Resources for Pet Owners
We all want to do what is best for our pets, and that starts with educating yourself. Click on the tabs below to learn more!
- Fire Safety
- Hurricane/Emergency Preparedness
- Poison Control
- Toxic Foods
- Weight Management
- Fireworks/Thunderstorm Anxiety
General Fire Safety
July 15th is Pet Fire Safety Day, however every day of the year pet owners should be on the look out for potential fire hazards that could endanger themselves and their beloved pets. Think about what steps you can take to prevent your pets from accidentally starting a fire and how you can keep them safe in case of a fire.
Pets are naturally curious and this can lead to accidents. All it takes is one day of preparation to prevent your pets from starting a fire at home.
Electrical Cords: Pets who chew on electrical cords can suffer from severe injuries, and the chewed electrical cords can also pose as a fire hazard. Cats and dogs aren’t the only guilty culprits of chewing electrical cords. Take steps to keep electrical cords out of reach from all pets including rabbits and other pocket pets.
Open Flames: Never leave your pet alone near an open flame. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or enjoying your fireplace, make sure you completely extinguish all open fires before leaving your house. If you enjoy lighting candles, flameless candles may be a great solution for you if you have pets that can jump on counters and tables.
Stove Knobs: Pets who jump up on counters can easily hit a stove knob, which can turn on the gas or turn up a flame. If your pet is prone to jumping on counters, you can remove your stove knobs or use covers. If you leave your pets at home alone, you can also restrict their access to the kitchen.
It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 home fires a year. There are precautions you can take to protect your pet from a dangerous fire.
Collars and Leashes: Leave leashes and collars in plain sight and readily available at entrances in case your pet needs to be rescued.
Window Cling: Use a cling on your front window or door of an apartment which identifies how many pets you have at home. This helps firefighters know how to locate and save your pets.
Emergency Pet Hospital: Pets who suffer injuries from a fire should be rushed to an emergency pet hospital. Get to know the location of the nearest pet emergency hospital.
The next time you are looking for a special furry friend, please consider looking at your local shelters first.
3.3 million dogs and 3.1 million cats enter United States animal shelters every year. Of those animals, only 3.2 million are adopted. That’s only half of the population of dogs and cats going into the shelter that eventually make it out and find a loving home.
40% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners learned about their pet through word of mouth. That’s why Social Petworking Month is so important to get their names and faces out there.
See more information about adopting shelter animals in Fort Bend County by clicking here.
Another good resource is Petfinder.com’s “find a shelter” page – https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/search/.
If you are unable to adopt a shelter pet, you can still help them out! Your local shelter most likely accepts donations in the form of food, toys, and bedding as well as basic supplies such as hand sanitizer, paper towels, and disposable gloves. A few shelters in the area are linked below.
We live in an area that is vulnerable to hurricanes. In addition to following the normal “hurricane preparedness” tips, we provide information and resources to make sure that your pets are just as prepared and protected as you.
- ID/Microchip your pets – doing so dramatically increases the chances of being reunited with your pets, if separated
- Maintain a copy of your pets medical records at home
- Stay updated on prescription refills
- Maintain your supply of your pet’s food
- Create a disaster preparedness kit
- Make sure you have enough crates to transport your pets
- Locate pet friendly shelters and hotels ahead of time:
- Make arrangements with family or friends
- Consider boarding with a Veterinary clinic or kennel, out of the impact zone of the emergency
- If you can’t possibly take all of your pets, make some kind of arrangements for them
When an emergency hits
- Take your pets with you
- Be sure to take the disaster preparedness kit you’ve prepared for your pets
- Don’t forget food, water bowls, and leashes
- Don’t forget cat littler, scoop, pan for cats
- Listen to the radio
Sheltering in place
- Bring your pets inside, if not normally inside make sure they are well contained
- Move toxic and dangerous items out of their reach
- Do not change their feeding routines if possible
- Listen to the radio
After the disaster
- Do not return home until authorities say it’s safe
- Survey your residence and your pets’ outside areas for safety hazards
- Remediate hazards if safe to do so
- If at home, do not release your pets from your control until it is safe for them to return to their normal routines
- Continue to pay attention to the radio
If you suspect that your pet has swallowed a potentially hazardous material, call our clinic immediately at 281-342-1117. If our clinic is not open, call an emergency clinic or Pet Poison Hotline (the hotline does charge money!)
