Three Top Easter Hazards For Pets 2021

Easter – A fun holiday for kids yet can be hazardous to pets.

The top three hazards are:

  1. Chocolate – Easter is the top day for chocolate intoxication in pets beating out Christmas, Valentine’s Day and even Halloween. Possibly because Easter baskets are often left unattended and very tempting for pets. Also, Easter candy is often hidden both inside and outside as part of Easter egg hunts.
  2. Lilies – or true lilies often called Easter lilies are toxic to cats and can cause serious kidney injury. All parts of the plant can be life threatening.
  3. Plastic Easter Grass found in Easter baskets is appealing to pets but can cause a life-threatening obstruction that may require surgical removal.

National Poison Prevention Week ~ Sunday, March 21-27

National Poison Prevention Week is a great time to find out more about the potential poisons and toxins your pet might get into – let’s keep our pets safe!

In March the ASPCA®’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) releases its findings about the Top Ten Poisons for the previous year. The top spot again for the most common toxin ingested by pets is over-the-counter medications and supplementsPrescriptions for human medications are in the second spot

The other toxins on the Top Ten list for 2020 are:

3.   HUMAN FOODS – Approximately 13% of the calls involved food or ingredients such as xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic.
4.   Chocolate – still in #4 spot with almost 76 cases per day of chocolate exposure.
5.   Plants & bouquets – this group went from #8 in 2019 to #5 in just one year. One reason might be the increased interest in houseplants during the pandemic.
6.   Household Items – cleaning, beauty and home repair products.
7.   Rodenticides (Poisons for mice and rats)
8.   Veterinary Medications
9.   Insecticides
10. Lawn and Garden Products

It is important to poison-proof your home and educate yourself on items that are toxic to pets. Note also that there is an increase in calls in the spring and summer months because of increased outdoor activities and exposure to outside plants, herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned seek veterinary attention immediately. You can also call the ASPCA Poison Center at (888) 426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661. Both are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

COVID Update

The information about pets and COVID 19 has been fairly consistent. There is still no evidence that pets can spread the virus to people and that, yes, pets can get the coronavirus. Buddy’s story is a sad reminder of this fact.

RIP Buddy! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Buddy, a German shepherd, and the first to test positive in the United States for a SARS-CoV-2 infection crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on July 11 after a three month illness.

Buddy, almost seven years old started having trouble breathing in mid-April, several weeks after his owner got sick with COVID-19.
In an exclusive about Buddy, National Geographics states that while it later became clear the symptoms that directly preceded his death were likely a result of cancer, lymphoma, questions remain about whether the coronavirus played any role in the progression of his cancer—or whether his cancer made him more susceptible to the virus in the first place.

His story shows how little is actually known about animals and the coronavirus:

Protecting your pets from COVID 19 – Data suggests that most pets that test positive for the virus got it from their owners who tested positive. Some suggested precautions to avoid spreading the coronavirus to their pets are avoid face-to-face contact, wear a face covering around your pet, and avoid sharing food and sleeping in the same bed.

Dogs Can Detect COVID 19:
Dogs are being training to sniff out the coronavirus and so far have a 94% success rate. This research is exciting and has great potential and applications in helping fight the pandemic. Researchers are training the dogs to tell the difference between COVID-19 samples and other diseases such as the flu. Way to go Canines!

Covid-19 and Pets

It seems that every day brings new pieces of information from a wide variety of sources, some more reliable than others. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without having the picture of completed photo on the box. We’re all trying to sort through the pieces to see how the pieces fit together.  For pet lovers a very important piece of the COVID 19 puzzle is pets and animals.

The value of our relationship with pets and their importance to us has become even more apparent during this pandemic. As pet parents we are experiencing deeper connections with our pets; their joy and companionship have helped sustain and comfort us. Many people, however, are still questioning if they can catch COVID 19 from their pet. The good news about pets and COVID 19 is that there is still no evidence that companion animals (primarily dogs and cats) can spread the disease to people. The evidence suggests, however, that humans can pass the disease to some animals.

The recommendations from experts regarding pets are: wash your hands before and after handling a pet; do not kiss them or let them lick you. Practice physical distancing when walking your dog – always stay 6 feet away from other people and their pets.  Some studies suggest that viral droplets could survive on a pet’s fur for a couple of hours. So it is best to not let other people touch your pet or for you to touch other people’s pets.

