Have a Safe and Happy Easter for You and Your Pets

Easter is a favorite holiday for a lot of us. A day spent with time with the familiar, delicious food and treats, and fun activities. However, it also brings items into your home that can be very hazardous to your pets. We’ve compiled a list of some of the dangerous Easter items that your pet may come in contact with this holiday so you can feel more knowledgeable about what to keep out of reach!

Chocolate

This is probably something most of us already know about – chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs. Not only does it contain caffeine, but it also has a chemical in it called theobromine. Cats are most likely affected by it as well, but typically wouldn’t be interested in eating something sweet like chocolate. All types of chocolate are dangers, so it’s very important to always keep it safe and out of reach at all times. If you suspect your pet has consumed any chocolate, or is showing signs of illness such as breathing problems, diarrhea, or vomiting, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Egg Dye

A lot of the egg dye you’ll find in stores are non-toxic, since they’re usually made to be used by children. However, that’s not always the case and you always check the packaging before you choose a product. And although consumption of a non-toxic food dye is not likely to cause harm, our pet’s stomachs can be very sensitive and their system’s can sometimes react in unexpected ways so it’s best to avoid sharing anything with your pet that contains food dye.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a sweetener that is prevalent in many, many foods including peanut butter. This ingredient is highly toxic to dogs and can easily cause death. Even a small amount can make your dog extremely ill. Xylitol causes a rapid release of insulin into a dog’s bloodstream which causes a huge drop in blood sugar. Be sure to read the label of everything you bring into the house and if anything contains this ingredient, keep it safe and impossible for your pooch to reach.

Easter Basket Fillers

The plastic eggs, plastic grass, and other enticing items that often go in baskets can be quite tempting to both dogs and cats. These items can easily cause obstructions in your pet’s digestive tract and can be extremely dangerous. Keep a close on eye on all your pets so that they don’t chew on these things and become sick. If you see any signs of ingestion of these items, such as vomiting, lack of appetite, dehydration, or any other unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you and all your four-legged friends all have a fun, happy, and above all safe Easter celebration.

Tips to Keep your Pet’s Skin, Coat and Paws Healthy During Cold Weather

First things first! Please do not leave your pets outside in the cold. Most pets do not have a much higher tolerance for cold than we do. Pets can experience hypothermia as well as frostbite to their ears, noses and paws. It is just as important that they have a warm and comfortable place to spend their time as it is for us. Provide them with a warm area away from drafts and cold floors. A pet bed and a cozy blanket are perfect.


Keep your pet’s hair longer during the winter months. It goes without saying that an animal’s fur is their natural coat, so keep it as effective as possible. If your pet is of the short hair or sparse hair variety, then a pet sweater is a great idea. Animals can wear a comfortable sweater all winter long. Just be sure it’s not too tight or too loose.


Keep your pup’s paws healthy. Bring a towel with you on walks and wipe down his feet and underbelly to remove ice, salt and chemicals. Don’t forget in between the toes.  

Check your dog and cat’s paws regularly, especially during colder months. Look for dry, rough or cracked skin. Contact with snow, salts and cold ground can be very damaging to skin, even on the tough pads of the paws. It’s helpful to rub petroleum jelly into the pads of their feet before leaving the house.This will create a barrier between their skin and the elements and keep moisture in their skin. 

Booties are another great option, if your pet tolerates having them on their feet. Keep in mind that they will need some time to adjust to the feel of shoes, so give them enough time to get used to the idea.

Bathe your pet as little as possible during the winter months.

Just like us, their skin can become dry, irritated and flaky during cold weather. Keeping their natural oils on their skin and coat is the best protection their body has. When you must bathe them, use a moisturizing shampoo. A quick call to your vet for a brand recommendation may be in order. 

As always, Hale Pet Door encourages the use of our pet doors, especially during the winter. Your pet knows when their feet are too cold or when they can comfortably go out to play or potty. Freedom of choice between indoors and outdoors is a great way to keep your pet healthy during cold weather.

HALE PET DOOR wants you and your family to have a safe and happy winter. Enjoy your loved ones, including your four-legged kids. The winter is a beautiful time of year. Get out and enjoy the snow in a safe and comfortable way, and enjoy plenty of time inside snuggled up. Have an amazing winter season and please stay safe and healthy! 

