Category Archives: pets

Firework Fear: Tips On Independence Day Safety From Kingsbrook Animal Hospital

It’s almost that time of year again–the days are long and warm, neighbors are out grilling, and

KAH veterinarian Dr Kemper poses with a patrioic patient!

everyone is gearing up for the celebration of our nation’s independence. Cookouts and picnics inevitably lead up to a big, colorful fireworks display on July 4th… which is so much fun for humans, but can be terrifying for our dogs and cats.

The loud bangs accompanying fireworks sound 4-6 times louder to our canine friends, and up to 8 times louder to cats.  Couple this with changes in routine, new people, and lots of new food/smells… it’s no wonder that the highest percentage of pets go missing around the

KAH CSR Kelly has prepped her pup Sugar for the upcoming fireworks!

Fourth of July.

The very best way to help fur babies with fireworks is counter-conditioning.  This is a series of exercises done at home that gradually acclimate pets to the loud sounds made by fireworks. While this does take some time and some patience, it is definitely the safest way to get dogs or cats through loud noises.  Some in-depth information about counter-conditioning for fireworks (or thunderstorms!) can be found by clicking here.

Fortunately, there are lots of short-term things we can do to help our furry friends get through this holiday in one piece! Below are some recommendaions from Kingsbrook Animal Hospital‘s top-noch veterinarians:

  1.  Leave pets at home, and if possible remain at home with them. This is also a great

    KAH patient Jada is modeling a thundershirt and listening to an iCalmdog. Both of these fear-free methods are used often here at KAH with our patients who spend the day with us.

    opportunity to check the fit of each pet’s collar, verify contact information on collar tags, and make sure all pets are microchipped jus in case the unthinkable happens.

  2. Consider crating pets or confining them to a small, quiet area with a minimum of traffic. Terrified pets will try to bolt, so keeping them away from doors to the outside is key to preventing escapes.
  3.  Provide background noise, such as the television or radio, to help drown out the sounds. For a fear-free approved and portable option, check out the iCalmDog (or iCalmCat).
  4.  Also consider adding pheremone support for anxiety-prone pets. A great option for cats is the Feliway diffuser, and for dogs try Adaptil–either the collar or the diffuser are good choices.
  5. Thundershirts can help to calm an anxious dog or cat. These snug-fitting, adjustable jackets provide a lot of comfort and are infinitely reusable.
  6. Talk to a Kingsbrook Animal Hospital veterinarian about options for medications. There are several new choices that are great for situational anxiety!

For more information, please see the AVMA’s resource on July 4th Safety and the article on Fireworks Fear from the Fear Free organization.



Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Top 5 Things To Remember When Traveling With Your Pet

There’s no place like home for the holidays! Traveling with your pets can be a very exciting adventure…especially during the winter months. When traveling with pets during this holiday season there are even more things to consider too!
Here are the TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS for winter-wanderings with your four-legged family:

Having a first aid kit on hand with some basic supplies is a great idea while traveling.

Anything can happen; especially when having to stop for frequent potty breaks. Having a small first aid kit for your pet that includes things like clean water, a bowl, extra leash, baby wipes to clean off paws, Neosporen-type ointment, gauze squares, paper towels, and tweezers can be helpful in the event of a small accident. Also the addresses and phone numbers for emergency
animal hospitals along your route in the case of a big accident can be very helpful, or at the very least, put your mind at ease.
Making sure you have a current Rabies Certificate and up to date vaccine certificate is very
helpful when crossing state lines; depending on where you are traveling to, an Interstate Health
Certificate or an International Health Certificate may be needed. Certain pet-friendly hotels will
want documents like the Rabies Certificate as well to make sure they are allowing vaccinated
fur-guests into the rooms. Plus in the event that a stop at a vets office is necessary during your
trip, you can present them with Fido’s vaccine history.

KAH CSR Kelly’s sweet Wyatt loves to ride in the car! Use a seatbelt or tether to keep pets safely anchored in the backseat.

Having your pet sit on your lap or ride ‘shotgun’ with you may seem like a good idea, but slippery conditions can be unpredictable due to the weather changing so quickly during this time of year. Having your pet secure in the car is the best option for their safety (and yours)! A kennel, carrier or pet-specific seat belt is a great way to make sure that they don’t go flying in the event of a car accident or sudden stop.
Providing toys, chews or treats is a great way to make sure your furry family member is occupied during long trips. Making things like a Kong Pupsicle is a great way to keep Rover busy for a while! (soak their kibble in water, smush it into a Kong toy then freeze- VOILA!). You may want to avoid things like stuffed animals that can be destroyed and ingested since you’ll be driving and unable to keep a continuous eye on them.
Having your pets everyday items are a must for traveling with them. Food and
water bowls, daily medications, food, collar/harness, leash and ID tags are an
absolute must. Having extra bowls, leashes and collars are a really good idea to
have ‘just-in-case’. Absorbent towels and plastic bags are a staple item during the
winter time- nothings worse than a wet dog and 8 more hours to drive!

