Veterinary options

Americans love their pets. There are dogs in at least 46.3 million households across the country. Another 38.9 million households are home to cats. Even when times are tough, people spend money on their pets. According to Forbes, at least 92% of all people with pets did not change the amount they spent on them during the recession. Many people are not sure what the best things they can do to keep their pets from needing emergency vet services. There are some things you can do to keep your cat or dog healthy and happy.

1. Know what to avoid. There are a lot of substances and products that are fine for people but can be dangerous for pets. Never give your pet any kind of over the counter or prescription medication unless you have been told to do so by your veterinarian. There are a lot of medications that are great for humans and deadly for pets. Keep the following away from your cats and dogs:

  • Chocolate. It is important to note that the more cocoa the chocolate has, the more dangerous it is. Dark chocolate is a lot worse for your pets than milk chocolate.
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)
  • Onions and garlic. This includes any products with onion or garlic powder.
  • Almonds and macadamia nuts.
  • Grapes and raisins.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Antifreeze.

2. Never leave your pet in the car. It can be very dangerous to leave cats or dogs in a car when you are not there, especially in the summer. It takes almost no time at all for the temperature inside your car to climb to dangerous levels. This can cause your cat or dog to suffer from heat stroke or something worse and then you will need emergency vet services to help save them. This is such a serious issue for pets that many cities and localities allow passers by to break into your car to rescue a pet. Just don’t leave your pet in a car by themselves. If you believe your pet is suffering from heat stroke, you can try to help them by covering them up with a wet and cool towel but they need emergency vet services for this problem. Remember, your pets don’t sweat so heat stoke can hit them faster than it would a person.

3. Be careful with your lawn. Many of the chemicals people use on their lawns can be very harmful to pets if they are ingested. To avoid needing emergency vet services for a poisoned pet, make sure they are kept away from your lawn for at least one day after it has been fertilized. Keep documentation from the products you use so that if they do eat some, you can take it with you to the animal hospital. If that does happen, contact your veterinarian or the local animal medical center for instructions and to get your pet in to be examined.

3. Be careful with pest control. If you have an exterminator come to keep roaches, ants and other pests out of your home, make sure they know you have pets in your home. There may be different chemicals that they will use if they know there are animals in your house than if they do not know about your pets. Getting into the pesticide is a sure fire way to end up needing emergency vet services.

4. Be careful when you take your pet for a ride in a truck. Dogs may love to hang out in the bed of a truck when you are driving but this is very dangerous. Any quick turn can end up with a very badly injured dog. If you need to take your dog in your truck. keep them with you inside the truck and not out in the truck bed.

5. Watch how much you feed your pet. You watch your calories and should do the same thing for your dogs and cats. If they get too many calories and gain a bunch of weight, they can have the same problems people experience such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Pets are not just animals but are members of the family. These tips will keep them healthy and happy.