Go to www.halepetdoor.com for selection, sizing and options for a new HALE PET DOOR 

Tips for Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy During the Holidays

Tips for Keeping your Pet Happy and Healthy During the Holidays.

Secure your Christmas Tree. Be sure to make certain that your tree is stable enough that your pets cannot knock it over, potentially causing injury. It’s also dangerous for the tree water to spill out as it can contain fertilizers and bacteria that can harm your pet if ingested.

Mind your candles. Lit candles can be a major hazard when you have mischievous animals running around. They could knock a candle over and start a fire or simply burn themselves playing near one. Please keep them out of reach of your pets and never leave them unattended.

Tinsel is a no-no. This sparkly, fun, light-catching decoration is just as attractive to kittens and sometimes puppies. If eaten, tinsel can cause severe stomach distress and even a GI obstruction. It’s really not worth taking a chance.

Avoid Mistletoe and Holly. Both of these plants can cause major gastrointestinal distress, including nausea and vomiting. Mistletoe, especially, can be very lethal, causing cardiac problems. Be mindful of all seasonal plants, as well. Lilies can cause renal failure if consumed and there are countless other flowers and plants that can be toxic.

During festivities, have a quiet place that is only for your pet. Loud guests and merry gatherings can be overwhelming for some animals. It’s always best practice to have a room or area that they can retreat to where others won’t follow. This is their space where they know they can feel safe and comfortable. This way they can come and go as they feel comfortable.

Having guests over? Do yourself a favor and make sure they know your house pet rules. They need to know if your animals are at risk for running if the door is left open, if your pet needs more space and less attention, and to follow your instructions when giving your pets any treats. It’s also important to stress the need for any luggage to be zipped up and any medication to be stored properly.

Be mindful of food. As we know, chocolate is a no-no for both cats and dogs; but, fatty and spicy foods are bad for them as well. Be sure if you do share some meat with your pet, it is lean and there are no bones in it. Carrots and sweet potatoes with lean meat are great options if you want your pet to have a holiday plate of their own.

Consider the temperature. Please don’t leave your pets outdoors during cold weather. It’s nearly as hard on them as it is on us. Of course, we recommend our Hale Pet Door so they have access to the outside as well as the warmth of the indoors. If your pet is easily chilled, a sweater is a nice option for indoors. Just be sure it fits snugly enough that it can’t catch on things, but also not too tight, as this can cause painful rashes under the arms.

Here at HALE PET DOOR we hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Omisoka! Please be safe, be blessed and enjoy your family, human and four-legged alike.

www.halepetdoor.com

Thanksgiving Tips for Pet Parents

Thanksgiving is nearly here and it’s time to prepare for the big day. Hale Pet Door has some tips to help make it a stress-free holiday for you and your pets.

  • Prepare a dish just for your pet to enjoy during the festivities

Many foods that we eat as humans are toxic to dogs and cats. Fatty foods are hard to digest, chocolate and grapes are toxic, and bird bones are terribly dangerous. It’s a good idea to plan ahead about the foods you will allow your best buddy to eat. It’s ok to let your dog have some fun foods without compromising his health. You may want to put aside some foods that you know are safe and flavorful, while you are cooking, for you to share during dinner. For dogs, things like fully cooked turkey cubes, pumpkin, small amounts of potatoes, sweet potatoes and veggies, or carrot bites can be perfect. Skip turkey skin, meat with bones still in it and stuffing. For your cat, pumpkin, turkey cubes and squash are great choices.

  • Plan a safe drive if your heading out of town

If your plans include a long drive with your pet, plan ahead to keep you and your buddy safe and stress free. Think about pet car-harnesses or crates, it’s important to keep them safe and comfortable while you’re driving. It’s nice to give them a blanket for cuddling and a toy or chew to keep next to them while on the road. Plan for frequent potty breaks at pet friendly rest stops and always offer fresh water to your pets during breaks. As always, make sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, has its tags and is microchipped in case of emergency.

  • Keep your pet safe from running away when friends and family come in and out.

