pet tips

As the kids head back to school, consider that your dog may have to adjust to the changes in the family routine just like everyone else. During the summer, your children and the family dog can develop a strong bond. Now there's suddenly an empty and quiet house. This change in routine can cause your dog to suffer from separation anxiety or depression - to actually miss your kids - and even follow them to school.

Signs of Separation Anxiety through destructive behaviors:

  • - Chewing furniture
  • - Ripping the stuffing out of pillows
  • - Shredding paper
  • - Obsessive barking/whining for extended periods of time
  • - House soiling

Separation anxiety is a serious condition that can be managed with structure and patience. NEVER punish your dog for exhibiting this behavior, as it will make him more fearful and potentially aggressive.

Managing Anxiety:
  • - Start with leaving your dog at home for very short periods of time to get him used to being alone
  • - Avoid emotional departures and greetings.
  • - Have your belongings prepared so that your departure from home is calm.
  • - Consider doggie daycare for prolonged absences.
  • - Teach the kids to avoid over stimulating the dog with departures and arrivals.
  • - Exercising your dog before leaving the house in the morning is a good idea so he'll be relaxed when you return and be set for when you're away.
  • - Leave some sturdy, interactive toys for your dog to help keep him from being bored.

*Be sure to check with your veterinarian to have your dog fully evaluated and correctly diagnosed before trying to manage the symptoms. There may be an underlying medical condition that could be misconstrued as separation anxiety.

Spring has sprung, and with the change of season, our thoughts turn to Easter celebrations, yard and garden care, spring cleaning and much-needed home improvement projects.

Keep Easter lilies and candy in check - chocolate goodies are toxic to cats and dogs, and all true lilies can be fatal if ingested by cats. And be mindful, kitties love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration.

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition in many households, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of your pets' way! Almost all cleaning products, even all natural ones, contain chemicals that may be harmful to pets. Also, products such as paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets. Physical hazards, including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools can also be harmful.

Pet parents, take care- fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients may be dangerous if your pet ingests them.

With spring comes bugs. Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication, as well as a flea and tick control program.

Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information.

*If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.

Keep your pets inside with you.

Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs should only be taken out for walks and exercise.

If your dog is outdoors much of the day for any reason, they should be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter with a raised floor and the door covered with burlap or heavy plastic. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.

No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. For this reason, short-haired dogs often feel more comfortable wearing a sweater - even during short walks.

Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

Always wipe your pet's paws when they come in from outside. Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately. Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas - often when licking it from their paws after a walk.

Adapted from the Humane Society of the United States


It's that time of year again of gift giving and that includes gifts for our pets. When picking your pet's new toy, you need to think about safety.

Toys help fight boredom in a dog you've left alone. They can also provide comfort. And toys can even help prevent your dog from developing certain problem behaviors.

Although cats can be pretty picky about toys, dogs are often more than willing to play with any object they can get their paws on. That means you'll need to be particularly careful when picking your dog's toys.

How to make sure your dog's toys are safe

Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog's size, activity level and for dogs and other pets, toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your dog spends their time. Although we can't guarantee the safety of any specific toy or object, we can offer the following guideline; dog-safe your home removing anything that can be swallowed or can injure your dog. A good example is balls which are great toys for dogs: they love to chase, chew or just carry them around. Take care though, because dogs can choke on small ones.

Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado. All rights reserved

DO NOT LEAVE AN ANIMAL IN A HOT CAR - HEATSTROKE CAN KILL, AND FAST! On an 85-degree day, for example, even with the windows open, the temperature inside a car can climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 120 degrees in 30 minutes. An animal's body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time can cause suffering and irreparable brain damage ... or death. It is easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for the pet to be in an emergency situation within mere minutes.

The typical signs of heatstroke are:
- Panting
- High body temperature
- Dehydration
- Red mouth/eye membranes
- Rapid, irregular heart rate
- Diarrhea
- Weakness, looking dazed
- Coma

If a pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Also, use caution during warm weather months when leaving animals outside in yards or on porches. Never leave them outside extended periods of time. Ensure appropriate shade and water are always available.

