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Keep Your Pets Safe This Halloween

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many families, but it can be a difficult day to be a pet. Whether you are heading to a party, taking your pet trick or treating, or handing out candy at home, there are a number of ways that homeowners can keep their pets safe on Halloween.

Choose pet costumes carefullyKeep Your Pets Safe This Halloween - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Pet costumes are a cute and fun way to get your animal into the holiday spirit on Halloween. However, it is important to choose a pet costume wisely to avoid overstressing your dog or cat.

– Avoid costumes that are held on by rubber bands. Costumes or costume pieces that are held on by rubber bands can pose a danger to pets; if they chew off the rubber bands, they can choke or cause intestinal injuries. Likewise, they can cut into or irritate skin or fur.
– Ensure the costume does not obstruct your pet’s vision. With lots of new sights and smells on Halloween, having obstructed vision can make even gentle pets snappy.
– Make sure pets are comfortable. Not every pet likes being dressed up! No matter how cute they may look, ensure your pet is comfortable in their costume.

Keep pets away from the front door

Move both cats and dogs to a different area of the house before trick or treaters begin to arrive. The constant opening and closing of the front door can be too tempting for many pets, who may see it as an opportunity to escape. Likewise, dogs, in particular, are often stressed by repeated knocking on the door or ringing of the doorbell. If your pet is particularly sensitive to noise, consider sitting outside on the porch to avoid too many people approaching the house and overstressing your pet.

Bring pets inside

Unfortunately, many beloved pets have fallen prey to pranksters on Halloween. Keep pets inside to keep them safe – and to prevent them from being stressed by so many people walking by.

Be careful around lit pumpkins

Pets are often attracted to bright lights – particularly when it is dark in the room. Many curious kitties have gotten burned while trying to play with a lit candle; extinguish candles or leave other lights on in the room to reduce the risk of injury to your pet.

Never give candy to pets

As a general rule, animals should not be fed people food. This is especially true on Halloween when many types of candy are extremely harmful to pets. Safety concerns with Halloween candy include:

  •  Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to pets.
  • Sticks: Lollipops, suckers, candy apples, and other treats often have hard sticks. If swallowed, these can cause choking or damage to the digestive system.
  • Foil wrappers: In addition to causing intestinal blockages, foil wrappers can become as sharp as razors when swallowed. This can lead to serious damage to the digestive system and other internal organs.

Keep your pet safe this Halloween

While it’s possible to include pets in the Halloween festivities, it is important to take steps to keep your pets safe on October 31st. For more Halloween safety tips for pets, contact 5 Points Animal Hospital today!

Can I Keep My Pet in My Car During The Winter?

We love our pets and want them to go to as many places as we do! While there are many stores and businesses that are dog-friendly, there are still many that are not; most dog in carstores where food is prepared or served inside do not allow pets. Because of this, many pet owners consider leaving their dogs in the car – particularly as the weather outside gets colder.

Can I leave my pet in a cold car?

We all know the dangers of leaving animals in the car during the summer. If the temperature is even a mild 70 degrees, it can reach the 90s inside a vehicle within 10 minutes; for pets, this can lead to dangerous overheating, suffering, and even heat stroke. But what about during the winter when temperatures are cool? Is there ever a safe temperature to leave an animal in a vehicle?

The short answer is, unfortunately, no. Dogs and other pets should never be left unattended in a vehicle, no matter the outside temperature. While outside temperatures in the 60s and 70s can lead to overheating and heat exposure, temperatures in the 50s or colder can lead to cold-related issues such as hypothermia.

The dangers of cold cars for pets

When the weather outside is cold, the temperature inside a car can quickly drop. Cracking the window in an effort to improve circulation can often serve to just cool the car down faster. While all pets are at risk of cold-related issues, small animals or those that are ill, thin, or older are at a particular risk of problems such as hypothermia. No matter their size or health, animals should not be left unattended in a vehicle for any length of time – no matter the weather.

What do I do if I see an unattended dog?