You might remember Winston, the pug that was believed to be the first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in the United States. According to new findings from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory it seems unlikely that he was infected with the virus. They think that he picked up the virus from surfaces in his home that were contaminated by family members who tested positive for the virus.

If you’re wondering if you should get your pet tested for COVID 19 check out the information provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association:

Excellent Resources
Centers for Disease Control:

Johns Hopkins Medical:

United States Dept of Agriculture:


COVID-19 has completely disrupted our lives. Interestingly when we started planning this issue it wasn’t even in our thoughts or on the list as a possible article. Now it has become a topic of concern for all of us. As pet owners we have additional concerns about how the coronavirus affects our pets. How can we protect them? The following is a brief summary of COVID-19 as it pertains to pets. News about COVID-19 changes quickly and is updated daily. Often articles or emails start with the words “This is what we know at this time” as a reference point.

One major concern that people have is whether the coronavirus COVID-19 can be transmitted from pets to humans. The Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control state that there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus.

Another concern is about our pets… can they get COVID-19? Just this past week two cats in NYC tested positive for it. Their symptoms were mild. Studies suggest that some pets, particularly cats, hamsters and ferrets might develop mild symptoms if exposed to a person with COVID-19. However, since so much is unknown about this virus the recommendation is to take the same precautions to protect our pets as we do for ourselves.

For now, social distancing is recommended for pets also. The C.D.C recommends the following:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people. When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick. Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Stay Safe – Keep Your Pets Safe!

For more information ➠ ARTICLES:
For more information ➠ ORGANIZATIONS:
Centers for Disease Control –
American Veterinarian Medical Association –
World Health Organization WHO –
World Organization for Animal Health –
United States Dept of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service –

COVID-19 and Pets

Every day there is a great deal of important information reported about COVID 19 and it is difficult to keep up the reading. The following is a brief overview of a few items that we feel are important to know about taking care of our pets during this unprecedented time in our lives.

Many people are concerned about catching the coronavirus from their dog or cat. At this time there is no evidence that companion animals (primarily dogs and cats) can spread the coronavirus to people. This is great news! The physical distancing necessary to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, has made us even more aware of the vital role they play in our lives. They are family; they are an essential part of our social network. We need them to help us get through this pandemic.

There are a few recommendations from experts regarding pets. Wash your hands before and after handling a pet and do not kiss them or let them lick you. Practice physical distancing when walking your dog – always stay 6 feet away from other people and their pets.  Some research shows that viral droplets could survive on a pet’s fur for a couple of hours. So it is best to not let other people touch your pet or for you to touch other people’s pets.

For more information:

General Information:

Centers for Disease Control:

Johns Hopkins Medical:

Great Time to Foster; Great Reasons to Foster

The time is right; the needs at area shelters and rescues are great. The COVID 19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. The work of animal shelters and rescues has been greatly impacted also. They need fosters NOW. Before you may have been too busy with work, school, and other commitments to make a commitment to foster; NOW though is a great time to open up your home temporarily to a pet in need. Have your children pleaded and pestered for a pet but you felt that even their schedules were too busy for that type of commitment. Fostering a pet is an ideal way to enjoy the benefits of having a pet without a “furever home” commitment. 

In case you need a few more great reasons:

  • Fostering gives you the satisfaction of getting a pet ready for their furever home by sharing your home, time, and friendship.  It provides foster pets with opportunities for socializing and training that are not available in a kennel or shelter.  Foster pets get a chance at becoming cherished pets.
  • Fostering is a great opportunity for families to work on a project that is fun and teaches responsibility.  The addition of a pet brings joy to a home even temporarily.  There is a sense of accomplishment when your foster becomes part of a furever home.  Your family may decide to foster another pet.  Fostering can also help a family find out if it is ready for the responsibilities of having their own pet.
  • Fostering offers financial support.  The rescue or shelter usually is responsible for the financial needs of the foster pet such as any necessary medical treatments your foster pet requires during their stay with you.
  • Fostering a pet gives you a first-hand understanding of the personality traits of your foster.  The knowledge you gain about your foster pet will help the rescue or shelter find the best furever home for your foster.