It’s important to remember that having family and friends around that are not used to your household door routines can put your pets at risk. Some pets may be scared of strangers and make it easier to panic and run; other pets are always waiting for the opportunity to take off. If you use pet gates it’s important to have them up and secure. It is also ok to keep your dog on a leash even in your house. Just make sure that someone responsible is always in charge of your pooch. As always make sure that your pets are up to date on vaccinations, have their ID tags on and are microchipped in case of escape.

  • Protect your pets from getting into someone’s luggage

When there are friends and family over it usually involves bags and cluttered guest rooms. Please remind each guest to keep their purses and bags out of the reach of your pets. There are many things that can be very harmful to animals in personal belongings; medicine, gum, candy and choking hazards are all accidents waiting to happen if a pet finds their way into it.

  • Animal proof your garbage cans

Pets are masters at waiting until they have the perfect opportunity to get into the trash. Not only is this super annoying, but it’s really dangerous. Anytime of year it is a hazard, but during the holidays the risk multiplies. Turkey bones, turkey skin, raw dough and raw food are all potentially deadly items that will likely be in the garbage. Be sure that your kitchen bin has a secure lid and that it is emptied regularly before it overflows. Remember to not leave your pets alone with a full trash container and don’t neglect to secure the outdoor bin as well.

  • Protect pets from potentially dangerous decorative plants

Whether you are visiting family or they are visiting you, it’s likely that there will be some festive plants around. Many of these can be toxic, such as: amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, hydrangeas, Sweet William, some ferns and more. Be sure to keep these out of reach of your pets, even if it’s in the flower beds outside.

    • Keep anxious pets comfortable when strangers are around

We all have those loud and exuberant friends and relatives; while they are the life of our party, they may be terrifying to you pet. If you know your best friend is nervous in social situations, then make sure they have a comfortable and safe place to retreat to. It’s a nice idea to have a comfortable blanket and favorite toy in their safe place. This way they can enjoy the festivities when they feel comfortable or be happily alone if needed.

HALE PET DOOR wants you and your family to have a wonderful holiday! Please be safe, hug the people and animals that you love and remember to take those treasured photos!

HALE PET DOOR offers pet doors for all doors and windows and is always a beautiful addition to your home and your pets’ life. Find out more at www.halepetdoor.com

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Tips for a Happy (and safe) Halloween for you and your pet

1. Only dress up your pets if you know they like it

Many pet parents love to dress up their pooch or kitty to join in with the festivities. If this is you, make sure that your pet is onboard with this idea. If your pet is happy to adorn a costume, skip the mask and make sure that the costume is not constricting or unsafe. Be sure that your pet can see and move unrestricted, as well as the costume is appropriate for the temperature.

2. Keep dogs and cats safe when opening the door

If you’re going to be opening the door to trick-or-treaters, keep any unsocial pets in a separate room and any “runner” personalities on a leash even in the house. It is just too easy for our little ones to run out of the door during the festivities creating a potential disaster. It may be best to designate one person to be responsible for the pet during trick-or-treat arrivals and make that person aware every time the door is opened.

3. Don’t leave you pets in the yard on the evening of Halloween

There can be pranksters that may tease or scare your furry kids, as well as noise and antics going on in the neighborhood that can be a stressor for them. Best to keep them indoors if you are away, in a place that is familiar and comforting.

4. Keep lit pumpkins out of reach

This one is a no-brainer but easy to overlook. Be extra careful with any lit jack-o-lanterns. This can be tempting for dogs and curious cats. It is too easy for them to knock it over and get burned or start a fire. If you have a dog it’s best to keep them out of reach and for cats the best placement may be outside.

5. Be sure your pets do not get into the candy

Keep your candy stashes away from your dog or cat. Chocolate is poisonous to many animals and the wrappers can be harmful if swallowed. Make sure that your kids and guests know where the appropriate place for their stash is and where to dispose of the wrappers. If you’re worried about your pets missing out, it may be nice to keep a treat that is designated just for them. If you like, you can allow your kids or guests to offer this to your little guy too.

