Baltimore County Now
Dr. Barbara McLean, Chief of Prevention and Protection, Baltimore County Animal Services, Baltimore County Department of Health
The same foods, decorations and lighting that make the holidays come alive for people can turn deadly when it comes to your pet. Especially vulnerable to the season’s delights are dogs, cats and birds.
Foods that you enjoy this time of year aren’t necessarily appropriate for your pet. Avoid giving your pet scraps from the table—especially bones since they can splinter and cause serious health problems. Other tasty treats that your pet should not eat are onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate. Beware of individually wrapped candies since your pet doesn’t know that the wrapper isn’t for eating, and as a result, it might easily ingest both the candy and the wrapper.
If serving alcoholic beverages, make sure unattended drinks are out of your pet’s reach. Alcohol can cause animals to become weak, ill or even go into a deadly coma. If having a party, your best bet is to ensure that your animal is in a quiet room of his or her own complete with a bed, food, water, toys and wearing his or her identification information.
Other seasonal items that can cause problems for your pet are plants. Amaryllis, hibiscus, holly, lilies, mistletoe, poinsettias and certain types of ivy should be placed in a spot that your pet cannot access. Among other things, if ingested, these items can cause kidney failure, fatal heart problems and just plain old upset stomachs.
Christmas trees should be anchored securely as climbing cats and dogs with tails can easily knock them over. Hang breakable, glass ornaments, lights and tinsel high on the tree to prevent your pet from ingesting tinsel, which can block the intestines and from getting tangled in a string of lights. Also, avoid using edible tree decorations such as cranberry or popcorn strings since your pet will be tempted to sniff and taste these items.
Be sure to keep your pet safe from the dangers lurking beneath and around your Christmas tree as well. Fallen pine needles should be cleaned up frequently since they can be toxic when eaten by your pet, and always ensure that your tree’s water supply is covered.
And finally, just as you would do for a toddler- kitten or puppy proof your home. Cover electrical outlets and cords. Or, consider using pet proof extension cords or animal anti-chew sprays of which there are several varieties. Prevent accidental electrocutions by taping exposed outdoor or indoor wires to the sides of the house or the wall.
I hope that these helpful tips will keep you and your furry/feathered friends safe and happy this holiday season.
Assistant Chief of Animal Services
Baltimore County Department of Health
Spring is here and so are the Baltimore County Department of Health’s rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats and ferrets. The community-based, outdoor clinics are scheduled through June 14.
Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system. People usually get rabies from the bite, scratch or lick of an infected animal. The rabies virus is uncontrolled in the wild; however, the easiest way to protect your pet and your family is to keep your pet’s rabies vaccination up to date.
Baltimore County has made it even easier for you to protect your pet by offering nine low-cost rabies vaccination clinics across the County. The vaccine cost is only $8 per animal. When attending a clinic with your pet, please note the following:
· Bring exact change, if possible, as cash and checks will be the only forms of payment accepted.
· Clinics are held rain or shine; however, the Baltimore County Department of Health reserves the right to cancel or limit the time frame of a clinic in the event of severe weather.
· Only dogs, cats, and ferrets will be vaccinated at these clinics.
· Animals must be at least 12-weeks old.
· Uncontrollable animals will not be vaccinated. Dogs and cats must be on a leash or in a properly sized, escape-proof carrier; muzzles are required for aggressive dogs.
· If available, bring your animal’s last rabies vaccination certificate (copy or original) to the clinic.
All vaccinations will be administered by licensed veterinarians who will be assisted by experienced caring technicians. Take advantage of this great, opportunity to protect your pet and family from a deadly, but very preventable disease. We look forward to serving you and your pet!
Rabies clinics are held weekly at the Animal Shelter. Call 410-887-PAWS (7297) to schedule an appointment. The cost for rabies vaccinations is $8.
Also, we have a very special deal for Memorial Day weekend - half-off animal adoptions May 21 to 25! Give a new cat or dog a home for just $25 and $32.50 respectively during this limited time.