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Top Halloween Hazards for Pets

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Halloween is a festive time for children, and a chaotic one for adults: there are the decorations, the candy, pumpkin carving, and crowds of trick-or-treaters waiting to be lavished with treats. With all this mayhem, it can also be a frightening and stressful time for your pets.

As a caring pet owner there are some precautions you can take to keep your pets safe as you enjoy this spooky time of year.

Top Halloween hazards for pets:

#1- Anxiety and Stress: Some pets enjoy the excitement of crowds and are eager to join in the fun. But many dogs — and certainly most cats — become frightened or even uncharacteristically aggressive in crowds. Continual doorbell ringing and people at the door (in costume, no less!) can be very stressful. Some pets may experience stress-related diarrhea, vomiting and can potentially injure themselves due to the anxiety. Keep your pets in a quiet and safe place on Halloween night away from trick-or-treaters. You should also make sure that your pet is always wearing some kind of identification, just in case. A rabies tag, or a tag with your contact information and even micro-chipping your pet is an ideal way to ensure that in case your pet runs out as you hand out treats, they can be traced back to you if someone finds them.

#2- Decorations: Halloween decorations have evolved from basic carved pumpkins to elaborate and lavish outdoor displays. Sometimes, the materials used can be dangerously attractive for pets. Small, low-hanging decorations on trees and shrubbery can tempt some pets to take a nibble, resulting in intestinal blockages. Candles and Jack-o’-lanterns within a pet’s range are also a fire hazard. Make sure lighted candles are out of “tail range”. A swiping dog tail could easily knock a candle over. A cat sashaying by a lighted candle might get its tail burnt. Also, keep any decorations with electrical cords safely protected from curious pets.

#3- Pet costumes: Don’t leave your pet unsupervised while dressed up. Some pets, if left alone in costume, may chew it up and ingest it. This could also cause an intestinal obstruction if more than small shreds of material are consumed. Another hazard in pet costumes is tight elastics. These can get lost in the pet’s hair, potentially causing swelling and pain in the area of the elastic and sometimes can become imbedded in the pet’s skin if not removed in time. Another potential danger with pet costumes is that if the pet happens to become frightened and run away, they can become entangled on trees, fences, etc. If your pet normally is not used to being in costume, is usually nervous around crowds and is not exactly a social butterfly, resist the urge to dress them up.

 #4- Chocolate: With chocolate bars and other chocolate-based treats in abundance, it’s easy to forget that Chocolate is toxic to pets. It contains a compound called theobromine.  Granted, a 50 pound dog would have to eat about 50 ounces of milk chocolate (but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate) for a toxic dose, but much smaller amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, call your veterinarian. Other candies, such as lollipops and those with plastic components, pose a danger if ingested. In addition to chocolate, there are other trick-or-treat goodies that include nuts, raisins, chewing gum, mints, and anything containing xylitol, a commonly used artificial sweetener. Xylitol, often found in baked goods and candies, has been associated with liver failure and death in dogs. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can also cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines, which is a life-threatening emergency. If you keep a ‘goodies basket’ by the front door for trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet doesn’t run off with any ‘samples’ for itself.

We hope you have a fun and safe Halloween this year. Trick-or-treat!

Animalia Pet Expo

Friday, August 26th, 2011

This weekend August 27th & 28th at the Miami Beach Convention Center- Animalia Pet Expo!
Cost: Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $6 for children between 6-14, children under 6 has free entry.
Benefiting: The Humane Society of Greater Miami & Adopt-A-Pet

‘Unleash Your Love For Pets at Animalia’ It’s a two-day fun indoor public event benefiting the Humane Society of Greater Miami, Adopt-A-Pet. The event has been created for “pets & people of South Florida” and will feature over 100 booths, educational and interactive seminars, demonstrations, pet talent contests, a pet couture fashion event, pet art, giveaways, adopt-a-pet, advocacy groups, vaccines & vets, hobbyist, kennels & clubs, ID & location systems, publications, food & natural products, apparel & accessories, health products & services, pet-rescue, silent auctions, agility areas, and much more. For more information, please call 305-673-7311

Hope to see you there!