6. Plan ahead before you take your pet trick-or-treating

If you’re taking your dog trick-or-treating make sure that you have doggie baggies for cleanup and plenty of fresh water to drink with a travel bowl for the walk. Be sure to have up to date tags on your pooch and a person that is always dedicated to minding the leash. If your dog is tiny or elderly it may be a good idea to take a stroller, carrier or wagon with you. This way when your little guy putters out he can ride in style and enjoy the festivities from a comfortable spot.

7. Stay safe

This year comes with concerns that many of us haven’t had to deal with before. Just as you will likely need to talk to your kids about safe practice and social distancing, it is important to make a plan to avoid unnecessary contact through your pet. Prepare to politely ask that others do not handle or pet your dog to avoid raising the risk of COVID-19 exposure. While the jury is out about transmission to animals, there is a risk of contamination through touch transfer.

We hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday with your families, both the human members and the furry variety!

Pet Poison Awareness Month

Did you know that March is Pet Poison Awareness Month? It may not always be obvious, but potentially harmful, even fatal, poisons could be lurking around your home or yard without you even realizing it. It only takes one accident for a tragic outcome. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common, but not always thought of, poisons that could be in or around your home.

Human Foods

Most of us are probably guilty of occasionally sneaking a little treat of human food to our pets. We all know that it’s really not that great of a thing to do, but darn it, sometimes it’s hard to resist those big eyes! And while, yes, human food is really not that great for the waistline of our dogs and cats, sometimes it can truly be dangerous. Chocolate is famously dangerous for dogs and it can easily be fatal. It contains something called theobromine, which is related to caffeine. But have you heard of how deadly Xylitol is? It’s a sugar substitute that is in lots of things. This is seriously one you need to watch out for. It’s found in gums, drinks, candies, snack foods, and plenty of other prepacked foods. Not to mention a lot of us keep bags of the stuff in the pantry to use in our baking. So, make sure to check your cupboards and if you find anything containing this sweetener, please keep it well out of reach of your pooch! There are also produce items that can be harmful such as onions, and garlic, that can cause anemia in both dogs and cats. So before you decide to make any homemade foods for your dog or cat, please research the ingredients to ensure that they are healthy for them.

Rodenticides

We cannot stress enough how much we recommend using a different method to control rodents than rodenticide. Obviously, most users would be very responsible in keeping this stuff well out of reach of both pets and children, but it doesn’t end there. Have you ever considered what happens to the target animal after it ingests the poison? Sometimes they wander away and end up dying somewhere where your dog, cat, or even a wild animal such as a hawk, can find it. Unfortunately, when an animal eats another animal that has ingested rodenticide, it can very easily become quite severe, even fatal. This type of poison causes internal bleeding, kidney failure, and seizures. It is truly nasty stuff and for the sake of your pets, the pets living near your home, and the wildlife, we strongly suggest using other methods to control the population of rodents if you’re having issues with them.

Human Medications

This is one of those ones that a lot of people may not immediately think of! But just as you keep medications out of reach of kids, you’re definitely going to want to keep them out of reach of pets, too. There are tons of different medications that can have various harmful effects on both dogs and cats, even over the counter medications, so just don’t risk it by keeping anything out in reach. Always keep them locked up in a medicine cabinet, or you can purchase a small medication lockbox in many pharmacies and online.

Household Plants

Many houseplants are perfectly safe for cats and dogs, but there are a few that you need to look out for. Some common plants are Lillies, Aloe, Elephant Ears, Asparagus Fern, and Sago Palm, just to name a few. Before you purchase your plant from the nursery, look it up and double-check to make sure it is safe to have in your home. And remember, often times the tag from the nursery will not say if it is poisonous or not, but typically a quick internet search will help you determine it.

This list was just a few possibilities of poisonous items you could have around your home. If you’re ever questioning, it’s always best to double-check! And if you’re concerned that your pet has ingested something poisonous, don’t wait! Call the Animal Poison Helpline right away at (855) 764-7661 (FYI, there is usually a fee involved for consultations), or contact your veterinarian. Remember, when it comes to poison, time is of the essence and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Protect Your Pets During Independence Day Celebrations

While the Fourth of July brings fond traditions like picnics, barbecues, concerts, and fireworks, it isn’t such a fun holiday for the four-legged members of the family.

