Nov 21 2012

Food Safety Tips for Your Fur-babies

There is nothing quite as wonderful as being surrounded by loved ones, the smell of delicious indulgences in the oven, and celebrating another year with holiday traditions. It is time to count your blessings and say thanks because Thanksgiving here.  As you start to purr-pare your favorite holiday dishes, don’t forget about the hazards that certain foods create for the furry members of your family. Take the necessary precautions to ensure a happy and healthy holiday for everyone this year, including your cats and dogs.

Here are a few tips to make for a Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy too:

Turkey Talk
As much as we humans love a big bird for the holidays, turkey contains L-Tryptophan which as you may already know induces sleep. Everyone enjoys a good nap after dinner, but due to the size of pets, turkey can cause lethargy and listlessness. If you do choose to indulge your pet, make sure to only share a treat sized portion of white meat and check that the meat is well-cooked to eliminate the possibility of salmonella. Also, be sure to take off the skin and not include gravy as these fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis.

No Bones About It
The real danger with turkey lies with the bones. Turkey bones can splinter which can cause intestinal obstructions, tears, or internal bleeding.

Refrain From Stuffing
What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? When preparing this customary dish, consider making it without raisins, onions, or sage. Raisins can cause kidney failure while onions can lead to canine anemia. While sage adds an extra boost of flavor to your dish, it contains essential oils which can lead to gastrointestinal upset or central nervous system depression in pets, especially cats who are sensitive to the effects of essential oils. Also, don’t forget to check and see if the broth you are using contains onions; this sneaky culprit could also make your dog sick.

Chocolate Lovers Nightmare
Chocolate may not be your weakness, but it is definitely your dogs. Your pup’s heart and nervous system are negatively affected by chocolate which can lead to seizures or death. The darker the chocolate, the more deadly it is for Fido. Better to be safe than sorry so please keep this sweet treat out of reach not only around the holidays, but year round.

A few other foods to be cautious about include macadamia nuts, raw bread dough, avocados, raw eggs, and alcohol.

It is best to stick with your pet’s usual diet as not to cause an upset stomach that could lead to vomiting or diarrhea. If you want to give your pet an extra special Thanksgiving, you can mix a bit of sweet potato or green beans in with their usual dog food or give them a peanut butter filled Kong to enjoy while everyone is at the dinner table.

If by chance your pet happens to get into something they are not supposed to, try giving them a dollop of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to soothe an inflamed digestive tract. If your pet seems to be suffering from something more severe than an upset stomach though, it is important to have your vet’s number or the ASPCA pet poison control center number (888-426-4435) handy, just in case.

Be aware and be prepared this holiday season to ensure another great Thanksgiving for you and your family (Fido included).

Written by Danielle Sather, Marketing & Development Intern at Wayside Waifs

Nov 14 2012

Tag- Your Mine!

ID Tags- Don't Furrr-get!

ID Tags- Don't Furrr-get!

Being a pet owner means not only having a furry roommate, but a best friend, a snuggle buddy, a foot warmer, an unlimited supply of entertainment, and a source of unconditional love. The thought of losing a pet is tragic and heartbreaking, but the reality is that pets can become separated from their owners for various reasons at any given time. Just because your pet is an indoor animal does not eliminate the opportunity for your pet to escape. Pets can sneak off from the confines of their house through an open door, hole in the fence, unlatched gate, or a tear in a screen window.

In the past two months I have picked up several lost animals wandering along the side of the road, all with owners and all WITHOUT tags. There is nothing more frustrating than to find an animal that looks healthy and loved, wearing a collar, but doesn’t have any identification to immediately return it back to their family.  ID tags serve as an extra security measure that you can provide for your dog or cat and it also helps assure that your family member will be returned home quickly.

Even though all Wayside Waifs are microchipped, some people don’t know what to do if they find an animal with a microchip tag. In addition to that, it is more time consuming to take an animal to a veterinarian or animal shelter to have a microchip scanned in order to get contact information for the owner. If the animal is wearing an ID tag, the finder can immediately contact the owner, or if the owner’s address is on the tag, they can return the animal directly back to its home.

The Whiskers and Wags retail store at Wayside makes it fast and easy to pick up an ID tag for your pet. Included in our Dog and Cat ID packages are an ID tag, a dog or cat collar, plus a leash for dogs. ID tags can also be purchased separately for $6 and they are available in several style & color options. Up to four lines of information can be included on each side of the tag and it takes less than two minutes to have the entire thing engraved.

Its also a good idea to check your pet’s ID Tags once a year to make sure the information is still readable.  It’s well worth the $6 investment to have them reprinted each year in case your pet becomes lost.

Now that you know why it is so vital to have an ID tag for your pet, you may be wondering what information is best to include on the tag.

Suggested information on ID tags:
Dog or Cat Name
Owner Last Name
-Home and Cell Phone Numbers
-Address (Many animals are found near the owner’s home and can be returned faster if the address is on the tag)

Optional additional suggestions:
Reward For Safe Return
I’m on Medications (people are less likely to keep an animal that requires costly medications, or return them faster)

Don’t risk the possibility of losing your furry forever friend because you did not take proper precautions.  

Written by Danielle Sather, Marketing & Development Intern at Wayside Waifs

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