Fostering is a major of time and effort.  Welcoming a foster pet into your home will require changes to your lifestyle.  AND saying Good Bye will be difficult.  Yet so many foster pet parents and families agree that the rewards of fostering outweigh the costs.

If you’re not able to foster at this please help the animals in our community by donating to a local animal shelter or rescue.

ACAA Regulation on the Transport of Service Animals

On January 22, 2020 The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transport of service animals.

The following chart courtesy of HABRI visually provides an excellent overview clarifying the differences between service animals, emotional support animals, therapy animals and pets.  Scroll past the chart for a brief overview of proposed amendments and additional resources.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing to ban all service animals except dogs aboard U.S. flights. Airlines would also no longer have to accommodate emotional support animals. Airlines could ban emotional-support animals including untrained dogs, cats and more exotic companions such as pigs, pheasants, rabbits and snakes.

In a statement on their website they state “the department recognizes the integral role that service animals play in the lives of many individuals with disabilities and wants to ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue using their service animals while also reducing the likelihood that passengers wishing to travel with their pets on aircraft will be able to falsely claim their pets are service animals.”

In limiting the options to dogs, the department states that its proposed definition aligns with the one used by the Department of Justice and the Americans With Disabilities Act*.

This is a very complicated and complex issue. We encourage you to read the regulations and respond to them with your comments.  The proposed amendments can be found at

Comments must be received by April 6, 2020.


Safe Thanksgiving Foods and Snacks to Share with Your Dog or Cat

The feasting holidays are wonderful times for family and friends to come together and enjoy great food and fellowship. Safely including our pets in the feasting can be challenging yet there are some human foods that can be shared with them. The following traditional holiday foods are safe and nutritional for pets.

APPLES – contain powerful antioxidants and vitamin C. Caution: never give them the core or seeds.

BLUEBERRIES – contain powerful antioxidants and are a good source of healthy fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and E.

CARROTS AND CELERY – both are low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Before preparing the stuffing set aside a few bite-size pieces for your pet to enjoy.

BROCCOLI – has anti-inflammatory properties, contains healthy fiber to aid digestion; is rich in beneficial nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein, and vitamin C.

PUMPKIN – is a great source of fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants. Caution:  use only fresh pumpkin or canned 100 % pumpkin – do not them pumpkin pie filling which contains sugar and various spices.

PUMPKIN SEEDS are also a healthy treat. Pepitas, or raw pumpkin seeds, are a rich source of minerals, vitamins K, E, B and zinc.

SWEET POTATOES are rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C.

It is important to introduce new foods slowly to your pet; start with one at a time in case your pet is allergic to it. Too many changes to a pet’s diet can cause digestive upset. Be careful about offering foods that contain sugar, salt, spices, butter and fat, or spices.

If you have concerns or questions or if your pet is exhibiting any symptoms of an allergic reaction or food poisoning please call your veterinarian or contact the following:  ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435


National Poison Prevention Week – Sunday, March 17 – 23

National Poison Prevention Week is a great time to find out more about the potential poisons and toxins your pet might get into – let’s keep our pets safe!

In early March the ASPCA®’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) releases its findings about the Top Ten Poisons for the previous year. The top spot again for the most common toxin ingested by pets is over-the-counter medications and supplements. Prescriptions for human medications are in the second spot. Over 35% of the calls received by the APCC are for either OTCs or prescriptions meds.

The other toxins on the Top Ten list for 2018 are:
3. HUMAN FOODS – Approximately 11% of the calls involved food or ingredients such as xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic.
4. Chocolate
5. Veterinary Medications
6. Household Items
7. Rodenticides (Poisons for mice and rats)
8.  Insecticides
9. PlantsBoth indoor and outdoor
10.  Lawn and Garden Products

It is important to poison-proof your home and educate yourself on items that are toxic to pets. As evidenced by the 2018 results all medications need to be kept out-of-reach for your pets. Also, there is an increase in calls in the spring and summer months due to increased outdoor activities and exposure to outside plants, herbicides, fertilizers, and pesticides.

For more information about the 2018 findings from the ASPCA (APCC) –

ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 

Pet Poison Helpline 855-764-7661


Heart Health

February – The Love Month

Valentine’s Day and Love Your Pet Day are two heart- themed days we celebrate in the month of February. It is the month of love with colorful decorative hearts on cards, candies and celebrated with candlelight dinners, marriage proposals, weddings and anniversaries.

