The kids have gone back to school, the leaves on your trees are changing colors, and there's a noticeable change in temperature from last month. All of this can only mean one thing: It's autumn in Wisconsin. If you're a pet owner, fall also means that you need to keep an eye out for seasonal dangers that could affect your companion animal or horse. Taking this proactive approach allows you and your pet more time to enjoy each other's company while the weather is still warm.
Outdoor Safety Tips
Even if you keep your dog or cat in most of the time, she could still slip out the door and get into something that could hurt or injure her. This fall, be sure to look out for the following:
- As the weather gets cooler, mice and other rodents may try making their way into your home. Many homeowners use a commercial rodenticide to try to prevent this. Unfortunately, these poisons can also be fatal to your pet. If you decide to use a rodent-killer this fall, be sure to keep your pet away from the area.
- It's common for people in the Grantsburg, Wisconsin area to remove the air conditioning coolant from their car at this time of year. Dogs in particular may mistake the clear liquid for water and lap it up. Since this can be highly toxic, keep your pet indoors when you change the coolant or consider switching to a coolant made of propylene glycol.
- Approximately one percent of mushrooms are toxic or fatal to pets. Since they are difficult to distinguish from the 99 percent of safe mushrooms, it's best to keep your pet away from all of the mushrooms that are growing rapidly this month.
- If your horse or companion animal lives outdoors year-round, make sure that he has access to water that is clean and unfrozen at all times.
Indoor Safety Tips
Back-to-school time can be stressful for pets who miss having the kids home for the summer. They're also naturally curious about what's in your child's backpack. To avoid your dog or cat getting into glue sticks, magic markers, and other potentially toxic school supplies, your child's backpack should remain in another room with the door closed.
Although Halloween isn't until the last day of next month, it's not too early to plan for a safe holiday. If you intend to buy a costume for your pet, make sure it doesn't cover her eyes or mouth and that it fits well. Since the stress of so many people coming to the door can cause your pet to be anxious or misbehave, keep her inside where she it's safe.
If you're concerned your pet may run out the door when you open it for children, place him in a room with the door close just for the evening. While the day is a lot of fun for kids and adults, most pets find it stressful and prefer to stick with familiar routines.
Check the Chip Day is right around the corner on August 15. On this day, veterinarians everywhere encourage pet owners to make sure that the information contained on their pet's microchip is up-to-date. Although not intentional, many people forget to change their address, telephone number, or other contact information on their pet's microchip when they move. Unfortunately, that's no better than not having a microchip at all. If your pet gets away during or after your move, there is no way to reunite him with you.
What is a Pet Microchip and How Does It Work?
A microchip is a tiny piece of metal that is no bigger than a grain of rice. It uses radio frequency identification technology (RFID) to store information such as your pet's name, your name, and your contact details. While a microchip greatly increases the chances of finding a lost pet, it's important to understand that it's not a global positioning system (GPS). It can't tell you the location of your dog, cat, or other type of animal.
Should your pet become lost, anyone who spots her can bring her to the nearest veterinary clinic. Once there, the staff uses special scanning equipment to determine if your pet has a microchip. If the scanner detects one, the only information returned is the microchip identification number. The staff member then enters the number into a universal pet look-up system to retrieve your contact details.
Why a Tag and Collar Isn't Enough
Placing a collar with a tag containing your pet's name and your contact information is still a good idea. People can see the identifying information and call you to come and retrieve your pet. However, collars can slip off and lettering may become worn. When that happens, there is no way of finding out whom your pet belongs to if he doesn't have a microchip.
Placing a Microchip is Fast and Painless
Some people avoid getting a microchip for their pet because they think it will cost a lot or they don't want their pet to feel pain. The average fee is around $50, which includes registration in a national database. That's a small price to pay for your peace of mind. The procedure takes just a few minutes and is no more uncomfortable than getting an immunization. We insert the microchip under a fold in your pet's skin near the neck area. Please contact us if you would like more information or to schedule a microchip placement appointment for your pet.