Photo from Friends of the GCARC via Facebook

Many animals are extremely frightened by the noise from firecrackers and can even be stressed by the sight of fireworks. This leads to a 30-60% increase in lost pets every year between July 4 and July 6. July 5th is typically the busiest day of the year in humane societies and shelters across the country as people try to find their lost and scared pets. But don’t forget that fireworks and firecrackers don’t just happen on July 4th. They are already happening as people build up to the big celebration.

So what can you do to make things less stressful for your pets?

  • Make a safe space for them in your home where they can retreat and hide but where they can’t easily escape. Even the most mild-mannered dog might panic and claw their way out of a crate or run through a glass window or a fence in their panicked state and can run away and be lost or hit by cars.
  • Playing calming music in the area can help block out some of the noise from outside and keeping curtains closed helps block out the flashes of light from fireworks.
  • If your dog or cat is pacing, cowering, hiding, or displaying nervous behavior, try to distract them with a favorite bone or toy but don’t distress them further.
  • Consider skipping leaving home to go to the big celebration and stay home with your pets to protect and comfort them during this traumatic time.
  • Above all else, make sure that if something does happen you have the best shot of getting your pet returned to you by following these suggestions:
    • Make sure your pets are wearing their collars and that they are secure and have up-to-date ID tags on them with your name and contact info readable.
    • Add a GPS tracker to your pet’s collar to make it easier to track and reunite with your pet if they should escape.
    • For extra security, get your pet microchipped. Pets are little magicians and can get out of their collars on the best of days much less when they are panicked or stressed by the sights and sounds of fireworks. Getting your pet microchipped gives an added layer of protection that if they escape and make it to a shelter, they can be scanned and reunited with you. Make sure your contact information for the microchip registration is up to date.

There’s a reason that July is considered “Pet Loss Prevention Month” and by using a few common sense tips you can keep your pets happier and safer during this and other holidays.

Creating a Pet-Safe Garden This Summer

It’s that time of year again to get the yard and garden ready for summer! Warm weather is coming, and soon you and your pooch or kitty will be able to frolic together outside. Nothing is better than getting to hang out and be outside in the fresh air, and if you’re like me, you absolutely love adding beautiful plants to your yard! But before you begin planting this year, it’s very important to ensure that you’re not planting anything that could pose a danger to your pets. There are many plants that may look beautiful but are poisonous to our four-legged friends. So, we’ve compiled a list of some popular plants that are not healthy for pets to come in contact with.

Unsafe plants for cats and dogs:

-Amaryllis

-Autumn Crocus

-Azaleas and Rhododendrons

-Castor Bean

-Chrysanthemum

-Convallaria majalis

-Cyclamen

-Daffodils

-Dieffenbachia

-English Ivy

-Kalanchoe

-Lilies

-Marijuana

-Oleander

-Peace Lily

-Pothos

-Sago Palm

-Spanish thyme

-Tulip and Narcissus bulbs

-Yew

Thankfully, there are also a lot of wonderful plants that you can add to your yard and garden that are not only safe for your pets, but that your pets will love! Here are some ideas:

-Barley grass is safe and may even help an upset stomach.

-Catnip. Although your cat may love it because it’s a stimulant for them, it actually does the opposite for Fido. Catnip makes dogs feel very relaxed, but it’s not harmful to them.

-Chamomile is calming.

-Lavender is a calming and soothing choice as well.

-Mint provides something fun and interesting for your dog to sniff, and they may even enjoy munching on it.

-Rosemary is energizing.

But don’t forget:

Basil

Carrots

Catmint

Cilantro

Flowering Currant

Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, etc)

Marigolds

Radishes

Rosemary

Raspberries

Sage

Thyme

Zucchini

And remember to add some pet safe ornamentals to your outdoor haven! We’ve got some great ideas for you:

African violets

Alyssum

Aster

Black Eyed Susan

Hibiscus

Impatiens

Magnolia Bush

Pansies

Petunias

Snapdragons

Sweet Potato Vine

Zinnia

So, enjoy the outdoors this summer and don’t be afraid to share with your furry loved ones! There are so many wonderful plants to choose from that are perfectly safe for your pets and that they will thoroughly enjoy. Creating an environment that provides stimulation and interest for your dogs and cats is always fantastic. Experiment with different plants to see which ones your pets really enjoy. Just like people, pets also have favorites, so have fun with it!

