Friday, Aug. 4th 2017

Back to School Tips and Clinic Updates

Back to School Safety

–for dogs and kids! It’s time for the kids to go back to school! We have a few tips to make this transition easier for both the kids AND the pets.
1. Watch out for open doors and gates. Remind the kids to pay attention to where pets are as they are running to catch the bus, and don’t let them get out where they shouldn’t be. Make sure your pet wears a collar with ID tag, and/or is microchipped with updated contact information filed with the microchip company in case they get lost. The last thing we want to happen is a pet being hit by the school bus or car pool!
2. Toxic foods abound. Some foods toxic to pets include grapes and raisins, onions, chocolate, and xylitol artificial sweetener. Be mindful of what you are packing in lunches and don’t leave potentially toxic items out where the pets might make off with them. Some foods will make dogs sick just because they are too different from their regular food, like seasoned chips or lunch meat. Care to avoid drastic changes in diet can prevent tummy upset.
3. Running and squealing children may look an awful lot like prey to some dogs. Teach your kids not to run away from a dog that is chasing them. Teach them safety positions like “tree” (standing straight up with fists tucked under their chin) or “rock” (curled in fetal position with face covered and arms protecting their abdomen, facing downward) in case they are chased or attacked by a dog. Younger children may benefit from a dog safety class. Our clinic is happy to offer these to daycares, Mom/child groups, homeschool groups, etc. Just ask us!
4. Changes in routine can be stressful for pets. Getting the kids back to school can be a happy or a sad time for your pets, depending on how they get along with the kids. If your pet is stressed about these changes, give us a call to ask about some of our calming therapies we offer like pheromone sprays, calming herbal supplements, and training advice.
5. If you’re worried “the dog ate my homework” is a possible scenario in your household, start now teaching the kids good homework habits like keeping a tidy desk, putting assignments back in notebooks when they’re not being worked on, and keeping items picked up off the floor. You don’t want the dog eating so much homework it needs surgery to remove it! All school-aged kids are old enough to learn good habits to help keep the dog from chewing on items it shouldn’t. Also, make sure your dog has plenty of safe and appropriate toys to keep it entertained.
6. Teach the kids not to approach strange dogs or cats. Just because theirs is friendly does not mean the one down the street will be. Again, consider pet safety classes for kids under 10 or so, and teach your children never to approach an animal unless it is accompanied by a responsible adult and they have permission from both YOU and the person with the animal. Here’s a short video slide show to help teach your kids about dog body language:
7. Teaching kids to treat pets with kindness and respect will pay many dividends as these lessons can also be applied to school mates. Our dogs and cats feel pain and distress much like we do, so children should be taught how to pet gently, not pull hair or tails, and never to sit on a large dog. Studies have shown many violent criminals have a past history of animal abuse—it’s worth it to teach our children animals are people, too! Pets that bite children often end up in shelters or lose their lives, so help your pet be safe by teaching it children are not going to hurt it. The best way to do this is to make sure all children it comes into contact with understand how to treat the pet kindly. Young children should never be left alone with pets, to avoid such tragedies.

Good News and Bad News:

The good news is, our appointment book is filling up more quickly these days, which means our practice is growing! The bad news is, our appointment book is filling up more quickly these days, which means you may not be able to get your preferred time if you call at the last minute. Consider this a friendly reminder that if you have a need for a particular day or time to accommodate your schedule, that you should set your appointments as early as possible to assure you get your preferred time. We will do our best to get you a time that works, but since we schedule longer appointments than most clinics to be sure we cover all health issues of concern, we sometimes have no openings left on a given day. However, if it helps you, we do offer a drop-off service at no charge for existing patients just getting simple procedures done like chiropractic, acupuncture, or vaccinations. Your pet can stay with us for a few hours or all day and we’ll fit in their treatment between clients. You can drop them off, run some errands, and pick them up later!

Pet Food Update:

We’re still working on getting our freezer delivered so we can carry the Primal line of raw foods and freeze-dried raw nuggets, goat’s milk, and marrow bones. We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready—watch our Facebook page! We’ll also be adding an amazing line of cat treats (think “meat go-gurt”) and a natural insect repellent spray. Hopefully, we’ll have this in by next month’s newsletter so we can offer more details.

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Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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