What is a disaster? It can be a flood, hurricane, snow storm, tornado, disease outbreak or even a terrorist attack. It can be an evacuation or a major power outage. Evacuation can last for a few hours to permanently.
Your whole family needs to have a disaster plan and be prepared. Being prepared will help you stay calm and enable you to keep everyone safe. If you have pets you must include them in your plans. Always remember if it is not safe for you to be somewhere it is not safe for your pet. Take your pets if you evacuate! Leaving them in an empty house is very dangerous.
To be ready for a disaster just takes a little advance planning.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Have a Plan
Many emergency shelters will only allow you to bring service animals. Know in advance which shelters in your area are pet-friendly so you can plan accordingly. Often motels or hotels are happy to accommodate both you and your pets. Perhaps friends or relatives would be willing to keep your pet in an emergency.
You may be forced to leave your pet in a pet shelter. Find a good choice in advance. You can ask your Vet, your local office of emergency management or local animal shelters for advice. Research all of these things now before you need them and keep your list where you can find it quickly.
Pack a Pet Survival Kit
You need to have:
- A weeks supply of food and water
- Any medications your pet uses
- Food and water bowls
- A manual can opener
- An extra leash and harness
- A crate for cats or smaller dogs
- Garbage bags, gloves and paper towels for clean up
- Kitty litter for cats
- Extra toys
- A first aid kit
- A copy of all your pet’s records including vaccination records, current pictures, any ID information if they have been micro-chipped, and any other medical records
Consider micro-chipping your pet to easily locate them in a disaster. Also ensure your pet’s identification tags are up-to-date with your contact information. Include a cell phone number or the number where you plan to stay during the disaster.
Keep your disaster kit ready and easily portable at all times. Make sure to change food and water supplies every few months so they stay fresh during storage. Planning and preparation for a disaster will ensure you and your pet come through it safely.
Everyone has tech these days. Tablets, smart phones, GPS and laptops. Did you know that there are lots of new tech apps, programs and devices for your pet as well?.
There are several new GPS devices that can be attached to pet collars. This is very helpful if you have a pet that likes to escape. You can track your pet or with some of the devices you can also monitor their exercise with an app on your smartphone.
For pets that have not learned all of their boundaries there is a inside/outside invisible fence with an electronic pet door. Some brands even come with night vision and video files.
If you are gone frequently at mealtime you can get an electronic automatic pet feeder that you can control with your smartphone or computer.
For smartphone owners you can get an app that is like facebook for dogs featuring dog training basics, pet service finders and pet first aid.
Also on the list of new gadgets is an ionic pet brush you can use instead of giving a real bath, self cleaning litter boxes and even testicular implants so that your neutered pet will feel as if nothing has happened to them.
The implanted microchip is another tech item that is becoming increasingly popular. It is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the pet’s skin. It helps identify lost pets and gets them back to their owners. In the United Kingdom there is a new law that mandates all pets be chipped in the next 3 years.
So for the tech-minded you can get just about anything you want for your pet.
Now that Valentine’s Day is over you need to watch out for all of those wonderful leftover chocolate treats and candy that is still sitting around your house.
You love your chocolate and your dog may really want some of that wonderful chocolate too. He may beg and whine. Don’t give in even for a little tiny bit of your chocolate. It can be really dangerous or even deadly for any of your pets but especially for your dogs. Dogs are the most susceptible because they seem to have an affinity for sweets. They can sniff out and find the things they like and can get into all the containers and packages that the chocolate is in.
Cats are also susceptible but are not as likely to get in trouble because they are much more finicky eaters so they don’t usually get into the chocolate that is left lying around your house.
Chocolate contains methylxanthines, theobromine and caffeine. All of these compounds can cause harm to your pets but it is the theobromine that causes most of the problems.
Theobromine is a stimulant like caffeine and even small amounts can cause chocolate toxicity.
It should be considered an emergency if your pet eats any chocolate – especially if they begin to have any of the signs and symptoms of chocolate toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity.
You should call a pet poison control center or your pet’s veterinarian. Be calm and be sure to have all of the information they will need. You will need to tell them how much chocolate was consumed, when it was consumed and the size of your pet.
Help your pets have a healthy Valentine’s season.
Your pet’s dental health is a very important part of their care. With February being dental health month this is a good time to get the basics down. Here are some things you can do to help your pet have the best dental health possible.
1. Brush Their Teeth
This should really begin when they are puppies or kittens but it is never to late to start.
You need a toothbrush and toothpaste made specifically for your pet. It is very important NOT to use any toothpaste with fluoride until your pet is at least 6 months old as it can harm enamel formation on their teeth. They make toothpaste for dogs and toothpaste for cats as well as specific toothbrushes. For your dog you can also use your finger wrapped in a cloth, especially until they get used to having their teeth brushed.
2. Healthy Diet
Your pets need to eat a healthy nutritious diet. You need to get appropriate food for the size, weight and age of your pet. Good nutrition is vitally important for a healthy pet. Certain types of pet food are specifically designed to help maintain good dental health.
3. Play Time
You can make keeping good dental hygiene fun. Get chew toys for your pet. Certain toys can actually help prevent the buildup of plaque on their teeth. Some people think rawhide bones are great for your dogs and really help their teeth while others think rawhide is not safe for your dog. That is a decision that is up to you as a pet owner. There are many toys for pets that promote good dental health.
There are special treats designed to help remove the plaque on your pet’s teeth. Also available is an additive to put in your pet’s water that is supposed to help dissolve and get rid of plaque over time. You can also now get a tongue scraper that dogs like to lick to get the gunk off of their teeth. You as the pet’s owner will have to decide what works best for you and your pet.
5. Professional Care
You need to take your pet to get their teeth cleaned on a regular basis. Most authorities say yearly but again that depends on your pet and their dental health.
Take good care of your pet and their dental hygiene so you will be able to enjoy a long healthy relationship with them.
Bad Breath. It happens. But for our pets, it could mean than just less kisses from us…it might signify a potentially serious health risk.
The most common condition found in both cats and dogs is Periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is when the tarter spreads under the gumline, which causes loss of structures that support the teeth. In addition to damage to the tooth and gums of your pet, it has been known to cause gum recession, loose teeth, bone infection, and even instances of internal organ damage as well.
The best way to combat dental disease in our pets is by brushing daily. This will help remove and significantly decrease the buildup of plaque and tarter. In addition, thorough cleaning by your vet is highly recommended (just like we humans do!). Every time you see your Arizona Pet Vet doc simply ask for a ‘flip the lip’ exam and they can keep an eye out for potential problems and ensure you and your pet keep smiling together.
In support of National Pet Dental Health Month, we are offering $50 off your dental treatment! Call any of our locations for more details!