Pet Safe Tips for Island Living


New to the island? Here’s some friendly advice to keep your pets safe in this unique environment – whether itʻs information about safe foods or the types of island-style critters to expect here on the Big Island of Hawaii!From avocado leaves to kalo (taro), there are many types of plants found here on the island that can be harmful to your dog. For a comprehensive list and more useful resources, visit Lava Dogs Hawaiiʻs website. There is also a well organized chart available by clicking here.  These are just guides, so please seek veterinary assistance immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested anything toxic.

The Big Island is also host to a handful of other things to be cautious about as a pet owner. Fire ants can bite your cat or dog leaving behind a burning sensation that no animal or human enjoys. This leads to irritated skin and eventually itching. Sometimes the Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray or similar products help alleviate your furry friend’s discomfort! The best method is prevention. For more information on fire ant treatment and prevention, visit the University of Hawaii’s websiteor the Hawaii Invasive Species Council’s.

Snails, slugs, rats and cane toads are also some critters you don’t want your pet to be messing with. Cane toads secrete a toxin that is very harmful to dogs while snails, slugs, and rats potentially carry rat lungworm disease: a parasitic nematode. For more information regarding this topic, visit Center for Disease Controlʻs webisite or the Disease Outbreak Control Division.

Even though these dangers seem unavoidable and ever-present, simple things like following your dog with a flashlight when you let them out at night or just being conscious of what they’re doing can be the best preventive measures.

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