In the advent of severe weather, natural disaster, or other emergency, are you prepared for your pets safety and lodging? Are you ready? The best thing you can do for yourself and your pet(s) is to be prepared. Always bring your pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Here is a list of things that should be ready and easy to get to:
Collars and leashes – Leave in a drawer where you can find them quickly
Airline carriers: Small pets, pocket pets, reptiles, birds, etc. Place these carriers near their cages.
Vaccination and medical records
Dog/cat food/ pocket pets, bird food, etc.
Water: 4/ 5 gallon. 5 days ‘worth
Blankets and towels
Disposable garbage bags
Waterproof container for medication, food, etc.
Emergency first aid kit
Litter and disposable litter pans (aluminum roasting pans are perfect. Dollar Tree sells them for 40 cents!)
Pictures of your pet(s)
Sheets ( to cover crates).
Life jacket (especially if you live near water)
NOTE on birds, reptiles, and pocket pets: These pets need to be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, salt licks, hide box, heating pads, water bottles to hang on crates, etc. Get the appropriate items they would need for at least 7 days).
You are probably wondering where you are going to keep all these things? You can place them in an emergency first aid container inside your home as close to an exit as possible. One of our clients kept all their emergency supplies in a plastic container with wheels, in her back yard. She placed a weather resistant tarp over the container and sealed all medications and dry food products. The container was locked. Every month she checked it and replaced food and medication, if needed. Did she use it? She did! Last year we had several fires in the Vista/San Marcos area. People had to evacuate. She rolled the container into her car, both dogs had their safety belts on and kitty was in her carrier with her delicious cat nip! Her husband already had their human emergency luggage in his car. She put on classical music for her babies and drove to her sister’s home in Encinitas. The dogs were asleep when they arrived and kitty……….well kitty and cat nip were just ducky! Never leave your pets behind. If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. Arrange a safe haven. Call your local animal shelter to see if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Keep in mind that during any kind of emergency they too can be closed. Also note that not all Red Cross disaster shelters accept pets, but ask if they have set up an area for families with pets. Most likely they do! Talk with your neighbors and sit in on monthly HOA meetings. Community awareness is important in keeping your neighborhood safe. http://www.pacificanimalhospital.com/blog/2014/05/helping-your-pets-through-a-natural-disaster-or-emergency/
During a disaster your pets are feeling the stress and anxiety around them. Keep them in a safe, quiet area if possible. Please make sure their collar is on correctly and in no way can slip out of it. Are your pet’s microchipped? We highly recommend to microchip your pets in case they get scared during a thunderstorm and escape, or someone leaves the front door open or back gate! Microchip implantation is quick, simple, inexpensive, and essentially painless and virtually stress free for pets and pet parents. No anesthetic is required. Here at PAH, we can help you complete the microchip registration forms immediately following implantation.
Talk to your veterinarian, neighbors and most importantly, talk to your family. Create an evacuation plan and get things organized. We never know when we have to leave our homes. You want to be able to find everything you need in one area and all in one container of some sort. Try to keep cool, calm and collected. The most important rule is to never wait until the last minute! It’s not safe for you, family members and your pets. If you have a pet that has anxiety or you have a pet that is full of energy, talk to your veterinarian about possibly getting medication to help with anxiety. Administer the medication when needed. If you have any questions or concerns on how to get prepared with your pets, please don’t hesitate to call us at (760) 757-2442. http://www.pacificanimalhospital.com/contact-us.html#emergency
Kitten season is here and you may find litters of kittens in your bushes, back porch, trash bin areas or even under the hood of your car! Before you move them, keep in mind that the momma cat may be around. If the kittens have a full belly, most likely momma cat is feeding them on schedule. Kittens have a higher chance of survival with their momma cat, so it would be ideal to keep the kittens with her. If she does show up and is friendly, move them all to a safe location. If you have feral cats in your neighborhood and have seen kittens about, call your local animal shelter so that they can hopefully catch them. Shelters and rescue groups get full during kitten season and they need volunteers, donations and foster care for these precious kitties. Here are ways we can all help:
- Spay or neuter your darling kitty! Female cats can become pregnant as young as five month of age! While it’s always the safest to keep your cat inside, it’s especially important to do so before the cat is spayed or neutered. Keep your cat happy indoors and learn how to provide safe outdoor time. There are some really beautiful and amazing outdoor cat hutches!
- Shelters are full during this time of year and they could really use your help! Taking care of an orphaned litter could save their lives! You can also go to the shelter and help bottle feed homeless kittens, clean up after them and so much more. Although it’s a lot of work, the sight of a tiny kitten suckling milk from a bottle is always so adorable!
- Care for homeless or feral cats in your area. Work with your local animal control or feral cat group to help manage your neighborhood’s feral and stray cat populations.