KEEP PETS SAFE WHILE OUTSIDE - Cats should be kept indoors at all times of the year and never allowed to roam loose, unprotected and unsupervised. During the hottest and most humid parts of the day, bring dogs in the house. And remember ... pets can get sunburned too. Speak with your veterinarian about applying sunblock to your pet's sun-sensitive areas, such as nose and ears.

Happy spring! Drs. DelMastro and Hall would like to take this time to remind you that with the warm months approaching it is prime flea season!! Please come in to stock up on your flea prevention! For cats we offer topical Revolution. For dogs we offer topical and oral flea prevention. If you have any questions about flea prevention, please contact our office. We also recommend that you continue with your year round heartworm prevention.

With the warmer months approaching most of our canine companions will be spending more time outdoors with you. If you frequent the dog parks, go to doggie day care, board or have your pet groomed the doctors recommend that your pet be vaccinated every 6 months with the Bordetella vaccine and yearly with the Canine Influenza vaccine. These vaccines are given additionally to the CORE vaccines of Distemper Combination Vaccine and Rabies Vaccine.

Cats love spending time in the garden in Spring's sunny and warm days. Make sure that your garden is safe for your cat and be careful if you need to use any pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Avoid using cocoa shell mulch, it is toxic to pets (it contains the same ingredient as chocolate). Watch out for poisonous plants. Species common at this time of year include lilies (including daffodils), spring bulbs and azaleas.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter months. A longer coat will keep him warm. And when you bathe your dog, make sure he is completely dry before taking him outdoors.

During the winter months, outdoor cats will often sleep under the hoods of cars. Before you start your car, bang loudly on the hood to give the cat a chance to escape.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy seems sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If necessary, take your puppy out to relieve himself very briefly and bring him inside and dry him off thoroughly.

As Thanksgiving and other holidays begin, the tantalizing fragrance of the dishes you're cooking for your special feast may be very dangerous for your furry friends.

Turkey skin can be extremely hazardous to your pet's life and is difficult for them to digest. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain and lethargy.

Onions and garlic contain sulfides which are toxic and can lead to anemia, even when cooked.

Nuts, specifically walnuts and macadamia nuts, are very dangerous for your small animal. Ingesting them could lead to toxosis, which leads to your pet being unable to stand, vomiting, having tremors, fever, weakness and elevated heart rate. Usually symptoms go away, but this could lead to deadly shock.

Chocolate dough and batter, you know is a no-no, but did you know the dough can actually rise inside your small pet's stomach, causing bloating and severe pain? And, dough and batter contain raw eggs, which may contain Salmonella.

There are a number of other food items that can be quite toxic for your favorite dog or cat. It's best to stay with their own food... as much as they might beg!

As the crisp air of autumn begins, the doctors and staff at the Fulton Animal Hospital would like to remind you of the possible hidden dangers to this wonderful season for our furry friends.

Fall is a wonderful time full of outdoor activities. Please remember to always keep your pet on a leash when outdoors.

During the fall and spring months, mushrooms are a big concern. While 99% of wild mushrooms tend to be non-toxic, there is the 1% of mushrooms that can be fatal to your pet if ingested. If you see your pet eating a wild mushroom, please contact our office immediately OR contact animal poison control.

Another product used often in the fall is rodent poison. This can be fatal if ingested. Rodent poison causes severe bleeding abnormalities. We recommend you avoid these products and invest in other options.

Antifreeze is another very deadly toxin. It is a product that our pets LOVE to ingest; it tastes sweet but has serious consequences and can be fatal.

Separation Anxiety When the Kids Go Back to School

Springtime Pet Safety Tips

Cold Weather Tips 2017

Holiday Tips 2016

Summer 2016

Spring 2016

Winter 2015

Holiday Tips 2015

Fall 2015