Fur Friday 5 Ways to Avoid a Trip to the Animal Emergency Hospital this Summer

We have a guest post today from Dr. Greg Kilburn is Head of Neurology for Toronto Animal Health Partners.

Summer vacation is an annual ritual enjoyed by millions of Canadians each year. For those with pets, it’s also a time to plan carefully so every member of the family can maximize their fun time.

Here are five precautions to take to avoid a trip to the animal emergency clinic this summer:

1. Know before you Go. If you’re planning a vacation in cottage country, research where the local animal emergency clinics are in advance.  Nothing is worse in an emergency than scrambling to find an after-hours clinic.  

2. Avoid stagnant bodies of water.  Many dogs love to frolic in the water and most of the time there’s little to worry about other than a stinky fur coat.  However, there are some concerning waterborne diseases pet owner need to be aware of including Leptospirosis — a common waterborne disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira. Many strains of Leptospira are found worldwide, but it’s usually found in warm areas with high rainfall. The bacteria can infect both humans and dogs, though is more common in dogs. While the disease can be life threatening if untreated, many dogs respond well to early treatment with supportive care and antibiotics.

3. Hydration Station. All mammals require water to keep their bodies functioning. At home most pet owners establish a routine for checking and filling their pet’s water bowl.  On vacation routines can get disrupted and pets may go without water for extended periods. Avoid the danger of dehydration by placing multiple water bowls around your vacation property.  Set reminders to check on water supplies particularly on hot days.

4. Don’t leave them alone in the car. Even with the windows down a crack, cars can heat up as quickly as 10 minutes in the hot sun. Don’t take the risk. If you’re planning a pit stop, take your pet with you.

5. Keep the wilderness out of their mouths. While exploring and hiking with your dog can be tremendously rewarding, it’s important to be aware of some of the more common hazards that when ingested could result in a quick trip to the veterinarian.  These include wild mushrooms, flowers and plants including daffodils and tulips. The list also includes toads that are more common in warm weather and can be found after a rain or at dawn or dusk. Toads release venom on their glans and can be poisonous for pets that bite, lick or put them in their mouths.

For more information visit: https://animalhealthpartners.com

Purina Hall Of Fame 2019

We were ecstatic when we were entrusted with the care of these life-saving dogs again! This year the inductees came from Sault Ste Marie, Calgary, and Niagara-On-The-Lake. The event took place at Evergreen Brickworks and had a red carpet to give the dogs and their families the full 5-star treatment to receive their medals.


Tucker saved his entire family from a massive house fire by alerting them before the fire alarms even went off.


Rosco was able to help a family memeber reach the phone to call 911 and get to the door to allow paramedics to help him.


Shelby stepped in to save her mom from a bear attack and suffered several injuries in doing so. She is a sweetheart and such a brave girl!

You can view their videos and full stories here

Shelby’s Story
Tucker’s Story
Rosco’s Story

Woof Woof Wednesday Pet-Proof Cleaning: Tips for Pet Owners on Maintaining a Beautiful Home

A lot of things can take a physical toll on your home over time and affect its appearance. While weather, foot traffic, and children all leave their mark, pets also announce their presence in ways that can be difficult to keep up with and which detract from the visual appeal of the house you work so hard to maintain. Whether you have an enormous dog, a long-haired cat, or a pot-bellied pig, you know how much damage a furry friend is capable of doing. Fur-bearing pets are hosts for countless microbes and bacteria, which accumulate and affect your air quality and threaten your family’s health. Not to mention, there’s the physical damage pets do to furniture, wood, and carpeting.

Considering the time it takes to keep up with everything, it’s well worth your while to make cleaning as easy as possible. Here are some tips to get started.

Pet-Proof Your Whole Home

Most people think of pet-proofing as only a way to keep their pets out of danger. That’s an important reason to check this off your chore list, but actually, doing so will actually help you keep your home clean. For instance, if you have a pooch, invest in a kitchen trash can with a latching lid so your dog doesn’t drag food scraps and garbage all over the house, and keep dirty laundry secure so he’s not tempted to “claim” it the way dogs tend to do. For cats, in addition to protecting your furniture (take a look at the section below), avoid leaving containers of liquid in an area they can reach — cats are notorious for knocking over full glasses, vases, and even fish bowls, so restricting Fluffy’s access to these types of items will save you from mopping up a mess.

Pet-Friendly Fabrics

Keeping pets away from the furniture is a full-time job. Cats want to sharpen their claws on it, and dogs want to settle in and nap on it, and they’re both apt to vomit or urinate on it from time to time. That’s why it’s such a good idea to cover furniture in something that’s easy to clean and won’t show the long-term effects (or odors) of pet ownership. If you’re going to give in and offer Fido free access to the couch or easy chair, consider getting one covered in leather or microfiber, which are easier to clean than velvet, silk, and upholstery. Whatever you choose, get used to cleaning up hair, which is a fact of life with most dog or cat breeds. 

Image From Pixabay

The Right Vacuum

As long as you’re going to have piles of fur to clean, you may as well have the right tool for the job. That means getting a vacuum cleaner that’ll stand up to the wear and tear, and keep everything spic and span. A quality vacuum that can tackle pet hair on floors and furniture will make your life a lot easier and keep pet hair under control, an important factor if someone in the family has asthma or some other breathing disorder. However, since not all vacuums were made with your furry friends in mind, check out reviews before making a selection.

Also, make liberal use of your attachments, and dig down between the cushions and around the frame to prevent hair and all the microscopic creatures that come along with it from piling up. If carpeting becomes more trouble than it’s worth, it might be time to look into tile or hardwood flooring to avoid all that vacuuming and shampooing. Or, you could simply get a short-haired pet that doesn’t shed as much, especially if you have a child with a serious respiratory problem.

Don’t Let It Sit

It’s tempting to let a urine stain or vomit wait a while until you’re ready to attack it, especially at the end of a very long work day. Avoid the temptation. You could end up letting a stain set in and create a more challenging cleaning job than you bargained for. A good rule of thumb is if you see it, clean it. Pick up any solids with paper towels or a cloth, then use a washcloth and plenty of water to wipe up the residue. Follow that with an enzymatic cleaner to consume anything that was left behind and completely remove the smell. 

Entrance Routine

Dogs and outdoor cats bring a lot of things into your home that don’t belong there. It may seem impossible to prevent, but there are steps you can take to mitigate their presence. Make sure your pet is wiped down with hypoallergenic grooming wipes when he comes in, and make sure those dirty paws are cleaned with a microfiber doormat, which absorbs, dirt, mud, and water. It’s probably not the way your pet wants to re-enter his domain, so make it worth his while by providing a treat each time. Regular baths will also help keep the bacteria and foreign objects under control. 

Cleaning up after pets is a matter of regular, timely maintenance. Deal with messes as they occur, and be prepared to vacuum frequently if you have a long-haired pet — unless you’re prepared to adapt your furniture and flooring to the impact a dog or cat can have on your living environment.