Pet Safety

Heat and Holiday Safety

When the weather heats up, SEAACA urges us not to forget about taking care of our four-legged family members. We keep ourselves well hydrated when exposed to heat and sunshine and we should remember to do the same for our pets.

Pets should have plenty of fresh water on hand and when outside, they should also have a shady refuge to rest in.

Watch the Lakewood CityTV video about protecting pets in the heat.

Each year SEAACA responds to heat-related complaints. Usually reports include dogs locked in hot cars left in shopping center parking lots. SEAACA advises pet owners never to leave a pet unattended in a car, even if the windows are partially open or the vehicle is parked in the shade. Temperatures inside a car can easily top 100 degrees, causing heat stroke or death within minutes.

If you see an animal locked inside a hot car, call 9-1-1 immediately. Police will contact SEAACA or another appropriate animal rescue agency. For additional questions regarding animal control, call SEAACA at 562-803-3301.

July 4 Holiday Issues

Independence Day means lots of unusual noise and resulting agitation and fear for many animals. This can make July 5 the busiest day of the year for animal control professionals.

· Place identification on pets. Micro-chipping is a good idea for those pets that seem to always escape from their collars. SEAACA offers low-cost micro-chipping for your pet! Your pet’s information will be registered in a national database so no matter where you travel, your pet can be identified.

· Keep your pet indoors with a radio or television playing in the background. This can serve as a distraction and offer a sense of comfort for your pet.

· Additionally, sedatives can be prescribed by your veterinarian for those highly excitable pets likely to suffer extreme anxiety from the fireworks.

· DO NOT take your pet to a firework show or even a neighborhood gathering. They are safer at home.

·Parents should supervise children. They are not likely to understand the adverse effects that fireworks have on pets and may accidentally let the family pet out.

· If a pet turns up missing, visit SEAACA the very next day. If you don’t see your pet there, keep looking. They may have strayed quite far trying to escape the fireworks.

Additionally, increased staff will be on duty at SEAACA immediately following the holiday to help rescue any lost pets. Call SEAACA at 562-803-3301 for assistance and to report any loose dogs. Any acts of animal cruelty should also be reported to SEAACA immediately.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season can be a dangerous time for family pets. It’s a busy time of year, and pet owners need to be extra careful to protect their special, furry family members from unforeseen dangers.

· Watch hot containers containing turkey or ham drippings. Pets can easily tip over containers and cause severe scalding and burns.

· Don’t feed cooled ham or turkey stock to pets. Human seasonings are bad for pets and can upset their digestive system.

· Don’t feed pets large quantities of turkey or table scraps. Overfeeding animals with human food can cause additional health problems. Also, feeding pets with table scraps lead to bad eating habits, such as begging every time the family sits down for a meal.

· Don’t ever feed pets bones, especially poultry bones. They can splinter, easily causing pain and even death.

· Make sure to give pets plenty of attention and keep their feeding and exercise schedule regular. During the holidays, the increased activity and visitors can upset a pet’s routine.

· Be careful of using bubbling holiday lights, which are moderate to lethal toxicity, depending on the amount of fluid (methylene chloride) inhaled or ingested.

· Never use angel hair (spun glass) for decoration as it can cause irritation of the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract. Also, artificial snowflock is not good for a pet to ingest.

· Hang glass ornaments high on the Christmas tree. Use wood, metal, resin-cast and plastic ornaments on lower branches. This way, if playful paws bat at ornaments, they won’t break and injure the animal. Never use tinsel to decorate because pets can ingest it, causing intestinal obstruction and choking.

· Chemicals used to make fireplace colors can cause gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting and a variety of other manifestations, including convulsions. It’s best not to use them.

· Don’t tie ribbons around a pet’s neck for the holidays or any other time. Ribbons can tighten, causing the pet to choke. Pets can also get caught on an object and hang themselves.

· Keep gift ribbons and bows out of sight and reach to prevent chewing and swallowing.

· Instead of using metal hooks for ornaments, use tightly knotted fabric, lightweight twine or yarn to slip over branches.

· Many Christmas season plants are toxic if pets chew or eat them. Some common plants during the holidays include: holly, mistletoe, balsam, juniper, cedar, pine, fir, hibiscus and poinsettias. All of these have low to high toxicity. This is a list of commonly used plants, but others can be toxic as well, so it’s wise to keep all plants out of a pet’s reach.

· Don’t give pets as presents.

By following these guidelines, as well as some common sense, you can keep family pets safe and healthy during the holiday season.

SEAACA is the regional animal care provider for Lakewood and eleven other cities. For more information about pet services available, contact SEAACA at 562-803-3301 or at http://www.seaaca.org.

Also, their main number, 562-803-3301, has a recorded phone menu with choices for directions to SEAACA, licensing information, veterinary clinic information, and their customer service representatives. SEAACA is located at 9777 SEAACA Street in Downey, California 90241-5613. Fax SEAACA at 562-803-3676.