Along with Fall fruits and vegetables - most of which are safe for our pets in moderation - Fall brings some additional hazards due to school activities.

Some school supplies, especially for elementary students, make the ASPCA Poison Control Center's List of things to avoid. Obviously, your student may need some of these things, but think about storage to keep them away from interested pets.

School glues and epoxy glues can create a mess plus may cause mild stomach upsets. The same goes for permanent markers and chewed up pencils. Chewing a box of crayons may cause some colorful diarrhea.

Glues that are more powerful (like Gorilla Glue, permanent wood glues) can cause serious blockages in the stomach and intestinal tract and need surgery to remove them. Keep those in a cupboard that is high and ideally has a childproof lock, as that will foil most dogs and cats. Homemade versions of "play dough" can cause problems due to their high salt content. They may be tasty to your pet and then raise their sodium level to serious, life threatening highs. This is another project that needs to be kept covered, up high and preferably behind a childproof lock. On the low toxicity list are some of the fun fall items, like glow jewelry and glow sticks. If your pet chews on one of these they will have a very bad taste reaction. While dogs and cats come to mind quickly when we mention chewing incidents, remember that house rabbits and ferrets are quick with their teeth too!

The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets-if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.

Halloween Tips

1) Please don't leave your pet out in the yard on Halloween. There are plenty of stories of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen, and even killed pets on this night.

2) Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.

3) No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Sammy. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call us at 410-287-6670 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

4) A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5) Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets that prefer their "birthday suits," however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.

6) If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a lookout for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could choke on.

7) Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not obstruct her vision in any way. Even the sweetest animals can get snappy when they can't see.

8) All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9) When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10) Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Holiday meals can also cause medical emergencies for pets:

  •  Chicken and turkey bones can get stuck or can pierce holes in any portion of the digestive tract.
  • Rich foods, especially fatty foods like gravy, can cause sudden pancreatitis or bloat.
  • Keep holiday meals, leftovers, and table scraps out of reach of your pet, to avoid that vomiting and/or diarrhea visit to the vet.
  • If your pet insists on participating in the feast, cooked vegetables (without the butter and salt) or bland turkey meat (no bones, skin, or gravy!) are safe in small amounts.

Flea, Tick and Heartworm

Preventatives are an absolute must year round, but if there were ever a time when your pets need it most, it would be the summer. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are nasty pests that are always lurking, even indoors, so make sure to take care of your pets risks with proper preventatives! Call us, or stop in to ask us about special offers, rebates, coupons, and preventatives we have!

Elk Neck Vet Clinic provides a wide variety of services for our four legged friends and their owners. Our core service is keeping a pet healthy through regular exams, vaccinations against life threatening diseases, and the use of preventative medications to control parasites. We also treat ill or injured animals, and can do many basic diagnostic tests or procedures right in the clinic while you wait - including digital radiographs.

Surgery is performed by laser to reduce the amount of bleeding during the procedure, as well as decreasing post-surgical pain. Incisions made by laser also heal faster and require fewer stitches than those made with a traditional scalpel. Routine surgeries include spaying, neutering and hernia repair.

Our services include boarding and bathing for dogs and cats. The Chesapeake Country Pet Lodge (located in the lower level of the veterinary clinic) features Dog Suites in our spacious kennel and a separate room for Cat Condos with Plexiglas backs so the kitties can watch the birds out a picture window.

For more information about what we offer, please see our complete listing of services below:

Client Education
Preventative Care
Medical Care

Feeling guilty about going on vacation and leaving the pets behind? Why not send them on their own vacation at Chesapeake Country Pet Lodge? Any dog or cat would be happy to vacation at our camp! See our Boarding page for more information about our complete Elk Neck area pet boarding services.