What Has Your Pet Taught You About Life?

No wonder dogs—not to mention cats, birds, and bunnies—are man’s best friend: These loyal, lovable creatures are also surprisingly wise. This month, readers share lessons from the animals who rule their roosts.

My fat, cantankerous cat, Pasadena, often rolls off the couch accidentally while she’s sleeping. Every time it happens, she gets back up and struts her stuff, as if to say, “Yeah, I fell down, but I’m still awesome.” She reminds me not to take myself too seriously.
Adriana Macias
Albany, California

When Jacques, my 12-pound silver poodle, got into a tussle with a mule deer, he lost an eye. For days afterward, I was devastated. But Jacques had a different reaction. His first morning home from the vet, he got up with his tail wagging, excited to greet a new day. By moving on so quickly, he showed me that you shouldn’t hold on to sorrow when you can be happy. I’ve given him a new nickname—Jacques Sparrow—because he’s the bravest little pirate I know.
Barbara O’Grady
Gardiner, Montana

My two cats do only the things that they want to do. I, on the other hand, often agree to take on responsibilities or accept invitations that don’t interest me, simply because I can’t think of a good excuse not to. But lately I’ve tried to take a page from the Book of Kitty and say, “No, thank you,” when I wish to decline. Thanks, Stachie and Flow!
Barbara Selig
Shoreline, Washington

Living with a puppy who chewed my baseboards, destroyed my shoes, and stained my carpets made me realize that stuff is just stuff—it can be replaced. Now when anyone in the family messes up (the dog has a lapse in house-training; my fiancé breaks a plate or a mug), I simply take it in stride.
Maggie Drew
San Antonio, Texas

Wisdom from my shepherd mix, Boone: Taking a walk in the park (in any kind of weather) will always make you feel better.
Sue Elliott
Tempe, Arizona

The most wonderful things often happen unexpectedly. I’ll never forget the blustery day when I went outside to get the paper and saw a black-and-white rabbit sitting there. The Humane Society couldn’t catch her, but six weeks later I did. In no time at all, this bunny, Oreo, had me wrapped around her little paw. She has brought me so much joy and love—and I never planned on any of it.
Vickie Strayer
Omaha, Nebraska

I learned from my cats that you should stretch before you get up, especially if you’ve been lying down or sitting for a long time. Try it: Your bones, muscles, and mind will thank you.
Tammy Murphy
Maynard, Massachusetts

Last August we lost our four-year-old dog, Sandi, to a sudden illness. We were so sad. Recently, though, we brought a new puppy, Lucy, into our lives. She has made us realize that even while you grieve, it’s possible to share your love with someone new.
Kathi Banholzer
Glen Allen, Virginia

It’s essential to chase what excites you, even if you never catch it. That’s something I learned from all eight dogs I’ve been lucky enough to call my pets.
Shannon A. Clements
Dearborn, Michigan

Whenever I call for my dog, Casey, he takes the longest route possible. This serves as a nice reminder that I shouldn’t opt for shortcuts. Because of Casey, I park far away from store entrances and take the stairs instead of the elevator. It’s good for me, and it allows me to spend less time at the gym.
Susie Reeves
St. Louis, Missouri

My family raises service dogs for an organization called Canine Companions for Independence. We train the dogs and then they’re given to people with disabilities. People always ask me how we can give up these dogs after bonding with them for 18 months. I tell them that the difference the dogs will make in others’ lives is well worth the heartache. These pups have shown me that the greatest gift in life is giving.
Tory Cheshire
Great Falls, Virginia

Never pass up an opportunity to have a little something to eat.
Lauren Spengler
Cambridge, Massachusetts

I never worried about my cursing until my African gray parrot, Mojo, let loose an expletive, which he had clearly learned from me, while a preacher was paying me a visit. I was horrified and embarrassed. I thought, If this bird is picking up my bad language, what must my young son be taking in when I speak? Thanks to Mojo, I’ve tried to be more careful with my words.
Lucette Lucas
Liberty Hill, Texas