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National Walk Your Pet Month

If you’re one of the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions, chances are that weight loss and/or exercising more often is among them.

You probably already know about the health benefits of losing weight. There’s less stress on your joints, your heart, etc. But did you know that when your pet loses weight, he or she enjoys the same benefits?

According to Pet Obesity Prevention, 57.9% of American pets are overweight or obese. Even an extra two pounds on your cat (or five on dogs) is associated with greater risk for disease.

January is National Walk Your Pet Month which makes is perfect for the dogs in your life. Maybe for your cat too but most aren’t interested in walks.

And if the exercise benefits aren’t enough, dogs also enjoy mental stimulation by getting out in the neighborhood and sniffing the trees, sidewalks, fire hydrants and each other.

Walking Your Dog is Bonding Time

Walking together is a great time to focus on training your dog and strengthening the bond between you.

To get the most out of your time together, don’t walk and talk on the phone. Use this time to focus on your pet. They spend a lot of time alone already and need you. Praise them when they walk well and pay attention to you.

If your pet needs leash training, find a class, hire a dog trainer for a few sessions or watch YouTube videos on how to train your dog to walk on a leash. It’s no fun (and possibly dangerous) if your dog is doing the zoomies down the street at top speed about to pull your arm out of the socket.

If your dog already walks great on a leash, congratulations! Now you can focus on enjoying the walk and maximizing it for calorie burn:

Maximize Your Walk

You already know a slow meander isn’t going to do much for revving up the metabolism. However, if you’ve been more sedentary than active, you’ve got to start somewhere. Even a few minutes at a slow pace have more health benefits that sitting on the couch. As soon as you can though, speed up your walk, even if it’s only for a few seconds at a time.

An average is about one mile in a 20 minute period or 3 miles an hour. Are you walking that fast already?

Sometimes dogs can be tricky. They get caught up in the smells and slow your progress. This is another reason the leash training comes in handy. There’s a time to let them sniff and a time to walk. Maybe you start out slow or slow down when you get to a favorite spot. Over time, they’ll adapt to your rhythm if you train them to trot along beside you.

Of course, if you have a high energy dog, then your pet needs to run—daily—to burn off that excess energy. If you’re not a runner, then take your dog to the dog park or find a pet sitter who’ll run with your dog.

It’s hard to walk calmly on a leash when you’re filled with pent up energy.

Safety after Dark

It is January after all and it gets dark early. If your dog walking activities take place in the predawn or late afternoon/evening hours, you want to make sure you can be seen by motorists, bicyclists and other dog walkers/pedestrians.

A lighted leash and collar combination is good for the Fido in your life. You will do well to wear light colored clothes at least and better yet, a reflective vest or jacket.

What about you? How will you participate in National Dog Walking Month?

How to Keep Pets Safe at the Holidays and During the Cold Months Ahead

Dropping temperatures often means you and your pets may find yourselves indoors more than usual. The month of December can also present unique challenges for young or “new to you” pets in terms of schedule changes and holiday decorations.

With the first day of Winter approaching (Dec. 22) it’s also “Keep Pets Safe in Winter Day.” It’s a reminder to us of the hazards of the season.

You may think of the usual outdoor concerns such as making sure your pets steer clear of antifreeze and chemical de-icers – more on those in a minute – yet the indoor arena presents its own challenges.

Cords, Gift Wrapping and Tinsel – It Must Be the Holidays!

If you have older pets who have been with you through multiple holiday seasons, they may snooze through the gift wrapping and guests with barely a raised eyebrow.

On the other hand, if you have young pets, or even “new to you” pets, you’ll want to take precautions as you see how they behave.

Christmas Trees – Talk about excitement and confusion. You’re bringing a tree inside and hang it with shiny objects that swing about when batted. It smells good, it’s unusual and you’re giving it a lot of attention.

All of that makes it of interest to some pets. That interest may range from kittens batting ornaments off of it to jumping into the tree. Dogs may be delighted that you’ve brought them indoor plumbing.

