Vet Hints

Around The House


With puppies or kittens you will need to "child-proof" your house as there are many potential hazards. Loose strings, yarn, or cords can easily become a life threatening hazard for a playful kitten or puppy. Small children’s toys, or other small objects may be fun to play with but like human 2 year olds.... who knows what they will try to swallow. Coins- Most of today's coin currency contains some amount of zinc and if swallowed they can cause life threatening blood problems. Antifreeze- A leak in your coolant system of this sweet tasting fluid can be very enticing to your pet, and very lethal.

For other possible toxins around the house check the Emergencies link.

  • Invisible Fencing
  • This is a good product that can help your pet have a more free lifestyle while still keeping him safe. Talk to your veterinarian to discuss whether this would be a good choice for your furry family member.

  • Bark collars
  • Some of these collars can be cruel if used inappropriately. There are some citronella collars that are safe and humane, as well as some ultrasonic bark deterrents that seem to have moderate to good success depending on the dog.

    Behavioral Concerns

    My Hints on Housetraining

    When you are away I recommend crate training. The nature of a dog is as a den animal. A crate can be a safe place for your pet while you are gone, while at the same time protecting your house from the puppy stages. However, if your pet starts to exhibit signs of anxiety or discomfort they may be suffering from separation anxiety and a consultation with your veterinarian would be needed to help with this behavioral problem. NOTE: offers good basic house training tips. These tips given below may work well for you in housetraining your pet.


    Unless you can catch him in the act, it really does not do any good to your dog to drag him off to the site of his mishap and try and punish him. Keep your dog in sight and if tries something in front of you, say "No," get his attention, and take him outdoors quickly so he can finish eliminating in the appropriate area. Remember, it is your house. He has to earn his freedom through good behavior and this is your responsibility. The first step in housetraining is to decide whether your pup will be trained to only eliminate outdoors or have the option of using a dog litter. If your dog will be trained to eliminate only outdoors, start by establishing an elimination spot. In the morning, clip his leash to his collar and take the dog outdoors to his spot for elimination. State commands like "go potty" or "hurry up." After he does his duty, bring the dog inside for food and water. About 15 to 20 minutes after the meal, take the dog outside again for elimination.

    Take your dog to his "spot" at each elimination time and maintain a regular feeding, drinking, and elimination schedule. One of the most commonly made errors in housetraining is rushing too quickly ahead of your dog. Too much freedom too quickly can cause some confusion. If your dog experiences an accident or two, you should back up and slow down your training efforts. Marking should not be confused with housetraining problems because marking is deliberate. It is advised that if you notice this behavior indoors or out, you should strengthen all obedience commands immediately.

    Providing your dog or puppy with a crate that is way too large may allow him to relieve himself in one end and sleep in the other. Make sure you take your dog or puppy outdoors to eliminate on a regular schedule and especially prior to being left for prolonged periods of time. If you have tried all the above and are still experiencing what you believe to be "Territorial Marking," consult your veterinarian. Your dog/puppy may have a bladder infection and it’s always best to be safe, not sorry. If your dog/puppy is not spayed or neutered, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about this procedure. It usually has a very positive effect on this type of behavior. Even well-trained dogs sometimes have accidents. Clean the accident area with a pet odor neutralizer so your dog won"t be tempted to repeat his mistake.

    Here are some tips to help prevent accidents:

    Do not make sudden changes in his diet.

    Avoid giving your dog late night snacks.

    Make sure to spend enough time outdoors.

    Cat Care

    Giving Pills

    Giving Pills Info

    If your cat needs pills here is a link that gives the steps. Hint: If you have trouble viewing - try pasting the link into your browser rather than linking to it.

    Dog Care

    Insulin Shots

    Insulin Shots Info

    If your pet needs insulin shots here is a link that gives the steps Hint: Better if ActiveX is restricted. If you have trouble viewing - try pasting the link into your browser rather than linking to it.


    Possible Toxins

    There are many items which can make your pet ill if eaten. Some are very serious while others will give them some level of intestinal discomfort. The list below includes some of the more common. It is not ordered by severity, nor is it complete by any means. We can consume foods that are harmful to the pet because our body makeup is different. Over the years I have been amazed at what dogs choose to eat, so be careful.

  • Alcohol, Onions, Chives, Garlic, Grapes
  • Macadamia Nuts, Yeast Dough, Caffeine, Coffee, Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Azalea, Laurel, Lilies, Lupine, Oleander
  • House Plants- most house plants are either toxic or gastric irritants follow the link below to check on your plants.
  • Medications- Most human medications are toxic or are too strong.
  • Excessive consumption of Salt
  • Salt with Melting Agents- can contain antifreeze like substances
  • Tobacco
  • Undercooked or Raw Meats- can carry bacterial toxins
  • Xylitol- an artificial sweetener often found in CHEWING GUM
  • **Avoiding People Food all together is a Good Rule of Thumb**, except those specific items approved by your veterinarian for their specific needs. If you are concerned that your pet may have ingested a toxin, time may be of the essence. Don't hesitate to call your local veterinarian, local veterinary emergency clinic, or the Animal Poison Control Center. Or use the link below for additional information.

    LCAH (Loudon County Animal Hospital) number is (865)986-9075
    Local Pet Emergency Clinic number is (865) 693-4440
    Link for information ASPCA Poison Control
    Animal Poison Control Center call (888) 426-4435. (A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.)


    Heartworm Society

    This Link provides very good information on the disease and its affects on both dogs and cats. Helpful Info Hint: If you have trouble viewing - try pasting the link into your browser rather than linking to it.

    More to come on flea and tick prevention!