You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Bond Between Seniors and Aging Pets

seniors-senior-petsThere’s an unmistakable connection between people and pets who have experienced the joys and hardships that come with old age. Though it’s likely that neither of them will be running marathons anytime soon, both have a refined appreciation of life and companionship. Additionally, they set a comfortable pace for one another, which, in turn, help fulfill the activity they both need for optimal health.

Bringing a new puppy into the home can be a huge responsibility that requires someone to give them full attention to meet their demands, but senior animals are usually already trained, thus providing the human-pet bond with half the stress. Also, for those who enjoy a relaxed, slow-paced lifestyle, older pets are more than happy to spend their time cuddled up on a couch watching black-and-white films.

Older adults can sometimes experience feelings of loneliness and lack of purpose once their children move out and they retire. According to Aging Care magazine, animal companions can reduce depression, and lower blood pressure and stress levels through friendship and dependency.

If you are considering adopting an older pet, this list can be a good reference as to whether or not it is the best choice for you:

  • I have a calm, stay-at-home lifestyle
  • I enjoy low-to-moderate physical activity
  • I have a steady routine
  • I have the financial means to support an aging pet and its ailments
  • I have the patience to give a pet time to adjust to his or her new environment
  • I have a lot of love and time to devote to my new companion

When you do bring a new furry friend into your family, be sure to contact your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic to adhere to all of your pet’s medical needs. For more information, or to make an appointment, call our Valley Stream location, 24/7, 365, at (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.

How to Serve Up a Trouble-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to come together with friends and family to give thanks and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. It can also be a time when people find it hard to resist slipping the family pet a nibble of the Thanksgiving feast from the table. However, what may seem as a generous gesture can actually be harmful to your dog or cat’s health. Here are some holiday tips to keep your furry friends safe and avoid a trip to the veterinarian on Thanksgiving night:

Treacherous Turkey
If you decide to give your cat a dog a helping of turkey, make sure the meat is fully cooked. Undercooked or raw meat can leave them susceptible to salmonella poisoning. Check to make sure all bones are removed to reduce the risk of choking and select only the lean, white meat. Turkey fat and skin can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues, like vomiting, diarrhea, excessive flatulence and, in some cases, life-threatening conditions like pancreatitis.Dog and cat choosing between veggies and meat

Serious Side Safety
Similar to certain parts of the turkey, letting your pets indulge in sides that are rich in fats can lead to diarrhea and upset stomach at best and worst case pancreatitis.

Say No to Dough
According to the ASPCA, when ingested, raw bread dough mixed with an animal’s internal temperature can cause the dough to rise in its stomach. As the dough expands, the animal may experience vomiting, bloating and severe abdominal pain, which could become a life-threatening and require emergency surgery.

No Bones About It
Aside from being a choking hazard, cooked bones are often brittle, and sharp pieces can get lodged in your pet’s intestines. The bones of a bird, like chicken or poultry, are especially dangerous as they are hollow and easily susceptible to breaking.

Don’t Let Them Eat That Cake, Cake, Cake
As mentioned in a previous safety article, chocolate is fatally poisonous to dogs and cats, so keep sweets well out of their reach. Additionally, you should make sure your pets keep their noses out of the cake batter, which may contain raw eggs that have salmonella and could lead to food poisoning.

Potent Packaging
Plastic wrap, wax paper and aluminum foil will damage your pet’s intestinal track and cause obstruction. Make sure all wrapping is thrown away and the garbage is placed out of the way of pets. If you’re exchanging holiday gifts early, as some families tend to on this day, be sure to also keep wrapping and tissue paper away from your animals.

Fatal Flowers
Everyone loves a holiday tablescape complete with a beautiful Thanksgiving floral arrangement. But, plants like poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and cedar Christmas are toxic to animals. Opt either for a safer flower bouquet or take steps to ensure the plants will be out of your pet’s reach at all times. This is easier with dogs than with cats, who may climb on the table out of curiosity.

Kitchen Collision
For many families, the kitchen and dining area are the holiday hub for you and your guests, but it shouldn’t be for pets. With pots and pans, serving dishes and dinner plates being passed from one place to another, there’s a chance Fluffy or Fido could end up being burned by a dish’s spillovePeasant womanr or caught under a guest’s foot.