Only they know what goes on in their minds.

Until you know your pet’s reactions, here are a few precautions.

  • Leave low branches empty — Don’t hang ornaments on low branches where they may tempt your furry friends to chew on them or knock them onto the floor. Delicate ornaments can break and cut your curious pets.
  • Don’t leave them unattended – Make sure your pets can’t access the tree easily when you’re not home. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one story of a pet knocking over a Christmas tree. Or dogs who’ve chosen to forget their indoor manners – if you know what I mean.
  • Don’t use tinsel in your decorations. Animals who chew on tinsel can end up at the emergency vet. Why? Because the strands can twist around their internal organs and cause major damage. It’s not worth the risk.

Other Potential Indoor Hazards

  • Open flames from candles – keep them out of the way of wagging tails and curious kittens. It only takes a second for a disaster to occur.
  • Extension cords or electric throws/blankets – Chewing electric cords can electrocute your pet. Veterinarians say it’s quite common so please make sure your pet doesn’t have access to these.
  • Space heaters – Pets get too close and get burned. It’s also easy to knock over space heaters which can even start a fire. Use them with caution and only when you’re home.

Brrr…It’s Cold Outside

When the temperatures settle in the low ‘30’s or below, there are dangers of the elements for both humans and pets. Earlier I mentioned the dangers of antifreeze and chemical de-icers.

You may be familiar with these but in case you’re not, it’s important to realize the hazards.

  • Antifreeze is a magnet for pets. They like the taste of it and it’s poisonous. So make sure that the lids are on tight and out of reach of curious pets. It’s also important to clean up any antifreeze that may spill or leak from your car as it doesn’t take much of the stuff to trigger a reaction – especially in small animals.
  • Paw Pads take a beating. They’re exposed to the elements outside which means snow and ice crystals can lodge themselves deep in the nooks and crannies of your pet’s paws. So can chemical de-icers which you or your neighbors may use to keep your steps, driveway and sidewalk clear of ice.

The de-icers themselves are usually made of calcium chloride (a form of salt) which can burn your pet’s paws – and mouth when they lick their paws clean.

Your best protection is to use a combination of dog boots and to rinse off your dog’s legs and underbelly (if your pet has long fur) when you come in from outside. A towel, a brush and a pan of warm water (for legs/paws) will help keep your pet clean and free of harsh chemicals. It won’t, however, prevent your pet‘s paws from dryness.  For combating dry and flaky paw pads, a pet safe moisturizing balm is useful.

  • Dog Coats and sweaters benefit short haired dogs. Short haired dogs don’t have the extra fur of winter breeds to keep themselves warm so they’re at a disadvantage. Sweaters and dog coats come in all sizes. Even your Mastiff can stop shivering and stay warm in the winter with an extra layer.
  • Be Visible – The winter darkness puts you and your dog at risk when you’re walking. Use a reflective leash or winter clothes with reflective stripes to stay visible to cars, bikers and other pedestrians.

In extreme temperatures, frostbite and hypothermia can affect your pets. In such weather, your best bet is to protect paws with dog booties and keep walks short.

How will you protect your pets this winter?

The Benefits of Probiotics for Your Pet

Do you know how important your pet’s digestive health is to their overall well-being? A healthy gut prevents disease, improves digestion, aids in better nutrient absorption and boosts the immune system. So, in other words, digestive health is extremely important and that’s where probiotics come into play. What are probiotics? Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our pets’ intestines and without the right balance of that good bacteria, your pet can experience major health issues. Let’s talk about the benefits of probiotics for your pet and how you can help to maintain that balance.

Benefits of Probiotics
So, what are the actual benefits of giving your pet food with a healthy amount of probiotics, or even adding probiotic supplements to their food?

Promote a Healthy Digestive System
Overall, a diet that is rich in probiotics will help your pet to achieve digestive balance and promote a healthy gut.