Emergency Clinic Page
Call Pet Poison Hotline
Poison control for pets is a serious matter, and it’s important for pet owners to understand the dangers of toxic substances, what you can do to avoid poison in animals, and what you should do in the event that your pet ingests something harmful.
Hazardous Substances Can Be Found Throughout the Household
Your home is likely full of substances that can be toxic to pets. Here are a few examples of items that are toxic to either cats, dogs or both:
- Antifreeze. Antifreeze is found in many garages and work rooms all around Richmond. Antifreeze is a sweet substance that tastes good to dogs and cats, but it’s also a deadly poison. To avoid problems, you can either put antifreeze up and out of the reach of your pets, or buy the pet-safe antifreeze, which may make your pet sick but should not be lethal to your pet.
- Chocolate. Chocolate is poisonous to both dogs and cats. The amount of chocolate that could be lethal for your pet depends on the size and weight of your pet. Baker’s chocolate is more hazardous than other kinds of chocolate.
- Pesticides and insecticides. These toxic substances are a hazard because they are commonly found in sheds and garages, where outdoor pets may be kept during very cold weather.
- Medications. Many human medications are dangerous or deadly for pets that ingest them. Keeping your medications securely protected inside your medicine cabinet can help. It also helps to throw away old medications that are expired and no longer being used.
Poison Treatment May Save Your Pet’s Life
You may plan to keep your toxic substances up and out of reach of your pet, but accidents can still happen. We recommend the following tips to keep your pet safe:
- Keep the phone number for your pet’s veterinarian prominently displayed in your home. Put the phone number up on your refrigerator or somewhere else obvious, where visitors and members of your household can easily find it.
- Do not do anything until a veterinary expert tells you how to proceed. Inducing vomiting or taking medical action on a pet who you think may have ingested a toxic substance could do more harm than good. Call our clinic and describe the symptoms. If necessary, the veterinarian may require you to bring your pet in for emergency care.
There are many human foods that we can safely consume, but can be harmful to your pet if consumed in excess. Some essential oils and plants are also potential toxins. Open the pdf links below for a complete list of these foods/substances and what effects it can have on your pet if consumed.
Did you know that 1 in every 200 cats may be affected by diabetes?
The best way to treat diabetes is to manage your pets’ weight before they actually develop diabetes. Our veterinarians can recommend ideal diets and a feeding routine that can benefit your pets. Getting your pet on a feeding schedule (once to twice a day) instead of free feeding is key to weight loss and diabetes prevention, as well as not overfeeding on treats.
Clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
- Inappropriate urination
- Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition
- Increased hunger
- Increased “whiteness” of the lens of the eye due to cataracts
- Poor skin condition (like excessive dandruff or an oily hair coat)
If you notice any of these signs (e.g., excessive thirst, excessive urination), please bring your pet in to see one of our doctors as soon as possible. With diabetes, the sooner it is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated. Also, there’s less of a likelihood of an expensive emergency visit for treatment of diabetic complications.
Keep your pet in mind when fireworks are going off! The loud noises scare them. Imagine a loud noise that sounds like a gun shot going off and not knowing it’s for celebrating but thinking you’re under attack.
Dr. Estrade recommends give your dog Solloquin, an over the counter supplement that will help ease them during this time and enjoy the holiday with you. For extreme cases of anxiety, talk to one of our veterinarians for more options. We also recommend purchasing a Thunder Shirt that will put pressure on their chest and make them feel more comforted. For more information, call our clinic at 281-342-1117.