Over-Generous Guests
Speaking of guests, it’s important to fill your friends in on the pet safety restrictions that you have set for your pet. Little does a child know that sharing her chocolate cupcake with the dog, or your great aunt giving your cat a couple sips of her homemade hard cider, can be a major risk to the pets’ health. Even if it’s safe for them to consume, too much of a good thing can still be detrimental as your pet’s overindulgence can lead to stomach problems.

With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your furry family members in good spirits and out of the emergency room this Thanksgiving. In the event that your pet gets into something harmful this holiday, contact your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic for medical assistance and remember that the Valley Stream location is open 24/7/365, including on Thanksgiving.

New York Has Gone to the Dogs

The Big Apple was recently named the fourth most dog-friendly city in the United States by Find the Home. The study scored cities and counties across the nation on a Dog Friendly Index of one-to-100, taking into account the availability of groomers, veterinarians and pet sitting services, as well as parks and other locations for pet owners to play with their furry friends. New York City’s fourth-place ranking is due to its Dog Friendliness Index of 82.76; Nassau County is close behind, with a rank of 81.9; and Suffolk County pulled a score of nearly 75.

How can you make your community more pet-friendly and get all three regions to the top ten? The first step is to get involved. This can be as simple as stopping by to welcome new neighbors to the community with a treat for their pets, along with helpful information about neighborhood pet resources, such as the location of your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic and available dog walkers and pet supply stores. This information can be beneficial to anyone with a pet new to the area.

In towns lacking vital resources for pet owners, personal initiatives may be necessary to making it more pet-friendly. In an area lacking public garbage cans and curbside waste bags, residents are encouraged to contact local government officials to request them. If you’re the go-getter type, you may be happy to place them in the area yourself. Pet owners will appreciate the convenience and these pet-friendly resources will serve as a reminder to residents to pick up after their pets.

If you own a business and are considering making it pet-friendly, start off small by posting pet-friendly hours and limiting the animals to only certain areas of the store. If you’re looking to increase traffic to your store on a certain day, consider utilizing pet-friendliness for a promotion or event. It’s important to keep water bowls, treats and toys on hand at your business in order to best serve an animal’s attention. As a precautionary measure, restrict your business area to pets that are leashed, potty-trained, well behaved and non-aggressive.

To build a relationship with other pet lovers in your community, identify local dog parks and pet-friendly events to participate in. Volunteering at events like adoption drives and pet walks are a great way to connect to other animal lovers and together make the world safe and more humane for all living creatures.

Central Veterinary Associates is one of the oldest, continuous veterinary practices with convenient animal clinic locations throughout Nassau and Queens Counties. We provide outstanding veterinary, emergency hospital, surgery, holistic and acupuncture, dental, exotics, house call and second opinion/specialist services. For more information about Central Veterinary Associates, or any of our services please call, (516)-825-3066.

Pet Safety Tips for this Howl-O-Ween

dog sitting beside carved pumpkin

The chill in the air, the spooky decorations and bustle of trick-or-treaters that makes everyone tingle with excitement, might also leave your pet running scared. We at Central Veterinary Associates know that pets are family and therefore Halloween safety should be as much a priority for your pets as it is for your human loved ones.

There has been a rising popularity in dressing up pets in costumes in recent years. Although often adorable, this attire can also pose a danger to the health and safety of your pet by increasing stress and anxiety. What may look cute and fuzzy to you, may be triggering high levels of anxiety in your pet. Cats and dogs are especially susceptible and may exhibits signs of discomfort, such as folded down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, a tucked tail, hunching over and complete removal of the costume. If this sounds like your pet, opt instead for something more comfortable, like a festive collar or leash.

If your pet is unbothered by the costume, still ensure that its fabric doesn’t hang too low, which could cause them to stumble. Also make sure that the attire does not obstruct vision, hearing or mobility. Never tie anything around his or her neck that could cause the animal to choke and be strangled. As discussed in an earlier post, it’s important to remove any chewable parts or objects that could potentially get lodged in the animal’s throat and cause them to choke.

