Here are a few simple tips to help pet-proof this Thanksgiving holiday:
Keep your pets out of the kitchen
Counter-surfing can result in severe poisoning to your pet, ruining your holiday and causing you shame when you have to induce vomiting in your pet in front of all your friends and family.
Don’t let friends and family feed your pets!
Next, make sure your guests know the house rules: Don’t feed your pets. Your friends and family may not be aware of the common kitchen foods that are quite poisonous to pets: grapes, fatty table scraps, bones & turkey legs, onions, leeks, chives and garlic, unbaked yeast bread dough, and alcohol.
Dump the trash!
Somehow, your dog will find a way to get into it, and the leftover corn-on-the-cob, yummy string that goes around the turkey legs, turkey skin, bones, moldy food, and fatty grizzle all pose a threat to your pet.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at
1-888-426-4435 for life-saving care, right away.
It’s still too soon to predict where the storm named Dorian is heading exactly and how strong or weak it will be but a refresher is always good.
Our first recommendation will always be that you keep your pet(s) with you. However, this cannot always happen.
If you are in an evacuation zone and plan on boarding during a hurricane at Harmony Animal Hospital this is what you need to know.
At Harmony, we will only accept boarders if local meteorologists predict a Category 3 storm or lower. You also must live in an evacuation zone.
You must make other plans for Category 4 or 5 storms because there will be no staff available here to care for your pet. Other Pet Hurricane Shelters may have different requirements.
Keep medical records on hand
Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and have proof available. We will not accept unvaccinated animals. Call us for specific requirements.
Stock plenty of your pet’s supplies
Keep on hand those medications that your pet needs to take on a routine basis including heartworm pills. Please be sure you bring them in their original containers. You will also need to bring your pet’s food and enough bottled water to last your pet for at least three days (one gallon per day per pet). If the power goes out water may not be available.
Have a roomy crate available
Since most Pet Hurricane Shelters, including us, will be full this weekend just due to the Holiday weekend you must provide a crate for your pet if you do not already have reservations.
Other things worth noting
You must call ahead and cannot just show up.
You must provide us with an emergency contact if the storm becomes a Category 4 or 5
Boarders must be here within eight hours of when the hurricane is due to hit. After that, all of Harmony’s employees will be home caring for their own.
The combination of high temperature, high humidity, and poor ventilation can be fatal to dogs and cats. These animals do not sweat as people do. Thus, the cooling benefits of water evaporation from the skin are not available to them.. Panting and radiation of heat from the skin surface are their main means of controlling body temperature. If the air temperature and humidity are high and air circulation is reduced, these protective mechanisms are inadequate.
Body temperature can then increase dramatically, resulting in collapse and severe shock. Animals not treated promptly may die or brain damage may result.
Dogs with short “pushed-in” noses, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boxers, are especially susceptible to heat stroke since their restricted breathing doesn’t allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss.
Pets should never be left alone in a closed car, especially during the hot summer months. Even if the window is left open a small amount, within minutes the temperature inside the car can reach over 120 degrees. The pet’s body temperature can easily go up to 106-107 degrees under these conditions and brain damage is often the result.
Jogging with your dog during the hot summer months should also proceed with caution. Just as you undergo a training program and work gradually up to speed, so should your dog. Start slowly for a few minutes each day and work up. Continual exercise in the sun without access to water can easily cause heat exhaustion in your pet.
Overweight or geriatric pets are especially prone to heat exhaustion or exercise intolerance. These pets should be checked over thoroughly by a veterinarian before starting a demanding exercise program such as jogging.
If you must leave your pet outside during hot, humid weather, be sure to provide adequate ventilation, protection from the sun, and cool fresh water. Limit your pet’s exercise during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave your pet in a closed car. This is an invitation to tragedy.
Symptoms of heat stroke include a dazed or frantic appearance, rapid breathing, weakness, thick, ropy saliva, and bright red mucous membranes. Quick treatment to lower the body temperature is indicated which includes immersing the entire body in cold water, or even a cold water enema in a life-threatening situation. Any pet with heat stroke or heat exhaustion should be rushed to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Going to the beach with your dog can also be a great experience. Bring along fresh water and offer it often. Don’t let your pet drink too much salt water; this can cause vomiting and diarrhea which may lead to dehydration. Limit the amount of time during the hottest parts of the day (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or provide periods of time in the shade. Also, be a good neighbor: pick up all “little presents” your dog leaves. Along Jupiter Beach there are usually doggie bag
stations to grab a bag to pick up the waste. And don’t forget that light pigmented dogs can sunburn too!
Summer can be a fun time with your pet as long as some simple precautions are taken.