Monthly Archives: September 2016

Leash Laws: Know Pet Ownership Laws

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dog-237187_1280Pets are available everywhere; they’re up for adoption, for purchase, and for free. We’re so accustomed to being able to simply go pick up a pet and take it home, and do little else, that it’s easy to forget there are laws and regulations out there for pet owners. It is unfortunate that it’s so easy to have a pet without obeying these rules, because they exist for many reasons—in particular, to protect pets, their owners, and others.

State-by-State, City-by-City

Pet ownership laws vary everywhere. All states have their ordinances, and cities might have some additional stipulations. Of course, ultimately, any federal regulations supersede a state’s decision. These ordinances cover a wide variety of potential safety and health risks, and their preventions, such as:

  • Consistent, mandatory vaccinations.
  • Rabid animals, or animals with other diseases that are potentially dangerous for humans.
  • Animals off-leash.
  • Animal bites and attacks.
  • Pet licenses.
  • The number of pets owned.

How to Know Pet Ownership Laws

These issues often do not come up until an incident occurs, and so it is easy to let the details of following licensing, vaccinations, and other ordinances slide; sometimes people forget, and sometimes they believe that nothing will happen to them or their pet.

It is not worth the risk.

The best thing to do is to research your state and local pet ownership laws well before getting a pet. It is very easy in the current information age; just go online to your state and city’s official websites. Then, once you know all your pet ownership laws, do not wait to apply the rules to your pet and life:

  • Get your pet licensed if necessary.
  • Microchip them.
  • Begin and maintain all vaccinations.
  • Save for medical expenses, and consider pet insurance.
  • Make a habit of all other regulations for daily care (keeping the dog on a leash, picking up after pets, etc.).

If you live in the Houston area, we can advise you a great deal on the local laws regarding pet care. Bring your pet in for vaccinations and more, and let us help you remain a law-abiding pet owner.

Saying Goodbye to a Pet

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cat, cats, petsIt’s something that no pet owner wants to imagine, but will eventually have to face: saying goodbye to a pet. Because it is an unfortunate fact of life, it’s important to be prepared for it. There are steps that owners must take and difficult decisions that they must make when a pet passes on.

Euthanasia

Pets owners must decide for themselves if euthanasia is right for their pets. It is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but if a pet is suffering at the end of its life, and the vet has determined that quality of life is simply too low, or there is some other medical reason that the animal must be put down, euthanasia is a humane option. It’s gentle, painless, and allows a person to be there for the pet at the very end. The vet will give the family all the time they need, and then administer a sedative so the pet will sleep. After that, the medication will be administered, and the animal will rest in peace.

Natural Passing at Home

If a pet parent wants the animal to pass in the comfort of home, a vet can advise on the best way to go about that so the pet is as comfortable as possible. There is also the terrible possibility of an animal passing suddenly at home. When these things happen, there are several possible steps.

First, it is important be aware of any regulations regarding animal remains in a city or neighborhood. For safety reasons, there may be regulations regarding burial, cremation, and removal. If the animal dies suddenly, the owner may want a necropsy (an animal autopsy) to find the cause prior to cremation or burial. If the pet will be cremated or taken elsewhere for other memorial arrangements, it is important to keep the animal’s body cool, and to not wait long before moving it.

They are part of the family and saying goodbye to a pet can be incredibly difficult. If your pet is approaching the end of his or her life with you, you can be assured that we at Pet Vet Hospitals will treat you and your pet with all the love and respect possible.

Fall for Pets

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Fall is coming swiftly. The leaves will be changing colors, the weather cooling, and people will become more and more eager for pumpkin spice lattes—pumpkin spice everything, in fact—Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all that follows. Your pets will be happy to join you in the fun. There are fall-themed treats for them, and some of them might even let you dress them in costumes.

As you enjoy all that fall has to offer, remember to play it safe with your pets, as well. Fall brings about some changes that could be harmful to your pet, and ruin the fun.

Depositphotos_54192935_s-2015Leaf Piles

Running and jumping through leaves seems fun, and there are plenty of classic—or cliché—images of people and their pets doing it. Remember, however, that there are a few dangers associated with this. Piles of leaves, especially those which have been sitting for some time, are gardens for bacteria and mold. If your dog gets into these growths, they could become sick.

Mushrooms and Other Plants

With the new weather comes decaying plants. Many environments become breeding grounds for mushrooms, which can make the curious, hungry dog or cat ill. Other seasonal plants are potentially toxic, such as the chrysanthemum.

Rodenticides

The cooler weather drives rodents and other pests into homes, and many people ward them off with rodenticides. While this is normal practice, it should be done very carefully; these toxins are bad for pets, too. They can potentially be fatal, so always place them in areas that are very difficult for pets to reach, even by accident.

Precautions don’t mean the end of fun. Continue enjoying the fall as you play it safe with your pets. If you need some help with your pets’ health along the way, come see us at Pet Vet Hospitals. We’re here for you throughout the seasons.

Back-to-School: Pets and Separation Anxiety

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Summer has been fun, and now it’s time to go back to school. Students and teachers alike, of all ages, have begun classes. This also means that many pets have been left at home while their owners are away, and some may take this change rather hard because they’ve become accustomed to having a family member around.

Separation anxiety can come in many forms. And, even if you pet has never shown signs before, any significant change may stir some anxiety.

labrador-380800_1920Your dog, for instance, might:

  • Bark and howl.
  • Pace and run.
  • Tear and chew at furniture, and other things.
  • Dig into trash and other places.
  • Urinate and defecate in the house.

Cats may do the same or similar when they’re upset by an owner’s absence, in addition to:

  • Scratching at furniture and other things.
  • Urinating to mark territory.
  • Climbing and knocking items off of shelves, and counters.

The best thing to do is prepare your pet well before the semester begins. Let your pet grow accustomed to your absence by leaving for brief periods of time. Over time, work toward the schedule you will have once classes start.

If your pet is already showing signs of separation anxiety, try some natural remedies. Go for long walks to exhaust your dog and play with your cat for a while every day. Make some extra time in general to spend with your pets to make them feel safe and loved. Leave plenty of distractions for them in the form of safe toys and treats.

If these don’t work, look into day care or professional training. It takes patience, but if significant time passes with no results, it may be time to seek the help of your vet to make certain there are no medical issues causing the separation anxiety, and to find out if there are any other options.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s reactions to your going back to school, call us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help.