Give Your Dog Something to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

Dog in front dish on table and looking piece chicken

‘Tis the season for giving! As you gather round your Thanksgiving Day feast, don’t forget about you very best friend! If you’re like many people in the US, you consider your dog to be part of the family. We ask that when you slip table scraps under the table to your pup, you remember that not everything at your Thanksgiving meal is good for his tummy. If you’re unsure about what ingredients you should look out for, we’ve included resources to learn more.

So how do you treat your pup to the Thanksgiving meal of his dreams without worrying about tummy troubles? The best, and easiest way to ensure a trouble-free Thanksgiving is to cook a separate meal for your dog. We may love seasonings, but many of our favorite seasonings are toxic dogs. For this reason, you’ll want to keep it plain.

Turkey, sweet potatoes, and green beans are fabulous choices for your pet’s holiday meal. What you’ll want to avoid is adding butter, garlic, onions, and excess fat. Steer clear of any sweet recipe. While the excess sugar may turn your pup’s tummy, popular alternative sweeteners like xylitol are also very toxic.

Though we spend the day indulging in large amounts of food, too much food can have possibly fatal results for a pet. If you decide to create a mini-Thanksgiving plate for your dog, be mindful of the portions and be sure to discourage your guests from slipping table scraps during dinner.

Make sure every member of the family has a Thanksgiving to remember with Thanksgiving treats that keep your pup healthy and happy! If you believe that your dog may have ingested a bone or something toxic, please reach out to your vet or emergency vet as soon as possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Ashburn Veterinary Hospital

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Tricks and Treats You Dog Should Avoid this Halloween

‘Tis the season for tricks and treats! To keep this day of costumed guests, parties, and sweet treats festive and fun take a few precautions to keep your pup safe. Whether your dog is skittish, curious, or eats everything in sight, there are plenty of ways for him to get himself into trouble. Just use your senses!

Halloween puppy dog safety tips

Sight
With so many trick-or-treaters passing by, it’s the perfect opportunity for your pup to make his great escape! Before the throng of costumes parade by, make sure your dog has its collar and identification tags on, just in case he makes it past the door. If you have a dog that loves to spend time outside in the crisp, cool weather be sure to keep a close watch or keep them indoors for the night. Some use Halloween as an excuse for mischief and, unfortunately, your dog might find himself involved in the shenanigans.

Sound
Even the most well-tempered dog might get nervous with the sounds of strangers at the door and the constant doorbell ringing. Keep your pup calm and let him know he’s safe throughout the night. For anxiety prone dogs, it may be best to keep someone by his side with dog approved treats.

Taste
Though chocolate is the biggest offender, it’s a good idea to keep your candy stash tucked away from your dog. Don’t forget about the wrappers! Ambitious dogs may try to snatch up the remnants of your sweet treats by inhaling the wrappers, but these candy wrappers may cause a blockage that’s potentially dangerous for your dog.

Touch
Who doesn’t love decorations? Curious canines sure do! Shining lights, electrical cords, tassels, and ribbons. With so much to discover, it could be easy for your dog to get caught up playing with all of the new “toys’. If your dog ingests these stringy decorations, it could possibly cause serious complications.

Halloween should be a time of lighthearted tricks and oh-so-sweet treats but with so much fun to be had, there’s a lot of room for your dog to get himself in trouble. You can keep your pup safe and sound with these tips so Halloween stays fun for all.

By With a Little Help from Friends: Donating to a Shelter

mixed rotweiler puppy

As animal lovers, many of us would love to take home the entire shelter if only we were able. Unfortunately, that’s just not realistic for most people. There are, however, things you can do to make sure the doe eyed pups of all ages are comfortable and happy during their time in the shelter. Shelters and humane societies often rely on the donation of money, goods, and time to provide for the animals. Many shelters have specific rules or preferences about what can be accepted as a donation so it’s always best to call ahead or check the shelter’s website to take a look at their wish list. Thanks to technology, some shelters even allow you donate directly online through an Amazon Wish List that they’ve set up with their most needed items.

FOOD

You may think that food is first on an animal shelter’s wish list and that is, indeed, the case most of the time. However, many shelters ask for a specific type or brand of food. For example, Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) in Fairfax Station, prefers to receive Kirkland Costco brand food and the SPCA of Northern Virginia requests Avo brand food for dogs. While it may seem strange that shelters that are in need may request specific foods, it’s important to keep in mind that sudden, and potentially, drastic changes in food can cause dietary distress for dogs. It’s also important to note that shelters cannot accept open or expired foods. There are still many shelters that are happy to take any brand of unopened dog food, soft treats, and even canned chicken. Your best bet is to check with the shelter ahead of time.

CREATURE COMFORTS

Though shelter staff goes above and beyond to make sure every animal is comfortable and happy, the reality is that abandoned and surrendered pets may get a little blue. Just because you can’t cuddle all of the puppies doesn’t mean that you can’t make them feel cozy and loved. Many shelters accept beds, blankets, towels, squeaky toys, indestructible toys such as Kongs, and crates. Some shelters, such as Loudoun County Animal Shelter, even accept puzzles for dogs! Of course, not all shelters accept the same creature comforts so please check their list before you drop off your goodies. A touch of home can make all the difference in a dog’s day.

MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES

When you’re considering what to donate to your shelter, you may not think of donating the supplies it takes to support day-to-day operations. Many shelters welcome items like office supplies, paper towels, disinfectant and cleaners, food scales, batteries, food and water bowls, nylon slip leads, and flea and tick preventative. Some shelters may even be in need of a car donation or gift cards for gas. These donations can go a long way to help the staff cut down on little costs that add up quickly.

Shelters rely on your love, donation, and volunteering to keep things running smoothly. When donating food to a shelter, it’s important to remember that they cannot accept any open or expired foods and that any goods donated should be clean and in good condition. No money to spare? No problem! As with most things, time is the most precious commodity and shelters are always looking for enthusiastic animal lovers to help care for pups. Check with your local animal shelter or humane society to see where their most pressing donation needs lie.

 

SOURCES

http://www.hart90.org/HowToHelp/WishList.aspx

http://www.spcanova.org/help/suppliesdonate.php

http://hsfc.org/support/donations/

 

New Rules and Regulations for Prescriptions

old labrador retriever in front of white background

 

Virginia has updated their regulations in regards to controlled medication and opioid prescriptions.  If your pet is taking one of the following medications: Tramadol, Lomotil or Buprenex, please note the following changes in procedure.

  • Patients who are prescribed a controlled drug will require an exam every 6 months.
  • For acute pain (post-surgical or trauma) prescription cannot exceed 7 days.  Additional medication can be prescribed but only after a follow-up examination.
  • For chronic conditions opioids may be prescribed beyond 14 days (excluding Buprenex) but cannot exceed a 30 day supply and the patient must be re-examined every 6 months.  Buprenex can only be prescribed for up to 7 days without a follow-up examination.
  • Proper disposal of controlled drugs:  Improper disposal of prescribed opioids and other medications is harmful to humans and animals. To learn more about safe disposal of medications, visit http://www.VaAware.com.
  • We recommend controlled drugs be stored securely in a locked cabinet or container to help avoid accidental exposure or unauthorized use.

Are you noticing pain in your senior pup for the first time? Schedule an appointment with us today to discuss ways to help your dog age gracefully and comfortably. Did you know that the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends vet visits every 6 months for your senior pet? Some medications that help your dog with pain and joint issues occasionally need to be adjusted and recheck appointments are important to ensure your dog is still benefiting from treatment.

We thank you for your understanding as we uphold these new Virginia laws. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

The Team at Ashburn Vet

Celebrate AAHA Day 2017!

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In honor of AAHA Accredited Hospital Day on July 22nd we will be giving away complimentary gift bags for patients with an appointment during the week of July 17th through the 22nd!

Ashburn Veterinary Hospital is an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited member and has been since 1999. In order to be an accredited hospital, we are evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence and are recognized among the finest in the industry. Only 12-15% of animal hospitals in the U.S. are accredited. We pride ourselves on consistently remaining at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine and will continue to provide only the best for our clients and patients.

If you’ve been putting off your pet’s flea & tick medication this summer or need to pick up a prescription during the week of the 17th you will receive a FREE bag of Lean Treats and an AAHA pen!

Pets are our passion and keeping them healthy is our #1 priority!
Join us in celebrating American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Day!

Sincerely,
The Team at Ashburn Veterinary Hospital

How Much is Enough? Keeping Your Dog Hydrated in the Summer

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Just like us, dogs are made of up to 80% water. When the temperature soars during the long summer days, it’s especially important to make sure you keep your furry friend hydrated. Water is one of the most important aspects of a dog’s diet but is often taken for granted. In fact, the ASPCA suggests that a good general rule is one ounce of water for every pound of your dog’s weight per day. Adjustments may be made for hotter days and high activity pups. If you have any question about how much water your dog should be getting, please don’t hesitate to ask your vet.

To ensure that your dog is drinking enough water, the easiest thing you can do is to make sure that he always has plenty of cool, clean water available. That’s not limited to the home. There’s nothing like having your main dog taking on the world with you while you’re traveling. If you take your fluffy friend with you on errands or to “yappy hour”, bring a collapsible bowl and water with you to keep him hydrated on the go.

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There are a few reasons your dog may not be drinking his water. Some dogs are more finicky than others and won’t drink water that is dirty or has been sitting too long. Make sure his water bowl is clean and the water is clear of debris. It’s also good to choose an appropriately sized bowl for your dog. If the bowl is too deep, he may not be able to reach the water if it gets too low. If the bowl seems to be in good shape, check your dog’s mouth. There may be a sore or foreign object causing him pain or discomfort.

At your next vet appointment, ask to learn more about the signs of dehydration. Some breeds are more susceptible to dehydration, especially during hot weather. Knowing the signs of dehydration and what to do about it can help you act quickly in a situation where seconds count. Armed with the right tools and knowledge you and your pup can enjoy a happy, healthy summer in the sun.

 
Sources:
http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/1175-keeping-dogs-hydrated-aaha
http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dog-dehydration-water-needs#1
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/hot-weather-safety-tips