Another concern for pet parents this Halloween; candy. Treats containing chocolate and xylitol (a sweetener used in many foods) are most common on this day, but can be extremely poisonous to pets. To prevent your furry friends from getting their paws on these hazardous sweets, place candy in high or locked cabinets, out of the reach of animals and small children. Youngsters can often make the grave mistake of handing over delicious human food to their furry siblings, which could have detrimental ramifications.

As tempting as it may be, do not bring your animals along with you for trick-or-treating festivities if they are easily spooked. Even the most well-behaved animals can be spooked or become aggressive from the howl of a neighborhood werewolf or sight of a scary Freddy Krueger mask (let’s face it, that last one still gives us goosebumps). Keep your pets inside, in a room separate from the trick-or-treaters. Too many strangers will frighten and overwhelm them, causing dogs to become over-protective or even aggressive and cats to scurry out of the house. Always make sure your pet has a proper identification tag or microchip should they slip out the door while you’re trying to pass out goodie bags.

With these tips, you’ll be able to keep Halloween fun and safe for all of your loved ones, including your four-legged friends. In the event that your pet ingests candy, has a panic or attack, or escapes, contact your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic for medical assistance and remember that the Valley Stream location is open 24/7/365, including on Halloween.

 

Central Veterinary Associates Offer Tips for Traveling with Pets

Studio shot of cat and pet carrier

With the summer travel season well underway, Central Veterinary Associates is cautioning pet owners to take special care to ensure their animal’s safety with a collection of tips to keep everyone happy and secure during long-distance treks.

“Many people have not traveled with their pets before, so, for the animals, it may become a traumatic experience,” said Dr. John Charos, Chief Executive Officer of Central Veterinary Associates. “By following these tips, pet owners will be able to make this vacation a safe and happy one. If you are still unsure if your pet is able to travel, please consult your veterinarian.”

Before You Head Out

  • Speak with your veterinarian regarding potential concerns or risks, such as respiratory problems that arise for some breeds during air travel.
  • Research pet-friendly hotels and modes of transportation.
  • Find a carrier that’s perfect for your pet and write their name and your contact details on the outside.
  • Let pets become familiar with the crates before a long trip to avoid stress during travel.
  • Consider getting your pet microchipped to ensure they have identification should they get lost

What to Pack

  • Essential items, such as toys, bottled water, food/treats, medications and first aid kit.
  • General gear, like grooming products, collars/leashes, stain remover, paper towels and bathroom materials.
  • Pet identification, including your pet’s health certificate (required for air travel) and contact information for your veterinarian (in case of an emergency).

Road Travel

  • Take your pet on several short trips to assess your pet’s comfort level inside your vehicle prior to your trip.
  • Exercise your pet beforehand so that they can burn off energy and relax during the ride.
  • Secure your animal with a seatbelt, in a ventilated crate, in the back seat of your car. Animals that roam inside a vehicle are a danger to both the driver and themselves.
  • Take semi-frequent stops in order for pets to eat and relieve themselves.
  • Do not feed them in the car as they are susceptible to motion sickness.
  • NEVER leave a pet alone in a car as the hot temperatures can cause brain damage or even death.

Air Travel

  • Notify your airline ahead of time to reserve space for your pet.
  • Research your air carrier’s rules and limitations regarding animals, including breed, size and age.
  • Have a leash with you to secure your animal during the screening process.
  • Bring a soft carrier in the event that your pet can travel as a carry-on.
  • Larger pets must travel in the cargo section of the aircraft, where there is an increased risk of injury, so please consider whether it is completely necessary for them to travel with you. If this is the only option, select a direct flight to decrease the risks and select a hard carrier with ample space for the pet to lay down.
  • Do not feed your pet four to six hours before a trip, but do keep them hydrated with small amounts of water.
  • Do not give a tranquilizer to your animal as it throws off their equilibrium, leaving them vulnerable to harm. The decision to administer tranquilizers during travel should be made only with the help of your veterinarian.
  • As soon as possible after arrival, remove your pet from its crate to allow it to stretch and relax.

Sea, Bus and Rail Travel

  • Most cruise, train and bus lines do not allow pets, except for service animals, so call the transportation service for information.

beach dog

Central Veterinary Associates’ Valley Stream office is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any of your pet’s needs. For more information, or to make an appointment, call Central Veterinary Associates at (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.