February is also American Heart Month which promotes awareness of heart or cardiovascular disease and how to prevent it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Some of the leading causes of heart issues are excess weight, inactivity, diabetes, unhealthy eating, and stress. Healthy choices and lifestyle changes are key factors in preventing heart disease. Pets can also be affected by heart conditions? Regular checkups are important for both humans and pets to detect early warning signs of heart disease.

You can reduce your chances of developing heart problems by increasing your physical activity, adopting a healthy eating plan and managing stress. It is important, too, to smile, laugh and have fun – A happy heart is a healthy heart. There is a link between our emotions and our hearts. Taking time for fun including friends, hobbies and enjoyable activities help in achieving a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Help Your Heart – Hug Your Pet

Multiple studies suggest that having a pet offers numerous health benefits for people. Pets have a positive effect on stress levels, blood pressure and emotional well-being. Staying active is important for overall health fitness and heart health; walking your dog is a fun activity. Stroking or petting a pet increases serotonin and dopamine levels which help create a sense of calm and well being. The companionship and unconditional love of pets helps reduce depression, loneliness and anxiety which are harmful to our health.

Love Your Pet – Keep Them Healthy
A few important tips to helping your pet stay healthy are:

Taking your dog for daily walks is a great way to stay fit. Schedule regular playtimes with your pet. Make sure they enjoy an active lifestyle; walking, hiking and swimming are healthy activities.

Feed your pet a balanced, nutritious diet based on their breed, age, activity level and species. Help them maintain their ideal body weight; excess weight or obesity increases stress on the heart, other body organs and joints

Take your pet to the veterinarian for regular checkups and routine care annually or more often for older pets or those with an existing health condition. Regular veterinarian care is important to help prevent or diagnose health problems.

Keeping them healthy is one of the best ways to show our love!

February offers three great reminders to take care of our health, to express love to our family and friends and to shower our pets with extra love and attention.


Have A Safe Thanksgiving With Your Pets

Is it safe to share the bounty of the Thanksgiving feast with your pet?

There are many traditional Thanksgiving foods that are perfectly safe to share with your pet. It is important, however, to keep table treats simple and small.

KEEP IT SIMPLE – One of the hazards of sharing human food with our pets is that our food is usually too rich and highly seasoned and can create problems for them.

KEEP IT SMALL – Another hazard is giving them large amounts of table treats especially if a number of people are feeding these “snacks” to your pet. Another temptation is to give them too many unfamiliar foods at one time; even safe foods can cause stomach upsets or allergic reactions.

UNSAFE FOODSX Turkey skin/bones  X Fatty foods  X Gravy  X Stuffing  X Breads (anything made with yeast which can cause painful gas and bloating)  X Onions  X Garlic  X Raisins  X Grapes X Nuts  X Mushrooms X Chocolate  X Alcohol. There are other unsafe foods but these are popular ones included in many Thanksgiving feasts.

SAFE FOODSTurkey  Cooked vegetables such as green beans  Sweet potatoes  Cranberries  Yams  Pumpkin  Carrots Kale Broccoli  Fruits such as apples, blueberries. 

REMEMBER SIMPLE… no butter, spices, added sugar or other ingredients. Many baking ingredients include baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and other spices which are potentially toxic to pets.

There are a few other items that will help keep your pet safe this Thanksgiving:

SECURE THE TRASH! Many medical emergencies happen after the feast because pets have gotten into the trash. The trash can smells can be irresistible yet it contains many hazards such as unsafe food, foil, plastic wrap and more. Make sure your trash is placed in a secure container.

GUARD THE DOORS! Many pets have escaped while guests are arriving or leaving your home. Unfortunately some get lost. Note – the holiday season is a wonderful time to check to make sure your microchip information and other forms pet IDs are up-to-date.

CREATE A QUIET SAFE SPACE for your pet to escape if the noise or stress become too much for them.

Wishing you and your pets a safe & Happy Thanksgiving!

Fletcher Canyon – Favorite Fall Hike

There’s nothing like hiking in fall up at Mt. Charleston. The cool breezes and the fall colors remind us that fall is really here and winter is on its way. This 3.2-mile roundtrip hike begins off Nevada Highway 157 in Kyle Canyon, a ½ mile past the turnoff to Nevada Highway 158. The trailhead is on the north side of the road with parking on the south side alongside the road. While the length of the hike isn’t that long, there is a thousand-foot elevation gain as you hike back into the canyon.

