be sure to keep your pet safe.

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PetravelR™ has some important Halloween safety tips from the ASPCA -

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increaing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

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For more advice on keeping your pet safe this Halloween, please watch this Animal Tracks podcast from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

PetravelR™ wishes you a scary, but safe Halloween!