Category Archives: Pet Safety

The Danger in Your Backyard: Pets and Sago Palms

Female Sago palm in flowerpotRecently at Pet Medical Center – Chatoak, we have had a few pet patients made sick by the toxic sago palm. We wanted to take this opportunity to be sure that all of our readers recognize the dangers of this common plant and know what to look out for when it comes to pets and sago palms.

Say Hello to Sago

Sago palms are a common part of the landscape here in California, but not everyone knows what they look like. Sago palms grow naturally and can be found in wild landscapes. They are also a commonly utilized ornamental plant, and may even be in your own backyard.

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The Risk of Rabies: What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Baby RaccoonAlthough the number of rabies cases in the U.S. among humans has largely been contained, the risk of rabies among animals is still quite real (about 400-500 pets diagnosed annually).

Rabies can be found in every state except Hawaii and can be transmitted to any mammal. Considering it has a nearly always fatal prognosis (>99.9%), learning how to protect your pet is imperative to stopping the spread of this illness. Continue reading

Protect Your Pet From the Dangers of Foxtails

Closeup of Caucasian Hand in FoxtailsWalking your dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures – until he or she unexpectedly runs through a patch of foxtails. Unfortunately, California foxtails don’t just clump together in small, avoidable pockets. Foxtails seem to be everywhere. From rolling hillsides to mountain trails, the dangers of foxtails should not be underestimated.

Your Worst Nightmare

Why are foxtails so bad? For starters, they’re a member of a group of grasses with needle-like seed heads, commonly referred to as wild barley and ripgut brome. Incredibly resilient, foxtails remain standing even when dry and brittle. This also happens to be the time when they pose the most danger to your pet. Continue reading

Always Prepared: Disaster And Earthquake Preparedness For Pets

Cute little tabby kitten sitting in a travel crateEmergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and in our corner of the world they often take the form of earthquakes. By now, you and your family have probably experienced an earthquake or two (or three!), and you likely have a plan in place in the event you are evacuated or are unable to return to your home.

It’s one thing to plan for the safety of your human family members, but having a pet takes your emergency planning to a new level. Disaster and earthquake preparedness for pets may add complexity to your emergency plan, but knowing that you are doing all you can to protect your four-legged family members will make the extra effort worthwhile. Continue reading

Snail Bait Poisoning and Other Spring Pet Safety Reminders


Chatoak_iStock_000035049898_LargeThere is so much to celebrate as winter yields to spring that it’s hard not to do a little happy dance. Inspiration to deep clean your home, start your garden, or head to the trails is not only common, it’s downright abundant during the weeks before Memorial Day.

However, before you get too carried away with this outstanding rush of spring fever it’s a great idea to refresh your spring pet safety tactics. That’s where your friends at Pet Medical Center Chatoak come in… Continue reading

Pet Travel During the Holidays

Summeridge_iStock_000034854986_MediumAlthough the family cat or dog is often included in our December plans, traveling with a pet – especially during the holidays – can be challenging. After all, there’s no distracting Spot with a Gameboy or entertaining Fluffy with a Disney movie.  

For some animals, traveling can create enough stress to result in digestive problems or even the risk of escape. That’s why understanding your pet’s ability to travel and undertaking the necessary prep work is critical to having a happy, pet-safe holiday. Continue reading

Best Pet Practices: How To Crate Train Your Cat (So You Can Come See Us!)


Wondering how to fill up your date book for the remaining days of summer? Besides hitting up the mountains or finding a stretch of beach, you could…come see us, of course! In honor of Take Your Cat To The Vet Day (which occurs every year on August 22nd), we heartily encourage you to bring your cat in for a regular wellness check. Continue reading

The Deep End: The Truth About Swimming Pools and Pet Safety

Chatoak_iStock_000010972143_LargeThe pool versus lawn debate continues to rage on throughout our fair state, but the basic truth is that California has well over a million (and counting) residential pools that demand to be filled. If this isn’t staggering enough, consider the excessively high numbers of beloved pets that drown in backyard swimming pools each year. Continue reading

Rattlesnakes and Pets: Safety Tips for the Savvy Pet Owner

Chatoak_iStock_000015823910_Large (1)Rattlesnake encounters can be a scary part of living in California. The warmer the weather, after all, the more likely these sneaky snakes are likely to venture out where you may encounter them.

Rattlesnake season in the southern half of the state runs from about April to October; meaning it’s just around the corner. Do you know what to do in the event your or your pet stumble across one? Read on to learn what you need to know about rattlesnakes and pets. Continue reading