Slow and/or Eliminate Diarrhea
If your pet doesn’t already have a diet with added probiotics and they start to suffer from diarrhea, a probiotic supplement can help to treat the diarrhea. Once you start feeding your pet a probiotic-rich diet, such as Wellness TruFood, they will be less likely to suffer from digestive problems such as diarrhea.

Ease Gastrointestinal Ailments
Does your pet suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or any condition similar to it? Probiotics can help to soothe most gastrointestinal ailments that your pet may be suffering from.

Do All Pets Need a Probiotic?
Because the digestive system is so closely connected to a pet’s immune system and overall health, all pets should have some form of a probiotic as part of their diet.

Probiotic Diet vs. Probiotic Supplement
While both forms of probiotics can be beneficial to your pet, feeding your pet a probiotic diet is the most proactive way to improve their health. Generally speaking, most pet foods that include a proper amount of probiotics are also among the healthier choices of pet foods. These foods will generally have more natural ingredients and are overall better choices for your pet.

Are you ready to start feeding your pet a diet that is rich in probiotics? Any chance to improve your pet’s overall health and potentially add years to their life is a chance that’s worth taking.

Wellness TruFood Thanksgiving Twitter Chat Recap

This year, we wanted to make sure that pet parents would be ready to include their furry family members in the Thanksgiving holiday feast. To do this, we recently hosted a Twitter Chat with Wellness veterinarian, Dr. Louise, DVM. During our 1-hour-long chat, we talked about ways to include healthy superfood ingredients in your pets meals with our Wellness TruFood line for dogs and cats. Take a look at how it went!

In preparation for the Thanksgiving season, as well as the Twitter Chat, we worked on a TruFood photoshoot to capture the delicious, nutrient-rich ingredients up close. We were joined by Wellness dog, Dakota, who was not shy with digging into her holiday plate and showing us all how tasty it was. Check out these behind-the-scenes “blooper” shots!

And now, the final product:

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in our Twitter Chat, and we’d like to congratulate winner @rooneyanddesi who won a year’s supply of Wellness TruFood for participating!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The Purrfect Howl-O-Ween

Pumpkins, scarecrows and goblins, oh my! Halloween is upon us and this holiday is one that is fun for everyone – including our four-legged friends! Pet owners all across America look forward to this holiday and many spend hours upon hours picking out the perfect costume for their pets. How do you celebrate Halloween with your pet? We’ve got some tips on how to have a fun and safe Halloween with your pet!

The Costume Factor

If you have a pet that doesn’t mind suiting up in a festive Halloween costume, then you should consider yourself lucky! Not all pets will be jumping at the chance to wear a costume, so it’s important to make sure that you don’t force your pet to wear something that they aren’t comfortable in. Your pet can participate in the festivities simply by wearing a fun Halloween bandana. Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

Trick or Treating

Whether you are going out trick or treating or staying home to give out candy, keep your pet’s safety in mind!

  • If you bring your pet along for trick or treating, make sure they are on a leash the entire time.
  • If it’s dark outside, your pet should be wearing some type of reflective gear so that they are noticeable to all drivers.
  • Don’t let your pet leave home without their ID tag – you never know when they could get away from you.
  • While at home giving out candy, take extra precautions to make sure your pet doesn’t slip out of the door when trick or treaters arrive. If your pet is known to be an escape artists, it’s probably best to keep them in a secure area during this time.

Speaking of Treats…

What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to Halloween? Candy! Dentists everywhere cringe at the thought of what their patients are indulging in on this particular holiday. While candy isn’t really good for anyone, it can be even more harmful to our pets.

  • Keep all Halloween candy in a safe place where your pets cannot get to it. There are some candies that can be fatal to your pet, especially in large doses.
  • That doesn’t mean that your pet can’t have any treats on Halloween! Pick up some special Halloween treats for your pet so they don’t feel left out while everyone else indulges in their favorite candy.