The hike begins in the canyon forest amongst the trees at the Forest Service information board. As you hike along the trail, look for the high elevation cactus that makes this habitat their home. Further up the canyon, you will begin to notice a small stream flowing. Depending on the weather, the stream length will vary. Along the stream are wild roses, columbine and maidenhair ferns. Along the trail you may see old piping – before the use of wells in this area the water from Fletcher Canyon was piped to the Kyle Saw Mill.

Eventually, the trail crosses the stream and heads back into the canyon. From here the canyon walls begin to close in and become vertical creating the ‘Fletcher narrows.’ This area is prone to flash flooding so check weather reports before hiking and don’t hike if rain is predicted. As the trail narrows, conditions deteriorate, and rock scrambling is necessary at several points. At the end of the trail, a massive boulder formation blocks the canyon. There is often water running across these boulders creating a waterfall. From here, stop and have some lunch then head back the way you came.

Benefits of Playful Activities

What images come up when you think of playful pets?

Probably the picture is of cute cuddly kittens or puppies playing with their siblings, wrestling, chasing and just having Fun! Play is instinctive in young pets and is important in their development into adulthood. Yet, like us, pets never lose their ability and desire to play.

It can be challenging to find toys and games to keep their playful activities varied and interesting. Plus every pet is unique and likes different toys and games. Since the traditional season of gift giving is fast approaching we’d like to help Santa by giving him a list of favorite toys from our readers.

Send us an email at telling us what your pet’s favorite toy or game is. We’ll make a list with ideas for the pets on Santa’s “Nice” list and share them in our next issue.

Kidney Disease

What is kidney disease?
Any disease process, acute or chronic, that prevents the kidneys from functioning properly. Every wonder what the kidneys do? Well, the kidneys have multiple jobs, but their primary and most important role is to filter the blood and remove toxins.

What are the most common causes of kidney disease?
Before discussing, it is important to understand the difference between acute and chronic kidney disease. In acute cases, the onset is sudden and clinical signs are usually more severe, since blood toxins build up quickly. In chronic cases, the disease usually progresses slowly and clinical signs may go unnoticed for months.

Most common causes of acute kidney disease are ingestion of toxins such as certain foods or plants. For example, raisins and grapes can be extremely toxic to dogs. In cats, ingestion of lilies can cause kidney failure and even death. Other causes of acute kidney disease include infectious causes, such as leptospirosis, lyme disease and pyelonephritis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection usually spread by infected wildlife and concentrated in areas with rivers, lakes and/or streams. Leptospirosis is not common in Nevada. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, this is why tick prevention is important in areas where tick burdens are high. Pyelonephritis occurs secondary to a lower urinary tract infection, when bacteria ascend up into the kidneys, causing sudden and often severe illness.

Chronic kidney disease usually occurs over a long period of time. In many patients with chronic disease, the underlying cause may not be determined. Chronic kidney disease is more common in aging dogs and cats.

What are signs of kidney disease?
During the early stages of kidney disease, the signs are usually non specific, such as increased thirst and urination, and decreased appetite. In acute cases, or when the disease process progresses, you may notice vomiting, lethargy and weight loss.

How do you diagnose kidney disease?
Since chronic kidney disease may go unnoticed, it is important to include annual veterinarian care. IF your pet is over 7 years of age, it is recommended to have routine check-ups every 6 months. Your veterinarian may perform a physical exam, complete blood profile, and urinalysis. In addition, imaging, such as radiographs (x-rays) and ultrasound of the kidneys may be performed. However,
many tests may be normal in early stages of kidney disease.  A newer blood test, called SDMA is now routinely used to aid in earlier detection of kidney disease.

What are treatment options?
The mainstay in treating kidney disease, is good hydration and dietary modification. If an underlying cause is determined, other treatments may be used. Occasionally, your pet may need hospitalization for more intensive care.

If you think your pet is showing clinical signs of kidney disease, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Did you know? Ethylene glycol, a common ingredient in anti freeze, is severely toxic to dogs. In addition, giving your pets over-the-counter human drugs, such as aspirin, may cause kidney failure. Please make sure to keep these products out of reach of your furry friends.