And lastly, please don’t forget to check the labels of everything that you put in your yard and garden. Not all gardening products are pet safe, so be sure to always read those labels.

Have fun and enjoy the outdoors this summer!

Keep Your Furry Friends Safe this Halloween

While Halloween festivities can be fun for humans, they can be stressful and even dangerous for our four-legged friends. Follow these safety tips to have a fun and safe Halloween for everyone in your household.

  • Do not let pets eat trick or treat candies. They can be toxic to animals.
  • Kids and others in costumes can be stressful for pets so keep them away from the door when trick-or-treaters call. The loud noises of doorbells constantly ringing, kids screaming and more can set off the calmest dog. And people in costumes can be disorienting and frightening for any animal. If possible, shut them in a quiet room away from the action to keep them calm and prevent them from running away or possibly being aggressive towards one of your callers.
  • Don’t leave your pet out in the yard on Haloween. You wouldn’t want them to be the victim of a “trick”. Be especially careful if your pet is a black cat.
  • Be wary of keeping Halloween decorations out of reach of your pets. Pumpkins and corn can be dangerous especially if eaten uncooked or if moldy. Lit candles can burn your pets or get knocked over and cause a fire. Glow sticks can make a dog sick if chewed on. Electric cords to decorations can be chewed on causing a fire hazard or electric shock danger. Batteries from decorations can be swallowed.
  • Pets in costumes look cute but they don’t all love it. Make sure you try any costumes before the big night to get your pet used to it. Also, make sure your pet actually isn’t upset or annoyed with the costume or any part of it. Look for pieces of a costume that might restrict the animal’s movement, hearing, eyesight or breathing and remove them. Watch out for skin problems caused by the costume and remove immediately if any develop.
  • Most importantly for Halloween and every day: Make sure your pet has proper identification with the proper information on it. Collars and tags are a good start but these can fall off and get lost. Microchip your pet to make sure they can be identified if they do get separated from you.

Community Cats Need Our Help

Misinformation costs millions of community cats (also known as feral cats) their lives every year. When a person sees a cat living outdoors, the urge is to assume that it needs our help, and that help often comes in the form of delivering said cat to the overcrowded local shelters. Sadly, because feral cats are not socialized to humans, this well-meant action is most likely to be a death sentence for a cat who could otherwise have lived a natural life outdoors.

Cats living outdoors is a hard pill to swallow for many animal lovers, especially since we are told over and over that it is so much safer for our pet cats to live indoors. This information is real and good, considering that an outdoor cat is more likely to be hit by a car, contract a disease, or get into a fight – but it doesn’t apply to community cats quite the same way. Why? Because feral cats are closer to wild animals than pet cats. They, like millions upon millions of cats who came before them over many thousands of years, were born and have made their homes outside, in nature – just like squirrels and rabbits. Contrary to popular belief, feral cats can live long and healthy lives in the wild. While we might want to “save” them, most feral cats typically avoid contact with humans, are even frightened of them, and would be unhappy if made to live in a human home.

Alley Cat Allies is an organization that helps educate the public about community cats, and combat the misinformation that leads to the deaths of so many of them. Among many efforts, they work with officials to create T-N-R (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs for community cats that help to combat overpopulation, while allowing cats to continue living where they are happy and thriving. Humanely controlling the feral cat population in this way, as well as working to inform the public as to the nature and needs of community cats, also helps to save the lives of stray or pet cats – overcrowded shelters all too often result in their deaths, as well.

It may be difficult for a concerned cat lover to tell the difference between a stray cat who might need help and a community cat who just needs to be left alone. Alley Cat Allies has an amazing guide to help us figure this out. We urge you to peruse their website, which contains a wealth of information to help the average animal advocate to learn how to help their own community cats, including what to do when we find feral kittens, how to help educate others on the truths about feral cats (are they really bad for wildlife?), and how to get involved in T-N-R.

Like us, we know you want to do what you can to help your neighborhood cats. For Global Cat Day, we hope you use this information and these resources to kick off a community cat education initiative in your own neighborhood.