March is Pet Poison Prevention Month, and our veterinarian at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach is using the opportunity to help educate pet parents on how to protect their pets from toxins and poisons.
Unfortunately, many of the things people commonly keep around our homes and even several of the foods and beverages that we enjoy are poisonous for pets and can cause organ damage, severe illness, and even death if ingested. Consider the following tips to create a safer environment in your home for your pet.

4 Tips to Prevent Pet Poisoning by Pet Proofing Your Home

1. Store All Medications and Supplements Securely

Over-the-counter and prescription medications for humans are poisonous for pets. Additionally, many nutritional substances are toxic for pets, too. Be sure to store these securely and pick up any pills you might drop on the floor.

2. Keep Household Chemicals Out of Reach

It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that most household cleaners, chemicals, detergents, and even toiletry items are toxic for pets. Store these in upper cabinets, out of the reach of your pet, and never leave them unattended around pets.

3. Don't Grow Toxic Plants in Your Home or Garden

Several common houseplants and garden plants are extremely toxic and dangerous to have in or around households with pets. Check your houseplants and garden plants against this list of toxic plants from the ASPCA and choose to fill your home with non-toxic, pet-friendly greenery instead.

4. Don't Feed Your Pet Human Foods

The digestive systems and body chemistry of dogs and cats differ from our own. So, just because a certain food is safe for you to eat does not mean it’s safe for your dog or cat to eat. Some common toxic foods include chocolate, xylitol, onions, garlic, chives, shallots, alcohol, caffeine, raisins and grapes, citrus, certain nuts, and yeast dough.

What to Do If Your Pet Ingests a Poison

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance, it’s essential to take immediate action.
To learn more about pet poisoning and how to protect your pet from ingesting toxic substances, we welcome you to contact Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach today.

5 Essentials for Walking Your Dog in the Rain

Staying active is good for your health and your pet’s health, so it’s important to get out for a bit of exercise – even when the weather is a little below Southern-California-grade beauty (i.e. raining).
Even when the weather is wet, you can easily head outside with your dog for a nice walk in the rain. The following items will make your outing a bit safer and more comfortable for you both.

5 Rainy Day Dog Walking Essentials

1. Reflective Harness

When it’s rainy outside, visibility is lower. Be sure to put your dog in a reflective harness for safe walking and high visibility. This will make your pup much easier for drivers to spot – even if he is little, short-legged, and low to the ground.

2. Leash

For safety, we recommend always keeping your dog on a leash when you go out for a walk in an unfenced area. Even if your dog has good recall training, there are still a lot of risks associated with going off-leash.
In the rain, keeping your dog on a leash is even more important because of the potential for thunder that could startle your dog and cause him to run away.

3. Raincoat

A dog raincoat in a bright color will help your dog stay comfortably dry and also make him more visible.

4. Booties or Paw Wax

Wet, rainy weather can wreak havoc on your dog’s paws. Booties offer the best paw protection, but not all dogs will accept wearing them. In these cases, apply paw wax before and after your walk to keep your dog’s paws nicely conditioned.

5. Towel

Be sure to bring a towel so that you can dry your dog off as soon as you reach shelter from the rain. Letting his coat stay damp can increase the risk of skin infections, dryness, itchiness, and rashes.

Peace of Mind With a Microchip

A big risk of walking your dog in the rain is thunder. If your dog is afraid of thunder, then going out for a walk in the rain means risking having your frightened pet get loose and run away. We strongly encourage all of our clients to have their dogs and cats microchipped.
A pet microchip provides a permanent form of identification for your pet and greatly increases the chances of reuniting with a lost pet. To learn more about pet microchips or to schedule a microchipping appointment for your pet, we welcome you to contact Pacific Animal Hospital today.

How to Pet-Proof Your Home

Dogs and cats are curious and playful. These are two reasons why we love them, but it’s also why our houses can create some pretty dangerous situations for them. Consider the following tips to protect your pets from some of the dangers lurking inside your home.

7 Tips for Pet-Proofing Your House

1. Foods

Lots of human foods are toxic for dogs and cats. Don’t leave any foods out on the counter, make sure your trash can is secure, close your dishwasher door, and install childproof locks on your cabinets to prevent curious animals from getting into anything that could be potentially poisonous.

2. Chemicals and Medications

Most household chemicals in addition to many of our medications and nutritional supplements are also toxic for pets. Store these in high cabinets, as you would to keep them from a child, to ensure your pets are safe.

3. Batteries

Batteries are incredibly dangerous if ingested. While you probably keep yours stored safely, pets can get access to them and accidentally ingest them by playing with items that contain batteries around your house.
Store your child’s battery-operated toys out of your pet’s reach and make sure your remote controls are also kept in a safe place.

4. Plants

Several indoor plants are also toxic for animals, and many can be fatal if ingested. Display in them in hard-to-reach locations or, better yet, only keep plants that are non-toxic for dogs, cats, and people in your home and garden.

