A Pet Owner’s Guide to Preparing for a Natural Disaster

Hurricane season is upon us and it’s important to have an emergency preparedness plan for you and your family in case disaster strikes. When facing the possibility of a hurricane or any other natural disaster, don’t forget to include your furry family members in your evacuation plan. According to the American Red Cross, “if it’s not safe for you to stay behind, it’s not safe to leave pets behind either.”

Here are a few things for responsible pet owners to keep in mind when planning ahead:

Know where to go: If evacuation becomes necessary, remember that many evacuation shelters don’t allow pets. If you don’t have family or friends in the vicinity, it’s a good idea to make a list of pet-friendly hotels and motels in your area ahead of time and keep that list in an easily accessible place. Some veterinarians and boarding facilities also offer shelter to pets in the event of an emergency.

Make sure pets are wearing identification: Having your pet wear proper identification is a good idea at all times, but during emergency situations it’s even more crucial. In the event that you and your pet do become separated, ID with up-to-date contact info is the best way to become reacquainted.

Pack an emergency kit: Along with your family’s emergency kit, have supplies packed and ready to go for your pets. According to the American Red Cross, your pet’s emergency kit should include:

  • Medications
  • Sturdy leash and harness
  • Muzzle (if necessary)
  • Pet food
  • Drinkable water
  • Plastic bags or kitty litter/pan for waste
  • Pet carrier large enough for your pet to sit and lay down in
  • Current photos in the event that a pet does get lost

 If space allows, comfort items such as treats, blankets, beds, and toys are a good thing to have on hand as well.  These items might soothe a pet who’s experiencing fear or stress due to an unfamiliar situation.

For more information about preparing for a disaster, visit http://www.redcross.org/.

Road Trip Tips For Your Pet

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy!  Are you planning a road trip with your pet?  As much fun as it can be to bring Fido along, sometimes it can be difficult.  Here are a couple pet-friendly road trip tips to help you and your pet’s vacation be a little more enjoyable.

Get your pet used to the car first.  For many pets, the only time they ride in a car is when they are going to the vet and it may not be the happiest association.  Try taking your dog for a ride to the park or to a different place for a walk.  Be sure to restrain your pet so they are not a distraction while you are driving and they don’t get hurt in case of a sudden stop.   Securing your pet in a crate or harness is the best way to prevent distractions and keep them safe.  Be sure to familiarize your pet with his crate before your first trip.

Pets can get car sick just like people.  To minimize the risk of car sickness, refrain from feeding your pet for a few hours prior to your trip.  If your pet gets anxious or motion sick there are several over-the- counter medications available at vetdepot, such as Anxiety Drops that may be helpful.  Cerenia is also an effective prescription medication that your veterinarian may recommend.  The more familiar and comfortable your pet is with the car the more fun everyone will have!

Protect Your Pets From Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and all other pests are out in full force and this can put your pet at an increased health risk.  The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says pet owners should take special care to protect their pets from ticks, fleas and mosquitoes this season. You can find products to protect your pets at vetdepot.  Dogs, cats and other pets are especially susceptible to health risks posed by such pests.

Some health risks include the transmission of heartworms to pets via Mosquitoes which can result in heart disease, ticks can cause diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever by spreading bacteria to pets.  In addition, the saliva from fleas can cause anemia, dermatitis and the transfer of tapeworms to pets.  Fleas often jump onto pets when outdoors and enter into homes where they can multiply and quickly infest bedding, furniture and clothing.

It is important to always inspect pet coats thoroughly after spending time outdoors.  Here are a few recommended tips from the NPMA to keep your pet safe from pests:

  • Watch for excessive scratching or licking on your pet
  • Avoid walking pets in tall grass, pests love to gather here
  • Wash pet bedding, plush toys and vacuum frequently
  • Talk to your veterinarian about treatment options to protect your pet, and seek medical advice if ticks or fleas are found on your pet

PetCareDaily Blog

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