Whether it is in the winter or the summer, seeing an unattended dog left in a car can be upsetting. However, this doesn’t mean that taking things into your own hands is the best course of action. In total, 31 states have laws that prohibit leaving an animal in a confined vehicle; 15 states (AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, IN, KS, LA, MA, OH, OR, TN, VT, and WI) have laws that protect those who attempt to rescue trapped animals.

Before resorting to drastic measures, try to find the owner first. Write down the make, model, and license plate number of the car; ask the management of nearby businesses to page customers over the loudspeaker. If the owner does not come forward, contact local law enforcement or animal control to ensure the pet is quickly, safely, and legally removed.

If you aren’t sure you’ll be able to take your dog inside every location you’re visiting this winter, its best to leave them at home. For more information on traveling with your pet or on caring for them during the winter, contact Five Points Animal Hospital today!

Best Fall Hikes For You And Your Dog In Nashville

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Middle Tennessee. Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and beautiful fall foliage make spending time outside fun for all members of the family – including those with four legs! Whether you are a hardcore hiker or simply want a man, child and dog in naturechange from your usual walk routine, there is a hiking trail for you! The following are five of the best dog-friendly walking and hiking trails in the Nashville area.

1. Percy Warner and Edwin Warner parks

Located only 15 miles southwest of Nashville, the Warner parks occupy more than 3,200 acres of forest, fields, and trails in southwest Davidson County. With 16.75 miles of hiking trails on 8 different paths, there are trails for every level of expertise; choose a different trail each visit to cover everything from wooded hills to open meadows and babbling streams. One particularly interesting hike includes a visit to the once-working quarry that along the Harpeth Wood trail, a 2.5-mile hike. Dogs are welcome in Warner Parks as long as they are on a leash. For additional fun with your four-legged friend either before or after a hike, make sure to stop by the leash-free Edwin Warner Dog Park to play within the fenced-in area.

2. Otter Creek Trail Road at Radnor Lake

The Radnor Lake Natural Area has some of the most beautiful views in Middle Tennessee! As a Class II Natural Area, jogging, hiking, and pets are not allowed on the trails as they can disrupt or upset the natural ecosystem. However, pets are welcome on the Otter Creek Trail Road, a 2.5-mile paved roadway around the lake that offers plenty of opportunities for scenic views of the lake between the hills.

3. Gordon House and Ferry Trail

Enjoy the outdoors – and learn more about American history – by hiking the Gordon House and Ferry Trail along the Natchez Trace Parkway. An easy one mile hike, this route takes you past the Gordon House, the home of ferry operator John Gordon and one of the few remaining buildings associated with the Natchez Trace. A 10-minute walk from the house takes you to an original section of the Natchez Trace and the Duck River ferry site.

4. Shelby Park and Greenway

Located along the Cumberland River, the Shelby Park and Greenway is a slice of nature tucked away in the heart of Nashville. Hiking the trails in the fall lets you take advantage of the beautiful changing colors of the dense foliage. The main trail is paved, but there are plenty of side trails to allow for additional exploration. Dogs must be on a leash, but can be let off the leash to explore in the fenced off-leash dog park.

5. Day Loop Trail at Long Hunter State Park

Long Hunter State Park is located just 20 miles southeast of Nashville and features trails for all experience levels. Day Loop trail is amongst the most popular; while 4.5 miles long, this easy to moderate trail provides several scenic overlooks of Percy Priest Lake. Pets are not permitted on Bryant Grove Trail, Couchville Lake Trail, or the Nature Loop Trail but are permitted on all other trails at Long Hunter State Park.

There are a number of pet-friendly walking and hiking trails in the Nashville area to allow dogs and their owners to enjoy the outdoors together! Want to know more of our favorite dog-friendly spots in Middle Tennessee? Contact 5 Points Animal Hospital today!

Pet-Friendly Places in Nashville

Our hometown of Nashville is widely known for how friendly it is to tourists and new residents. This hospitality also extends to pets too. Our dogs and cats are part of our families, so it makes sense to be just as welcoming to them as their owners. As the first choice for a veterinary clinic in East Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital knows the best places you can bring your dog along to join in on all the fun you have in Nashville. We would like to share with you some of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and trails.