5. Choking Hazards

Rubber bands, buttons, bouncy balls, and more small objects pose choking hazards to dogs and cats. If you have a pet, keep your floor clean like would if you had a baby or toddler crawling around.

6. Wires

Use wire covers to keep electric cords and cables safe from your pets – especially, if yours like to chew. You can also try coating your wires with a bit of pet-safe chewing deterrent.

7. Escape Points

Make sure your HVAC vents and dryer vent are securely covered and also add secure screens to your windows or keep them closed.

New Pet Care at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach

If you’re getting ready to bring home a new dog or cat, we welcome you to contact our office to establish care with our veterinarian in Redondo Beach. We can schedule your pet’s first appointment and provide you with even more tips to keep your pets safe in your home and your home safe from your pets.
To learn more, contact us today!

Create an Emergency Plan for Your Pets in 5 Steps

Fires, floods, earthquakes – we never know when a natural disaster could strike. While most people have some idea of a plan for themselves, many forget that they need to include their pets in their emergency preparedness plans, too.
Consider the following steps to make sure both you and your pets will be prepared, ready, and safe the next time there’s an emergency.

5 Steps for Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Pet

1. Keep Your Pet's Identification Current

During emergencies, pets can get frightened, disoriented, and lost. Make sure your pet is equipped with a collar, readable ID tags, and a pet microchip. These forms of identifications will help increase the chances of being reunited with your pet if they go missing.

2. Maintain a Copy of Veterinary Records

Emergency shelters that accept pets, boarding hospitals, and other places where you might shelter with your pet will likely require a copy of your pet’s vaccine and other health records. Keep a paper copy on hand and digital copies in your phone or saved to the cloud.

3. Plan to Evacuate With Your Pets

If it’s not safe for you, then it’s not safe for your pets. If you need to evacuate, plan to take your pets with you or transport them somewhere safe before you leave.
Additionally, it’s smart to have a plan in place for your pets should a disaster strike when you’re out of town or away. Leave this plan with a trusted neighbor or friend.

4. Find Options for Safe Places to Stay

During an emergency and the rush of evacuation, you’ll have little time to research pet-friendly places where you can stay. Keep a list of pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, family, and friends who will be willing to keep your pets if you need to evacuate your home.

5. Keep Extra Pet Supplies

Maintain a store of extra pet supplies including drinking water, food, medications, and a first aid kit for your pet that you can quickly pack up and take with you if you need to evacuate. Be sure to rotate the supplies out occasionally to ensure everything is fresh and safe for your pet.

Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy With Regular Veterinary Care

Whether you need a copy of your pet’s vaccination records, recommendations for nearby emergency veterinary hospitals, or a microchip for your pet, our veterinarian at Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach can help. We welcome you to schedule an appointment for your pet today.

5 Easter Treats to Keep Away From Your Pets

Easter is just around the corner, which means the bunny and a bunch of special springtime treats are, too! While we wish your whole family (fur babies included) a “hoppy” Easter holiday, we also want to wish you a safe celebration. Easter egg hunts and baskets are pretty tame for human revelers, but they do pose some threats to our pets. For a safe, cheerful Easter, keep your pets away from the following Easter treats.

1. Chocolate and Sweets

Chocolate and the sugar alcohol xylitol (commonly found in sugar-free candy) are both highly toxic for pets. If your children will be hunting for eggs filled with these ingredients, make sure your pets are kept in a safe place until all of the sweets are off the floor and out of their reach.

2. Easter Grass

Shiny, brightly colored Easter grass is a favorite filling and decoration for Easter baskets. The plastic variety, however, is quite dangerous for pets. They’ll be attracted to the stuff (because it’s fun, of course) but it can do some serious damage if a pet accidentally ingests it. Instead, fill your baskets with a non-toxic paper variety of artificial grass.

3. Plastic Eggs

Plastic eggs rattle and roll just like your pet’s other toys. However, they are not pet-safe and can easily break into sharp splinters that could perforate your pet’s esophagus or intestines if ingested.

4. Raisins, Grapes, and Nuts

Raisins, grapes, and certain kinds of nuts are all toxic for pets. Keep them away from the fruit salad, snack bowls, cinnamon rolls, and hot cross buns.

5. Spring Flowers and Bulbs

At Easter, spring flowers are just beginning to bloom. So, it’s only natural to want to fill your house with their bright colors and lovely fragrances. However, most spring flowers and their pollen, leaves, stems, and bulbs are toxic for pets. This includes lilies, daffodils, hyacinth, tulips, and more. Before you bring a new plant or bouquet into your home, check the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants to make sure it’s safe.

Try These Pet-Friendly Easter Activities

Instead of letting your pet miss out on all the fun, you can involve them in their very own pet-friendly activities for Easter day. Ask the Easter bunny to leave a basket filled with pet treats, toys, and chews for your cat or dog. You can also have the bunny hide some extra-smelly “eggs” around the house for your pets to find (just be sure you hide pet-safe treats in places they can easily reach). For more Easter ideas for pets or to schedule a spring-time examination, vaccine update, and parasite preventative appointment for your pet, contact Pacific Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach today.