How prepared are you?

Disasters strike when we least expect them.  We never think it will happen to us, yet every year tornados, fires, hurricanes, and floods strike locations all over the United States.  If something like this were to affect your family, are you ready?  It is National Pet Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect time to ask yourself the following:

  • Where would you go? Do you have a list of facilities or locations that you could take shelter at?  Where would your pets go?  Try to make a list of pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, or homes that would take your pet in case of an emergency.
  • What would you bring? Everyone should have an emergency preparedness kit.  Be sure to include your pets.  Keep a carrier, leash and collar, food, water, and bowls in a designated location.  Don’t forget any medications and a copy of your pet’s medical records.
  • Could your pet find you if you became separated? Keep identification tags and microchip registration information current so that your pet can find its way home should you have to part.

We all hope that we’ll never have to deal with an emergency like this, but it does happen. Being prepared will give you peace of mind, and is the best way to ensure you and your loved ones will make it through as safely as possible.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

The Top Summer Danger for Pets

Can you guess what it is? If you guessed leaving your pet in a parked car, you hit the nail on the head.  Even on a relatively nice day (think 85 degrees) your car’s interior can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes and 120 degrees within 30 minutes.

Take into account your dog’s lack of sweat gland and inefficient heat exchange mechanisms (panting), and your pooch can be in a pickle in no time flat.  Even leaving the windows cracked is not enough to make a huge difference.

Overheating can lead to permanent damage to major organs including the brain and may even lead to death.  If you see a pet in peril this summer, be sure to try to alert the animal’s owner.  If that is not successful, call 911. Often law enforcement or animal control can help.

As always, please contact us with any questions.

 

Top Ten Reasons to Adopt a Cat

It’s National Adopt-A-Cat Month again, and it is time to think about the benefits of providing a home for a shelter cat.  Here are the top ten reasons to offer up your home to a cat in need:

10.  Who doesn’t need some extra help controlling rodents/bugs/miscellaneous pieces of fluff on the floor?

9.  Cats from shelters/rescues frequently come fully vaccinated and spayed or neutered so that you don’t have to worry about doing it.

8.  We all know that a house without a cat in not truly a home.

7.  You can sleep better at night knowing you are providing an animal with a comfortable home rather than letting it live out its life in a cage.

6.  Because you’ll know every time your kitty looks at you with those loving eyes that you did the right thing.

5.  By adopting an animal, you make room and resources available for another life to be saved.

4.  When you adopt an older animal, you have a better idea of what you are getting.  Personality traits and medical issues are likely to already have been identified.

3.  Everyone needs an extra cuddle-buddy!

2.  Having pets has been shown to reduce stress and improve quality of life.

1.  Combat the pet overpopulation problem.  Three to four million animals are euthanized in shelters every year.

Please give us a call if you have any questions!

 

Springtime fun for your outdoorsy pup

Spring is here and things are warming up outside, which means there are many more opportunities for outdoor fun! Long walks, hiking trails, play groups, swimming… It gets my tail wagging just thinking about it! As with any activity that you participate in with your pup, there are tips to remember when heading into the great outdoors to keep you both safe and happy.

  1. Let your dog carry his own weight. If you have a dog that doesn’t tire easily, get him a dog backpack to help boost his workout a little. Keep in mind that if you just slap the bag on, throw in some weights, and head out for your walk, Sparky might not be too keen the next time he sees the pack come out. The key is to make it fun. Put the pack on empty the first time and let your dog walk around in it while you offer him treats. The next time keep it on a little longer. Once he seems like he’s tolerating it, try it with a couple of water bottles in it to add some weight. As soon as he’s comfortable with it, try going for a walk with it on. The extra weight should help to tire him out faster so he’ll get more out of your walk.
  2. Help your dog to play nice with others. When the weather gets warmer the number of dog bites and dog fights increase due to the number of outdoor activities available to people, dogs, and dog owners. Keep this increased number in mind if you bring your dog to a location where there is the potential for other dogs. Be sure you always ask the owner before initiating contact with a new dog. If the owner is nowhere to be found, avoid any contact with the dog as best you can. Dog parks tend to be more crowded as well, which can sometimes lead to stress and aggressive behavior. Evaluate the situation and pay attention to your pup. If he seems stressed at all, a nice long walk alone with you may be a better option that day.
  3. Is it hot enough for you? We all know that dogs need exercise for both their mental and physical well-being and that a tired dog is a happy dog is a well behaved dog. However, you do need to exercise some caution once the summer temperatures get here, particularly if your dog is older, short-nosed, or has a thick coat. During those dog days of summer, try exercising your pet early in the morning or late in the evening when things have cooled down. Remember that asphalt can get very hot and can burn your dog’s paws. If it’s too hot for you to stand barefoot on it, you shouldn’t let your dog stand on it for very long either.
  4. Learn to recognize heat stress. Heat stress is a serious medical condition that can lead to other issues such as stroke, brain damage, or even death. It’s important to learn to recognize the signs that your dog may be suffering. Remember that dogs can’t sweat the way we do. They regulate their temperature by panting and are much more susceptible to overheating than we are. Signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red/purple tongue. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms you should apply cool (not cold) water  gradually to your dog to decrease his temperature. Make sure to move them to a cooler, shady location and remember that dogs cool themselves from the bottom up, so using cold ice packs and applying them to your dog’s head, neck, and chest will help.
  5. Cowabunga! Most dogs love to swim, but some just can’t do it and others just don’t want to. If you’re going swimming be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before making him swim. If you’re swimming for the first time with your dog, start off in shallow water and coax him by calling his name and encouraging him with treats or toys. Never throw your dog into the water. If you’re lucky enough to be vacationing near the ocean keep a close eye on your pal to make sure he stays safe in any strong tides. If you’re swimming in a pool make sure your dog knows where the stairs are located, and give him a good rinse once he comes out. Otherwise the chlorine will dry on his fur and it may make him sick if he licks it off later.

Most importantly, enjoy your outdoors time with your furry friend. It’s easy to have a great time if you keep these few safety tips in mind. As always, feel free to call us with any questions.