Memorial Day Weekend Awaits! But is Your Pet Safe?

pet safeMemorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and for those champions of the backyard BBQ, nothing can be as exciting as firing up the grill. From ribs and steaks to chilling on the deck with a cold beverage, cookouts are indeed America’s holiday pastime.

However, for those of us with pets, Memorial Day weekend can also smell like trouble. The grill may not seem like a matter of concern, but many burned paws and food toxin emergencies have resulted from the unsupervised curiosity of our furry friends. To keep your pet safe this summer, take a moment to learn about some precautions you can take to ensure a great time for all.

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Animal Planet: Wildlife Safety 101

Abyssinian cat hunting in parkRaccoons, coyotes, snakes, deer, skunks, rabbits, foxes, and bears are only a few of the hundreds of species of wildlife that have adapted to life near humans. As Montana residents, many of us encounter some or all of these beautiful creatures on a regular basis, whether during a wilderness excursion or right in our own backyards.

It may not be possible to live in perfect harmony with our surrounding ecosystem, but by understanding the principles of wildlife safety we can help to protect our human families, our pets, and of course the creatures themselves. Continue…

Hooray: It’s National Kids and Pets Day!

boy and catIs there anything sweeter than the special relationship between a child and a pet? Kids and pets go together like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, cheese and crackers, and…well, you get the picture! So perfectly complementary and utterly irresistible is this adorable combo it’s easy to presume that everything is – and always will be – naturally easy going and mutually beneficial.

In honor of National Kids and Pets Day, your friends at Billings Animal Family Hospital want to make sure that relationships between the species are safely supported. That way, you and your whole family can have the most possible fun! Continue…

Holly and Folly: Pet Holiday Safety

iStock_000077561627_LargeMany people embrace the chaos of the holidays while others settle into a seasonal funk that lasts well after New Year’s. Our pets are no different, and their reactions are largely dependent on how prepared we are to address changes or disruptions in their routines.

Whether you’re hosting, visiting loved ones, or attending holiday parties, it’s important to consider your pet during this busy time of year. To keep the festivities jolly for everyone, we encourage you to take a moment to brush up on our pet holiday safety tips. Continue…

Scrapping Table Scraps: A Guide to Avoiding Pet Pancreatitis

Billings_iStock_000076272325_Large.jpgAfter indulging in a chocolate cronut or an extra helping of mashed potatoes, most of us can just reach for some green papaya capsules or an antacid if we’re feeling uncomfortable. Luckily, many people can embrace a rich, delicious treat now and then without major repercussions. But can the same be said for your four-legged friend?

Sadly, no pet’s dinner menu should include cronut-inspired dishes. While those pleading eyes are hard to resist, he or she could develop pet pancreatitis from even one bite of something rich and fatty. Continue…

Foxtail Grasses and How They Harm Your Pet

FoxtailsFoxtails…the word makes you think of a lovely meadow with the sun shining through those golden-tipped grasses. And, while foxtails can seem beautiful from afar, but can actually cause severe infections and abscesses in pets – mostly generally, dogs. That is why it is important to know how to keep your pet away from foxtail grasses and similar species of this problematic plant group.

Identifying Foxtails

Foxtails belong to a family of grasses that contain awns, or barbs, that are designed to burrow into the ground, along with the seed, to encourage propagation. Awns are the dried arrow-shaped stickers that the grasses shed, and are the harmful portion of the foxtail. Continue…

Fourth of July Pet Safety: Celebrate Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of…Low-Stress!

Patriotic PuppyA recent study revealed that Montana is one of the most patriotic states in the nation, and we’d have to agree! Year round, we appreciate our freedom – and honor those that defend it – but the Fourth of July really takes the cake (or, apple pie a la mode!).

Independence Day is one that is spent with family, friends, and, of course, our special four-legged friend. However, the celebratory mood can evaporate quickly in the case of a pet emergency. Continue…

Ahead of the Curve: Summer Pet Safety Tips

Billings_iStock_000013380754_LargeMontana remains a truly wild place – that’s why we love it here. Your pet (being a little wild, as well) likely loves nature, too, and the adventures waiting in the great backyard or beyond the fenceline. However, it’s always good to temper all that excitement with some caution. As we approach the long, lazy days of summer, we recommend the following summer pet safety tips to help you prepare – and protect your pet.

Abundant Sunshine

Pets adapt fairly well to seasonal changes, making it easy to forget all the potential risks associated with longer days and hotter temps. Always remember that your pet needs: Continue…

Traveling With Dogs: A Smooth Ride

Jack Russell Terrier Dog Enjoying a Car Ride.Spring is on the horizon! It may not feel like it outside yet, but the calendar promises that greener days are on their way. Think spring cleaning! Open windows! Picking up the yard after the snow melts! (oh wait…) Think of hitting the open road with your tongue flapping in the wind! Well, maybe not you, but someone in your family…

For many of us, warmer weather leads to thoughts of road trips and camping, pouring over maps, and (for our four-legged friends) finding new trees to pee on! While it’s purr-fectly acceptable to find a good kennel or dog sitter and head off into the wild blue, the thought of family vacation without your dear dog may be unacceptable. Here are a few ideas to make traveling with your pooch safer and more fun… Continue…

Pets and Rattlesnakes: Avoiding an Unfortunate Meeting

Mojave Rattlesnake - Crotalus scutulatusSpring is just around the corner, and with the rise in temperatures and the sunny days ahead, rattlesnake and other venomous snake sightings are set to become more common. A few years ago, we blogged about the types of venomous snakes in the area and what happens – physiologically speaking – if your dog is bitten. However, an encounter between pets and rattlesnakes (or other venomous reptile) can be prevented with some simple precautions and a focus on avoiding these scenarios in which most bites occur. Continue…