Community Events
There are always some fun events going on in the community during Halloween, and some events are even catered specifically to our furry friends! These events are a great chance to get your pets out and allow them to socialize.
  • Pet Parades: We love a good pet parade! Whether your pet is dressed in full costume or simply sporting a spooky bandana, pet parades are a fun way for your furry friends to get some good exercise and socialize with other pets.
  • Costume Contests: What could possibly be better than a bunch of adorable dogs (and cats) dressed in funky Halloween costumes? If your community is hosting one of these events, you certainly don’t want to miss out! Your pet doesn’t have to be dressed up to get in on the fun! Again, if you take your pet out to any events in your community, keep their safety in mind. Make sure they are on a leash and they are wearing proper identification at all times.
Halloween can be such a fun holiday for the whole family, but it can also be a nightmare if you aren’t looking out for your pet’s safety. Take these tips into consideration and you and your pet are sure to have the “Purrfect Howl-o-Ween!

· Be sure to consider safety issues when choosing a costume for your pet. Your pet should be completely comfortable in their costume.

Tame Your Cat’s Hairballs

Hairballs aren’t welcome in any home – or in your cat’s stomach. Keep them under control with Wellness’ new Natural Hairball Control dry cat recipe.

Hacku To A Hairball
Wellness Cat presents
A farewell to gross hairballs
Sendoff performance

It’s hard to put any kind of positive spin on hairballs. It can be a common occurrence or a special occasion. But as parents to our beloved kitties, we all freeze in terror when hearing the approach of an impending hairball attack. This unmistakable hack roughly translates in human speak to: “Warning! Be prepared for a wet, hairy mess that will land in your general vicinity or that of a recently cleaned carpet. Evacuate the area in 5 seconds… 4 seconds… 3 seconds… oh, too late.”

Hairballs can be a result of your cat’s regular grooming routine, but they can cause problems with her digestive health (not to mention they go with nothing in your home’s décor!). Typically, the hair your cat swallows forms into what we call a hairball and is eventually vomited up. But, on top of the grossness that hairballs come standard with, she may not be able to get rid of it through the usual methods of expulsion. If it gets too large, it can cause problems within her digestive tract, resulting in bowel obstructions or constipation. In severe cases, she may even need to go into surgery in order to have a hairball obstruction removed.

Read more on PetGuide.com. Click the link here.

Back to School Blues – Treating Pets with Separation Anxiety

Is your pet having difficulty adjusting to the new fall schedule? Maybe he’s eyeing you with panic as you get ready to leave the house? Separation anxiety isn’t only relegated to pets who’ve had a difficult background. It can also affect them when there’s a big change in schedule – such as the kids going back to school. If your pet has gotten used to people being home all the time and now they aren’t, it can cause upset and concern. Muffin doesn’t know it’s simply the time of the year, all Muffin knows is people were around and now they’re not and it often means long hours alone. Sometimes, separation anxiety can show up as extreme panic.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

  • Excessive barking
  • Whining
  • Urinating or Defecating Inside (Only when you’re not around – otherwise they’re house-trained)
  • Scratching at doors/windows
  • Destroying Things

If your usually calm dog is now destroying furniture or eating his way through a door, you have a severe case of separation anxiety on your hands.

How to Deal with Separation Anxiety

In some cases, you may need a calming drug. Talk to your veterinarian about the possibilities on the market. There are many anti-anxiety drugs available.
In the meantime, try these tactics:
Don’t fuss over your pet when you leave or come home. Instead, calmly step out the door and when you return, ignore your pet for a few minutes (as best as you can) and then give a small pat or scratch behind the ears.
Confine your pet to a laundry room or another space where he or she can inflict minimal damage.
Leave a “scented” shirt or other dirty laundry item with your pet. As you know, dogs are highly focused on scent and your familiar smell can help calm him.
Give your pet toys that will keep him busy, for example, a peanut butter stuffed Kong. However, it extreme instances your pet may not touch it until you return.
Calming scents like lavender can help. You can spritz it in the room and around your pet’s toys/bed.
If you can take your pet to doggie day care or to work with you, that will ease the stress. The whole point is that your pet doesn’t want to be left alone.