RESTAURANTS

sad and lonely dog sitting in carOne of the most important reasons why we chose to open a clinic in East Nashville is how much this part of the city loves dogs. You will find every type of cuisine in our neighborhood, and many of the restaurants welcome leashed dogs. Dog-friendly restaurants on the Eastside include Eastland Café, Pomodoro East, Calypso Café, Drifters, Batter’d and Fried, Rumours East, Two Ten Jack, and Pied Piper Creamery.

If you do not live in East Nashville, you can find more eateries in other areas of the city where you can bring your pet such as Urban Grub, The Slider House, The Southern, Puckett’s Downtown, Mellow Mushroom, Coco’s Italian Market, and the Red Bicycle. For a complete list of all 190 dog-friendly restaurants in Music City, check out Bring Fido.

BARS AND COFFEE SHOPS

When you need a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, you do not need to leave your dog at home alone in Nashville. Some of our favorite coffee shops, include Bongo Java, Portland Brew, the Frothy Monkey, Sam & Zoe’s Coffeehouse, Fido, and The Jam Coffee House, allow pet owners to bring their dogs with them. You can also bring your pet with you to any Starbucks with outdoor seating.

If you are thirsty for something a bit stronger, Nashville is known for its nightlife. There are many bars that let your dog hang out alongside while you have a cocktail. Some of the most dog-friendly bars across Music City include Honky Tonk Central, M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers, Tailgate Brewery, Fat Bottom Brewing Co., Von Elrod’s Beer Hall & Kitchen, Beyond the Edge, Bar Louie, Two Bits, Village Pub and Beer Garden, Tin Roof, and the Red Door Saloon.

PARKS AND HIKING TRAILS

Your dog needs exercise to stay healthy and happy, and Nashville is fortunate to have a few dog parks where you can let your pet run off-leash and play with other dogs. Our personal favorite is Shelby Dog Park here in East Nashville, and you can also visit dog parks at other Metro Parks including Centennial, Edwin Warner, Two Rivers, and Riverfront.

If you have a Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, Siberian Husky, or a breed of dog who loves to hike, you are in luck as Nashville offers scenic and dog-friendly trails at the Shelby Bottom Greenway, The Trails at Fontanel, Richland Creek Greenway, Radnor Lake State Park, and Stones River Greenway.

Want to know more about the many pet-friendly places here in Nashville? Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out more information. We are located in the heart of East Nashville, we are here for all of your veterinary needs!

How to Avoid the Dangers of Fleas and Ticks

When you have pets, flea and tick prevention is one of your biggest responsibilities. Not only can these insects make your pets’ lives miserable, butpuppy scratching ear they can also be a nuisance for you and your family if you do not follow the right maintenance plan. Knowing which medications work the best for your cat and dog is important, and our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital wants to make sure that you know the right flea and tick prevention program for your pets. We would like to tell you more about the dangers of fleas and ticks and how you can prevent these issues for your cat and dog.

What are the dangers of fleas and ticks?

If you have ever experienced a flea infestation in your home, you understand how miserable it can be for your entire household. Not only do you risk your pet suffering from the allergic effects of flea bites if you ignore the symptoms, but you could also be endangering your pet’s health in other ways. According to WebMD, fleas can carry the eggs of another parasite, tapeworms, and if your pet suffers from too many bites, your pet could become anemic, which can be very dangerous especially to puppies and kittens. Tick bites can also lead to tick-borne diseases that can cause a multitude of health issues for your pet.

How can I avoid these dangers?

The best thing that you can do to keep your dog and cat safe from fleas and ticks is to find the right preventive medicine for your pet and then keep him on this medication all year round. Many pet owners feel that they can take a break from giving their dogs and cats flea and tick preventative during the colder months of the year, but in Nashville TN this is not recommended. Many flea infestations will happen during the winter, as fleas will winter inside your home. You can prevent this from happening by making sure your pet is on the best flea and tick preventative recommended for your pet by your veterinarian. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we can make the best recommendations for your pet for flea and tick preventative based on your pet’s health and lifestyle.

Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to discuss the best flea and tick preventatives for your pet.

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