Pet Talk (week of April 25, 2018)

HOULTON, Maine — Our pets are so important to us and we want them to be happy and healthy. The shelter often receives messages asking for advice for illness and injury. This week CJ gave a talk to school children on pet safety, so I’m giving info to rest of you, too.

I myself have purchased a used book on care of animals that I refer to and found a list of first aid basics that every pet owner should keep around.

The first is a vet’s phone number and also the number of the emergency weekend or nighttime vet.

The second is gauze, tape, absorbent cotton, rounded tip scissors, peroxide, hydrocortisone ointment, eyewash, tweezers, rectal thermometer, syringe without a needle for giving meds, antihistamine liquid, such as Benadryl.

It is always best to check with your vet but some human meds can be used on pets. Buffered aspirin can be used on dogs but not on cats. Do not use acetaminophen and ibuprofen — it is dangerous for our pets. Pepto bismol can be used for upset tummies, Dramamine can be used for motion sickness but again you need to contact vet for advice, dosages.

Around the house keep your cabinets closed. Keeping your pet out of medicine cabinets and cleaning products, pesticides, antifreeze could save their lives. Keep trash cans securely closed because fido thinks they are gourmet food stations. These trash cans can cause a really upset tummy or an obstruction. If you are working around hazardous chemicals clean up spills quickly. Keep electrical cords unplugs or taped to floor making them harder to chew on.

The book I purchased has many categories that pet owners may need and is in alphabetic order so I can glance quickly to see if we need to contact vet or maybe try something at home first. It has helped me to determine what an emergency is and what to look for.

Nothing can replace a good veterinarian and our pets need to get routine care to keep things from becoming serious. Houlton Humane Society does spay and neuter clinics for cats quite frequently. Having your pet spayed or neutered can reduce many tumors and may keep them closer to home so they don’t roam or fight.

Taking your dogs to training classes can help with many issues. Learning to come when called can keep dogs out of roadways where they can be hit by cars. Proper socialization and plenty of exercise can help your dog avoid fighting with another dog.

The internet is a great resource for info on where to find pet info, advice, or happenings that you can bring your animals to. The board at the shelter are still working on a dog park with will be a great help to many. There are low or no interest credit cards to help with unexpected medical care your pet made need. I applied for one ahead to make sure we had it on board in an emergency.

Our pets depend on us to keep them happy, healthy, and safe. Let’s all do what we can to keep them that way.

The Houlton Humane Society is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located on 263 Callaghan Road, Houlton, ME. Officials can be reached at 532-2862 or via email at

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