According to The Humane Society, crating won’t help and can make it worse. Punishment also won’t work.

In some cases, you may need a calming drug. Talk to your veterinarian about the possibilities on the market. There are many anti-anxiety drugs available.

  • Don’t fuss over your pet when you leave or come home. Instead, calmly step out the door and when you return, ignore your pet for a few minutes (as best as you can) and then give a small pat or scratch behind the ears.
  • Confine your pet to a laundry room or another space where he or she can’t inflict damage.
  • Leave a “scented” shirt or other dirty laundry item with your pet. As you know, dogs are highly focused on scent and your familiar smell can help calm him.
  • Give your pet toys that will keep him busy, for example, a peanut butter stuffed Kong. However, it extreme instances your pet may not touch it until you return.
  • Calming scents like lavender can help. You can spritz it in the room and around your pet’s toys/bed.
  • If you can take your pet to doggie day care or to work with you, that will ease the stress. The whole point is that your pet doesn’t want to be left alone.
  • According to The Humane Society, crating won’t help and can make it worse. Punishment also won’t work.

How Do You Know if Your Dog Is Experiencing Separation Anxiety or Just Bored?

Bored dogs can be destructive and howl the day away. But their symptoms usually disappear if they get enough exercise – depending on the breed, that can mean a 10 mile run every day. Separation anxiety is more like a panic. If your dog gets visibly distressed while you’re getting ready to leave the house…that’s classic separation anxiety.

If you watch closely you’ll see the difference. You can try taking your pet out for a longer walk before and after work and seeing if that helps. A mid-day dog walker can relieve both bored dogs and give an anxious dog a break. You can also offer your pet a favorite treat before you leave. Often, a dog experiencing panic at the thought of being left alone will ignore it. They’re truly terrified about being alone and even a favorite treat won’t sway them.

What about your pet? Is he or she showing signs of separation anxiety?

Fireworks Safety: How to Keep Your Dog Safe This Fourth of July

Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. When you think of 4th of July celebrations, what comes to mind? Celebrating our freedom? Of course. Family cookouts? Pass me a burger. We all may celebrate the 4th of July holiday a little differently, but let’s talk about the grand finale – the fireworks! While most people love a good fireworks show, we can’t say the same for dogs. This time of year can present many dangers to your dog, as fireworks can cause them severe anxiety. Let’s talk about how you can keep your dog safe this 4th of July.

Bring Your Dog Inside
If you know that your dog doesn’t like fireworks, or even if you have a new dog and are unsure, it is always best to bring them inside on the days surrounding the 4th of July holiday. Fireworks can cause your dog extreme anxiety, which can present many dangers if they are left outside alone. Possible dangers can include –

  • Injuries sustained as a result of attempting to jump the fence
  • Getting hit by a car while roaming frantically around the neighborhood
  • Wandering away from home to escape the noise and getting lost
  • Getting picked up by strangers (and not the nice kind) while roaming aimlessly

July 5th is known to be one of the busiest days for local shelters, due to these dangers that fireworks present to your dog. Play it safe, and bring your dog inside – they will be happy to join you.

Talk to Your Veterinarian about Anxiety Medication

This may sound a bit dramatic, but for dogs who experience severe anxiety from fireworks, this can be the best way to keep your pet safe and comfortable. If you using natural methods of medication, talk to your vet about that as well – chances are he can steer you in the right direction. Check out these natural remedies:

  • Chamomile
  • Lemon balm
  • Oat
  • Valerian
  • Skullcap

Always consult your vet before giving your dog any medication, even natural remedies, as doses can differ for different dogs and breeds.

Keep Your Dog Away from Windows

When you bring your dog inside, it is important to find a nice, comfortable spot for them to be while the fireworks are going on. A good tip is to try to find a spot away from any windows, as this can help to relieve their anxiety. Some cozy spots to consider –

  • A spacious laundry room without windows
  • A central room in the house that can be closed off
  • A comfortable room in the basement – “No scary basements, Mom.”