- Become a foster cat parent. Many kittens and adult cats are waiting to be adopted. Some may not do well in a crowded shelter and prefer a quieter environment. As it is only temporary and you have the time and home, what a blessing to give these beautiful felines the care they need!
- Adopt! Especially an adult one! If you opt for kittens, keep in mind that two are better than one. Not only will they keep each other company, but they will delight you with their antics!
Growing kittens have special veterinary needs. Get them off to the best possible start with PAH’S Kitten Wellness Plan designed especially for this developmental stage! Vigilant care is a must to ensure a kitten’s optimal development. As cats age, their health care needs change also. Pacific Animal Hospital has incredible Wellness Packages for all pets, young or old. One of the best ways you can save on pet care is to enroll your pet in a Wellness Package. The advantage of the Wellness Packages is that it includes all the preventive care necessary to keep your pet healthy for an entire year. The fees are discounted so it is budget friendly, and you either pay a small monthly payment or you can pay all at once. As the year goes by, you will receive reminders about the services and treatments in your pet’s specific package. To help our clients and families, Pacific Animal Hospital offers several wellness packages, including packages for kittens and puppies, adults, and seniors. They all include many of the services listed above and even a few extra perks!
For more information on our Wellness Packages give us a call (760-757-2442) or send us an email (email@example.com) and we will send you a copy of the plan that is best for your pet. Our receptionists and technicians are always happy to discuss your pet’s healthcare. One of the best ways to help our beautiful feline friends is to help spread the word about the importance of spaying or neutering!
Are you and your pet having restless nights? Listening to your pet constantly scratching and licking itself in the middle of the night every night can be frustrating! Think about how your pet feels! Compulsive scratching, licking and chewing behaviors are quite common in our pets and there are a variety of causes ranging from allergies to boredom to parasite infestation.
Allergies: Just like people, our pets can also display allergy symptoms. Food, environmental, dust, fleas to name a few can lead to itchy, runny eyes, itchy ears, licking, sneezing and licking or chewing paws. If you have allergies, you know how irritating it can be. Pets cannot verbalize when they are in discomfort. If you see your pet exhibiting these symptoms, a trip to see your veterinarian is critical. If left untreated, allergies may lead into other problems. There is no cure for allergies, but it can be managed so your pet is comfortable. Also, be sure to keep your pet on a grooming schedule. Bathing your pet with a hypoallergenic shampoo and getting a good thorough brush out is important hygiene for our pets.
Boredom or anxiety: We bite our nails or twirl our hair when we get anxious. Our pets can have physical responses as well. In some cases, compulsive biting, chewing or licking develops in response to fear, stress or inadequate stimulation. Be sure your pet receives enough exercise, attention and love. Your veterinarian will help figure out the cause of the behavior and determine the best treatment plan for your pet. If your pet is social, taking him to a doggy daycare twice a week will benefit him greatly. Exercise and socializing are important in our K9’s life just like us pet parents. Some daycare’s also have puppy, senior and tiny tots (pets that weigh under 15lbs) camp!
Dry Skin: A variety of factors, including winter weather and/or a dietary deficiency can cause dry skin in our pets. Flakes, red skin, irritation and scratching are symptoms. There is an underlying issue going on and your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause and provide treatment so your pet is more comfortable.
Hormonal Imbalances: If our pet is not producing a certain hormone or putting out too much, skin conditions can occur. Hormones play a very complex role in regulating the body’s functions including the skin.
Parasites: Among the most common causes for compulsive licking, chewing, scratching behaviors are fleas, ticks and mites. Ticks are often visible to the naked eye, fleas often go unseen until there is a large infestation, and mites are microscopic. Please don’t assume that your pet isn’t suffering from parasites just because you can’t see them.
Infectious Dermatitis: Bacterial, fungal and yeast organisms are pathogens that cause coat and skin problems in dogs and cats. Constant itching, scratching or licking can be unbearable to your pet. Ringworm, a fungal organism is transmissible to other dogs as well as to humans! Be cautious and consult with your veterinarian.
Pain: Some pets will lick or chew at an area that is painful. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if there is an underlying condition causing the discomfort. Keep in mind that any pet with a skin problem needs attention because they don’t feel well. In addition dogs and cats often hide pain and discomfort.
There can be many reasons why our pets chew or scratch themselves. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the cause of the behavior and determine the best treatment plan for your pet. Laboratory work, skin scrapings and blood testing may be required in order for your veterinarian to reach that diagnosis. Depending on the cause, this might include eliminating parasites, changing foods, using medications or supplements and addressing anxiety or boredom. A pet’s skin and coat say a lot about his health. If you notice any changes in your pet’s skin or behavior, visit your veterinarian immediately.