Summer Precautions for your Pets

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Although we are approaching the end of summer, it sure feels like we’re just beginning! We urge everyone to keep in mind that next time you leave for work, go shopping or spend a day in the beach – make sure your pets stay in a cool, shaded, well ventilated area with plenty of fresh water.

These simple preventative measures will keep your pets safe and keep your money in your pocket by avoiding an urgent trip to the animal emergency clinic.

In the last couple of months, we have seen an increase in cases of pets that have suffered the most common heat related problem, heat stroke. Heat stroke, also known as heat stress or hyperpyrexia is a real emergency for pets.  Since dogs don’t sweat like we do, they are unable to dissipate the excess heat and heat stroke may quickly set in.  Some particular short faced breeds such as Pugs or Bulldogs are at higher risk. Even on moderately warm days, an excited dog might show a body temperature increase of 2-5 degrees Fahrenheit. On a 70 degree day for example, temperatures inside a car can soar to over 150 degrees in less than one hour! In addition, every year thousands of pets succumb to heat stroke because they are left inside cars while owners ran “just a few” errands.

Never, never leave your pet inside your vehicle regardless of the reason.

It is possible however to enjoy the summer with your pets and family by simply taking a few precautions.

1. Always be aware of the weather forecast. Knowing the high temperature can help guide your plans for the day.

2. Don’t leave your pet unattended outside or plan heavy exercise on hot, humid days. If your pet is left outdoors, he or she must have access to adequate shade and plenty of fresh water.

3. If you enjoy walking your dog (or cat), opt for the early morning hours or late everning. The cement can be scolding hor and burn their paws. Avoid shaving your dogs coat as it could expose a lightly pigmented dog to potential sunburn. Consult with the Veterinarian for the best grooming options for your pet.

4. When it comes time to run errands, leave your pet at home. Remember, even a few minutes in a hot car is enough to increase your pet’s body temperature dramatically.

If you happen to find your pet disoriented, panting excessively or collapsed in the yard, move him immediately to a cooler environment. Use cool wet towels over his back, armpits and groin to help bring his temperature down. Fans are also helpful and DO NOT USE ICE!

Then, get him to the Veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic so that they can assess his status and begin life saving treatments. 

If you are planning to take your pets to any outdoor celebrations or cook-outs, check the forecast, find out first if pets are welcome or if fireworks are planned. It might be easier to simply leave the dogs at home rather than risk a run-away or injury.

We hope this information is helpful in keeping your pets safe from the heat this summer. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pets. We’re always here to help!

Town & Country Animal Hospital Video

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Town & Country Animal Hospital Video

For those of you who are new to our site and haven’t met us yet, click on the link above and see this video to get an insight of our American Animal Hospital Association accredited hospital and the staff that looks forward to caring for your pet.

We will be featuring some great promotions and coupons in the coming months so be sure to check out our Specials Offers and Discounts Page regularly to take advantage of some great money saving offers for your furry companions.

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

As an AAHA-accredited hospital, we are a proud sponsor of the 2011 Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII.

Watch this year’s Puppy Bowl on Sunday February 6th at 3pm e/p and learn more about our accreditation and what it means to your pets!

The show also contains information on how viewers can adopt the puppy players featured in the game. These puppies are all rescued by shelters nationwide. For additional shelter information about the players visit 

Enjoy the show!

HELP-A-PET – Find out how you can help!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

This is a nonprofit organization with a single purpose: to provide financial assistance nationwide for the medical care of pets whose owners are unable to afford the expense.

If you wish to donate to help an animal in need or request financial assistance for one of your pets visit their website at

One of our patients received financial assistance from this organization and we wanted to share it  because we are glad to know that even in this economy there is help for our furry friends. We hope you can help with a donation.

Welcome to the Official Blog of Town & Country Animal Hospital!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Dr. Wenke and the staff of Town & Country Animal Hospital are pleased to announce their hospital blog. This fun and fact-filled blog is updated regularly and includes up-to-date information about your pet’s health care. Also included in the blog are fun, pet-related news stories that we want to share with you and photos and information about our hospital and staff members.

We invite you to check our blog often.

Thank you for visiting.

– Dr. Eric Wenke and the Town & Country Animal Hospital team

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