886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

Tips for a Pet-Safe Easter

3/20/2018

Tips for a Pet-Safe Easter

Easter comes a bit early this year on Sunday, April 1. Like many people, you may enjoy decorating your home for the holiday, filling Easter baskets for the kids, and getting together with family for a delicious ham dinner. As you do so, keep in mind that some of the things traditionally associated with this springtime holiday can be harmful for pets.

Don’t Share Human Food or Candy

Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and other Easter treats be may impossible for your pet to resist. Unfortunately, he may try to grab a mouthful when you have your back turned for just a minute. Chocolate is especially problematic for dogs and cats due to the active ingredient of theobromine. This can produce seizures as well as cause hyperactivity and an accelerated heart rate. The artificial sweetener Xylitol, which is a top ingredient in many seasonal sweets, can cause liver failure in pets.

If your pet can’t get at the candy, she would be just as happy with table scraps. However, they’re not necessarily safe for her either. Many foods in the traditional Easter meal contain excess spices, a high amount of fat, or small bones that could cause your pet to choke. If you’re hosting and you don’t think your guests will be able to resist such a cute beggar, be sure to keep your dog or cat contained in another room until people have finished eating. This is also a good idea if having company tends to make your pet anxious. She could act in unpredictable ways, especially towards children.

Easter Plants and Baskets

The Easter lily is one of the most popular plants for people to decorate with during this season. Although lilies are beautiful, they’re extremely toxic to cats. Since cats naturally gravitate towards chewing plants and grass, it’s best to avoid bringing lilies into your home. The most adventurous cats will still find a way to get at the plant even if it’s on a high shelf.

The plastic grass that parents use to decorate Easter baskets for the kids can be a choking hazard to pets. It can also cause immediate gastrointestinal symptoms if swallowed. If you do choose to use plastic grass, let your children know they should keep the baskets in their bedrooms. Also, make sure your pet isn’t in the same room when your kids find their Easter baskets in the morning.

If you hide candy inside of hard plastic eggs, this is another thing your pet may feel he needs to investigate. If he bites into one hard enough, pieces of plastic cold become stuck in his throat. You also don’t want your pet to eat hard-boiled eggs.

Emergency Contact Information

It doesn’t have to be Easter Sunday for your pet to get into something that could hurt her. If you need help during regular office hours, please call Grantsburg Animal Hospital at 715-463-2536 or Wild River Veterinary Clinic at 320-629-4742. After hours, you may call Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service. Please click here to find contact information for the location closest to you.

Photo Credit: LiliGraphie / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Why Your Dog Needs a Daily Walk

2/20/2018

Why Your Dog Needs a Daily Walk

 

It's below zero yet again and you have just gotten comfortable in your favorite sweatshirt, pair of jeans, and fuzzy slippers. Just as you’re about to start a great book, your dog approaches with her leash in her mouth. It’s time for her daily walk. If you feel tempted to shoo her aber that your dog needs this daily exercise for her well-being. As long as you dress for the weather, it’s just as good for you.

When you skip your dog’s daily walk too often, he will likely respond with behavioral challenges. This could include acting destructive in the house, barking too often, or even reverting in house training. It also increases the likelihood of your dog becoming overweight. In fact, the website Slim Doggy reports that just 30 minutes of walking each day is enough to help your dog maintain a healthy weight. Although it may feel like the last thing you want to do on a cold February day, we encourage you to grab the leash and get going. 

The Benefits of a Daily Walk from Your Dog’s Perspective
Walking through the neighborhood with you provides your dog with mental stimulation so that she doesn’t become bored and destructive. It also satisfies the desire to roam. Other benefits of daily walking for your dog include:
 
Regular exercise can help to prevent certain types of obesity-related diseases
Your dog receives social interaction with people and other dogs
Dogs that walk together every day bond as a pack
Your dog receives undivided attention from you
Walking helps to increase your dog’s confidence as she learns how to deal with a range of situations
 
As beneficial as it is to walk your dog daily, you do need to pay attention to signs that your dog may have had too much exposure to cold weather and is ready to go home. Common indications include anxiety, disorientation, fatigue, and whining. It’s fine to cut your walk short and try again tomorrow if your dog appears uncomfortable.

Walking Every Day is Good for People Too
Seasonal Affective Disorder is all too common in Minnesota and Wisconsin due to our long, cold winters with limited hours of daylight. However, depression can occur any time of the year. Research proves that walking releases serotonin in the brain that can significantly elevate your mood. 

Walking also helps you to lose or maintain weight as well as lower your chances of developing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or stroke. While you might grumble when your dog reminds you that it’s time for a walk, you should thank her instead! Finally, a daily walk helps to strengthen your bond with your dog and gives her something to look forward to every day.

Please contact Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic if you’re experiencing common dog walking problems such as your dog trying to take the lead or pulling on the leash. We are happy to recommend some behavioral training techniques. Be sure to check out our online store for walking supplies such as leashes and harnesses as well.
 
Photo Credit: vitalytitov / Getty Images
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