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Bringing Home, a New Puppy or Kitten?

Here are some suggestions:

First, take a look at your space from their perspective. You got it, get down on your hands and knees and take a look. Are there small items under the couch or on the ground they can accidentally swallow? Hair ties? Coins? Plastic bags? As your new fur babies grow, keep an eye on tables or counters that they are now able to reach.

CORDS! Not just electrical cords either. It’s true they are quite dangerous as your pet can be harmed if they chew them. Don’t forget the other types of cords/ties lurking in your house. Curtain tie backs, men’s ties, cords from blinds, or that fancy strap you use to stretch your hamstrings in yoga. All of these pose a risk of being chewed, swallowed and becoming trapped in your pet’s stomach.

Keep those cabinet doors closed. It’s a great idea to invest in childproof locks for cabinet doors to ensure your pets can’t get into them. Puppies love to chew, and all those things tucked into cupboard are great targets to chew and play with. Of course, a lot of those items could be quite dangerous for a pet! Items like cleaning supplies, mouse poison, medications, compost, etc. Remember, cats love to find warm places to hide – cupboards, dryers, those boxes in the back of your closet, and dresser drawers to name a few.

Many house plants are toxic to animals. Puppies and kittens often explore their surroundings by chewing so it’s very important to check to see if any of your house plants are poisonous (same goes for any plants you may have in your garden if you plan on having your pet outdoors with you). Also, some plants are toxic just by rubbing against them or inhaling their pollen, which means certain plants don’t belong in the home with pets (such as Easter lilies).

Most importantly, when bringing home a new pet, be prepared. Be sure to have everything you need before bringing them home; food and water bowls, food, bed, treats, baby gates, and toys. If you are getting a kitten, you will also need a litter box and scratching post if you are getting a puppy to be sure to get a leash and collar (with proper tags) and maybe a crate.

Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

Written by: Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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