The Best Ways to Protect Your Pet When Disaster Strikes

Protect your pet with pet disaster prep

Charlotte has a reputation for mild weather, but we’re actually the ice storm capital of America. Indeed, our winters can be extreme, but our summers also compete with record-breaking temperatures. Additionally, tornadoes, hurricanes, and even drought are all possible contenders when it comes to natural disasters in our area. Although preparing for an emergency isn’t fun, taking steps to protect your pet is absolutely critical to their safety.


Safe Haven: Pet Safety at Home

Pet safety at home can keep your pet healthy and happy.It happens to even the most dedicated and vigilant pet owners… After several years of completely ignoring the bookshelf philodendron, the family pet decides to give those leaves a try. Or, they get a wild hair to excavate the contents of your guests’ handbag, only to lick up a stray pill.  The truth is that while a pet’s home should be free of harmful objects or ingredients, certain threats to pet safety may likely remain within paw’s touch without seasonal reminders.

Pet Safety

Owners of older pets can usually recall the greats lengths they went to ensuring that younger versions of Fluffy or Fido couldn’t find any trouble in their new home. Certainly, most items in the house begin to fade to the background as pets age, but all pets – young and old – can be exposed to illness or injury when you least expect it. Continue…

Sweet Smells? Essential Oils and Pets

Essential oils and pets don't always mix!Aromatherapy has been around for many years, but nowadays, essential oils are all the rage. Recently, people have been using essential oils in a number of home remedies. They’re touted for relieving everything from muscle aches to depression to allergies. This begs the question – is it safe to mix essential oils and pets? The team at Animal Medical Hospital set out to find answers!

The Basics of Essential Oils

Essential oils are plant compounds that have been meticulously extracted and distilled. These compounds can impart the properties of the plant. Many compare the process of distilling essential oils to that of making fine wine.

Essential oils are highly volatile, meaning they can have powerful effects on our bodies and minds. They enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or through contact with the skin. They’re absorbed rapidly by the bloodstream and affect the internal organs. If used properly, they can have therapeutic effects. Continue…

Too Good to be True? Swoon-Worthy Pet Boarding, Camps, and Grooming Services

pet boardingYou know that unshakable feeling that you’ve forgotten something, like turning off the oven or, like the movie Home Alone, conducting a proper head count? Equally disquieting is the sense that your pet is getting into trouble in your absence or isn’t being cared for in the way they’re accustomed to at home.

Pet boarding is a necessity for owners who need to leave town, but it can be so much more than just a simple place to stay. We’re thrilled to offer a comfortable, safe environment for boarders to call home temporarily. With our add-on services and dedicated staff members, your pet’s every need is met so you can relax!


An Eye on Pet Safety in the Backyard

Pet SafetyPeople who live in apartments have understandable “yard envy” – especially if they share their place with a pet. To be sure, a fenced-in area brings a lot to the table, but that doesn’t mean yards are always risk-free. When pet safety is observed in and around the backyard, pet owners can truly have the best of both worlds.


The Power of the Outdoors

Dogs flourish when they have a yard to call their own. Not only does this help with regular bathroom needs, they can also use their considerable instincts when enjoying the great outdoors. Cats also love having a place to call their own, and once territory is established, they typically remain in charge of it. Continue…

Tip-Toe Through the Tulips: Enjoying Spring With Pet Safety in Mind

pet safetyAh, there’s nothing quite like spring with its beautiful new blossoms, crisp smell of grass, and all the spring break vacation opportunities. What’s not to love?! Spring is also a great time to get bored pets back outside for some outdoor fun.

With this in mind, spring pet safety is a must. Keep reading to learn more about how to prepare for the season ahead with your furry pal.


Bugs Don’t Take a Break: Why Year-Round Parasite Prevention is a Must

parasite preventionFleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies…a summer problem, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, parasites continue to thrive year-round, even when the weather turns brisk. Despite the occasional chilly temperatures, these formidable foes continue to wreak havoc on our pets (and sometimes on us).

While it may be tempting to save a few bucks on parasite control, there are plenty of good reasons parasite prevention should be a year-round investment. Your friends at Animal Medical Hospital are here to tell you why!


How Do You Know? Recognizing and Dealing With a Pet Emergency

Animals display signs of illness or injury in a variety of ways. Likewise, sometimes a pet exhibits dangerous symptoms only for them to clear up within a couple of hours. As a responsible pet owner, how do you know whether to “wait it out” or to seek help for a pet emergency? Although it can be a little daunting trying to figure out, things are made clearer when you know what to look for and have a plan.


How Children Should Interact with Dogs!

Dr. Jillian Richter

children dogs

Dr. Richter and her first dog, Sandi circa 1992

Children can often be the recipients of serious and sometimes life threatening bites from dogs and cats. Without realizing it, children may be provoking the animal with their body language and actions! It is important to teach children the proper way to approach and interact with animals at a young age to keep both our furry friends and our kids safe.

How should my child approach a dog?

  1. ASK: It is imperative to teach children to ask before ever touching a dog. Not all animals being walked on the street are friendly!
  1. TURN YOUR BODY TO THE SIDE: By not directly facing the dog, the child is exhibiting non-threatening body language.
  1. OFFER THE BACK OF YOUR HAND: Make sure the child is not forcing his or her hand into the mouth of the dog! Allow the dog to make the decision to come up and sniff or remain where he/she is.
  1. NO EYE CONTACT: Dogs perceive eye contact differently than humans, so it is important for children not to look directly into their eyes.
  1. PET UNDER THE CHIN OR CHEST: Patting the head can seem like a threatening motion.

