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Safety Tips


Mark Hale, DVM

1661 E. Mt. Gilead Rd.

Bolivar, MO  65613





Winter Tips

v     Be sure to provide your pet with plenty of fresh water and shelter from the heat and cold.

v     No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet's life.  Try to provide a dry, draft-free doghouse large enough for your dog to maneuver comfortably but small enough to hold in body heat.  (Manufactured houses will list the size pet for which the house was designed.)  Raise the floor a few inches off of the ground and cover with cedar shavings or straw.  Turn the house to face away from the wind and cover the doorway with a rug or waterproof burlap.  Don't forget about outdoor cats!  They need to be able to get into shelter such as their own house, a barn or other outbuilding.

v     Outdoor pets need additional food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy.  Check their water dish often to make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen.

v     Warm engines of cars attract cats and small wildlife.  Bang on the car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

v     Antifreeze has a sweet taste that attracts animals.  It is deadly to pets.  Wipe up any spills immediately.  Store it and all household chemicals away from pets.  If you suspect your pet has consumed antifreeze, chemicals or poison, call our office immediately.  If you cannot reach Dr. Hale, contact the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Springfield (417/890-1600).  Quick attention to this situation is critical.


Summer Tips

v     NEVER leave your animals unattended in a parked car.  Temperatures soar quickly.

v     Keep pets away from fireworks.  They may try to retrieve one or step on burning material.  Some pets may become frightened and run away.

v     Provide plenty of fresh water and shelter from the heat.  Outdoor pets may turn their bowls over, leaving them with nothing to quench their thirst.  If pets must be tied out, make sure that they cannot become entangled.  A few wraps around a tree could make it impossible to reach the water bowl.

v     Summertime brings out mosquitoes which transmit heartworms, and ticks which transmit Lyme disease and Erlichiosis.  Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations and heartworm preventatives.

v     Your companions need protection against fleas, ticks and internal parasites.  These parasites cause tremendous irritation and transmit life-threatening diseases.


Poison Control

v     Read and follow label directions for any flea, tick or deworming product with which you treat your animals.

v     Cut off any excess collar when using flea and tick collars.  Do not allow your pet to chew on these collars.

v     NEVER feed your animals chocolate.  It is toxic to them and may be fatal.  Keep it out of reach of your pets.

v     Some houseplants may be toxic to your pet.  Consumption of any plant material may cause stomach upset.

v     Tylenol (acetaminophen) is toxic to cats.



v     Protect your pets from external and internal parasites.  They can transmit life-threatening diseases.

v     Keep your pet's immunizations current.

v     Check your pet's collar regularly for proper fit.  You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar.  Growing pups outgrow collars quickly.  Swimming or other dampness may cause shrinkage in certain types of collars.


"Dog Gone" or "Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Dog Gone?"

v     By having an identification tag on your pet's collar, you greatly increase its chances of being returned to you.  Be sure to put the most current rabies tag on your pet's collar.  The rabies tag will have your pet's identification number as well as the phone number of the veterinarian who administered the vaccination.  Your veterinarian will have this rabies tag number on file.  Anyone who finds your missing pet will be able to phone the number listed on the tag.  This way, your veterinarian will be able to help you get your pet back to you.  (Make sure to inform your veterinarian of your new address and phone number if you move.) 

v     Many veterinarians, animal control officers, and shelters have microchip readers which can read the chips and find out who purchased the chip.  Insertion of the microchip is inexpensive.  The procedure is as simple as an injection.

v     In the event your pet becomes lost, alert our office, other local veterinarians, and the Polk County Humane Society.  In addition, the local radio station KYOO will announce your lost pet on the air.  The Bolivar Herald-Free Press has a section in their classified ads for "Lost and Found Pets."  Fast action must be taken to find any lost pet.



(    All Creatures Animal Clinic, Ltd.                        777-2765

(    Emergency Clinic of Springfield                        890-1600                              

(    Polk County Humane Society                   777-DOGS

(    KYOO Radio Station                                   326-5257

(    Bolivar Herald-Free Press                                    326-7636


Your companion depends on you to keep it safe and healthy.

Common sense and good judgment go a long way in providing a safe environment for your animal companions.