Dog Body Language: helpful hints when trying to determine if that pet wants to interact

But that dog looks friendly!

A wagging dog tail can indicate happiness, but dogs also wag their tails for other reasons! Use caution if the pet is exhibiting other behaviors below in addition to wagging his/her tail.  

But that dog has always been friendly!

Just because a dog has been friendly in the past doesn’t mean he is always safe to be around! According to one study, 66% of bites towards children were from a first time offender.

But that dog is just tired!

Yawning can be a sign of stress in our furry friends!

But that dog is giving kisses!

Lip licking is another sign of stress, and can be commonly confused for giving “kisses.”

But really, that dog is kissing my child’s face!

Giving “kisses” can be seen as a displacement behavior, or a behavior performed due to a perceived stressful situation.

Children should always be supervised around animals, however there are certain scenarios that put children at a higher risk:

    • Resource Guarding: Many bites obtained by children were in relation to an animal “guarding” their food or toys. Be sure to NEVER allow children to take something from a dog or leave children alone with food nearby.
  • Pain: If a dog is in pain, its innate response is to protect itself. The animal might feel threatened, cannot escape, and therefore feel trapped. This can lead to defending themselves in the manner of a bite. This can be seen in animals that just recently had a surgery or have a chronic and painful medical problem (such as osteoarthritis). This can also be applied to children chasing dogs, pulling their tails, or following them around when they are trying to find a safe spot.

It’s important to remember that the human animal bond is an essential aspect to the lives of children. Always supervise your children when they are interacting with pets; despite our best effort, our furry friends don’t always give us warning signs. This blog is meant to enhance the human animal bond by promoting safe interactions between dogs and kids, not for children to avoid animals!

Sources and photos:

Dr. Sophia Yin

Chapman, Simon et al. “Preventing Dog Bites in Children: Randomised Controlled Trial of an Educational Intervention.” BMJ : British Medical Journal 320.7248 (2000): 1512–1513. Print.

Davis, Aaron L. et al. “Dog Bite Risk: An Assessment of Child Temperament and Child-Dog Interactions.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 9.8 (2012): 3002–3013. PMC. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

Reisner, Ilana R, Frances S Shofer, and Michael L Nance. “Behavioral Assessment of Child‐directed Canine Aggression.” Injury Prevention 13.5 (2007): 348–351. PMC. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.


Google Images, Dr. Sophia Yin’s handouts, and personal photo

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posted in:  Pet Safety

How to Celebrate the Holidays with your Pets

Dr. Schoenig

With the holiday season coming up, we all look forward to spending time with our loved ones- including our furry ones!  The holidays can be a stressful time for your pets, with travel, out-of-town guests, and their normal routine being changed, so be sure to take some time to show your fur kids some holiday love! Need ideas of how to include your pet in your holiday celebrations?  Read below!


  • Before the food marathon that is the Thanksgiving holiday, get out on the streets or the trail with your family for some exercise to make some room for that extra slice of pie! While the official Charlotte South Park race does not allow pets due to the crowds, don’t let that stop your pup from getting his or her extra energy out.  Whether you do a long run or even just a short walk in the neighborhood (don’t push your pup to do more exercise than he or she is used to; we don’t want to cause injuries and necessitate a trip to the emergency vet on Thanksgiving!), the exercise and fresh air is a great way to start the day and your dogs will love the opportunity to spend some extra time with you!
  • For our feline friends who tend to be a little less leash-friendly, providing them with a new toy to run around with may be more up their alley. The laser pointer is a great way to get them to run around too, and can provide family entertainment while you and your family rest and digest after the big meal!


Who doesn’t love Christmas baked goodies?  Christmas cookies aren’t just for the mailman.  Take some time to bake some extra treats for your furry kids.  Bonus points for using a dog bone or fish shaped cookie cutter to make them even more enticing!

Dog Christmas Cookies

  • Ingredients
    • 5 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2 tbsp peanut butter
    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 tbsp water
  • Directions
    • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until dough can be formed. Add more water in small increments if needed
    • Roll out dough on a well-floured surface until about ½” thick. Cut out shapes and place on a cookie sheet
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until slightly browned

Cat Christmas Treats

  • Ingredients
    • 1 can of tuna
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 tbsp catnip
  • Directions
    • Mix ingredients until a thick mixture forms
    • Form 1/4” size balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    • Bake 9-12 minutes at 350. Let cool before snack time

New Years’

When getting together your resolutions for the new year, consider making a resolution for your pet as well to keep them happy and healthy.  Some considerations…

  • Daily dental care – brushing, chews, treats. Oral health can have effects on your pet’s systemic health, as well, especially their heart!
  • Regular exercise – a 10 minute walk a day can give your personal “get healthy” resolution a boost, and that time the two of you spend together can help make your bond even stronger
  • Regular checkups with your veterinarian – just like we need to check in with our doctors every year, your fluffy child should be seen at least once (twice for our seniors) a year for a full wellness checkup. Resolve to keep up with their regular wellness visits, which may include routine bloodwork to be proactive about catching diseases early!
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