Make Sure Your Dog is Wearing Identification

This is a common rule that applies year round, but at times like these it is especially important to make sure that your dog can be identified in the event of getting lost. Even if you bring your dog inside, 4th of July is a busy time in most households, with people coming and going from the house a lot. If your dog were to slip out, make sure that someone can help him find his way back.

Keep Your Dog in a Kennel/Crate

Another things to consider is keeping your dog in a kennel during firework shows. This can often provide a safe escape for dogs in high-anxiety situations, especially if it is an enclosed kennel versus an open crate. Make sure you have the appropriate size kennel for your dog. Your dog should be able to stand up and turn around completely in their kennel. Keeping a dog in a kennel that is too small can be dangerous to your pet.

Skip the Fireworks and Stay Home

If fireworks cause your dog to experience severe anxiety, another option is to celebrate with your family at home, without fireworks. Sometimes we as pet owners have to make sacrifices for the comfort and safety of our dogs. We may not be able to control our neighbors when it comes to fireworks, but we can do our best to provide a safe environment for dogs in our own home.

However you choose to celebrate your freedom this year, be mindful of your four-legged friends as well as others in your neighborhood. Utilize some of these tips to keep your dog safe from the dangers of fireworks, and keep an eye out for your neighbor’s furry friends as well.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is June 26th

Take Your Dog to Work is celebrated each year on the Friday following Father’s Day. The holiday was started by Pet Sitters International in 1999, so this year marks the holiday’s 17th anniversary. The original purpose of the holiday was to “celebrate the great companions dog make and encourage their adoptions.” Take Your Dog to Work Day has become a huge hit and some big companies have even started allowing dogs in the workplace on a regular basis. Why, you ask? We’re glad you did.

Reasons to Take Your Dog to Work
While some people may think that taking your dog to work is a bit far-fetched, others are jumping on board and would argue that having their dog in the workplace actually creates a more relaxed, productive environment. Here are some reasons why taking your dog to work can be beneficial –

  1. Bringing your dog to work promotes a stress-free environment. Studies have shown that spending time with your dog can alleviate stress and work is one of the biggest contributors to our stress levels – makes complete sense, right? Bring your dog to work, keep you more relaxed, and improve the quality of your work.
  2. Spread the love and promote adoption. After all, this is one of the reasons that Take Your Dog to Work Day was started – to promote the adoption of other homeless pets. By bringing your dog to work with you, co-workers who may not have a dog, get the chance to witness the bond that you share with your dog. Hopefully this will lead to inspiring someone to adopt a dog of their own.
  3. Boost the overall morale of the office environment. Dogs make us happy – they are just special that way. Allowing dogs in the workplace improves the overall morale of everyone in the office. It creates a lighter, happier environment that people enjoy being in. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel as happy at work as you do when you are at home with your dog?
  4. It’s not all about making us happier – your dog will be happier too. Whether you crate your dog or not while you are at work, have you ever noticed that your dog is overly excited when you get home? This is partly because they are happy to see you, but also a result of pent up energy from being left alone all day. Even if you only took your dog to work a few days out of the week, your dog would surely appreciate it and you might even notice some positive changes in their behavior.
  5. Create a more inviting atmosphere and give people a reason to come back. If you are trying to bring people in, having a dog in your work establishment creates a laid back, homey atmosphere. People who visit your business will feel more at home and they will remember the experience and be more likely to visit your establishment again – especially the dog lovers. Again, this also promotes adoption, which is always a positive thing. 

Who’s Doing It?

Allowing pets in the workplace is becoming more and more popular. There are a lot of big name companies that now have pet-friendly policies, such as Amazon, Google, Proctor & Gamble and Etsy, just to name a few. Some companies even provide perks that cater specifically to the pets, such as –

  • Benefit packages that include pet insurance
  • Websites that include photos of office dogs
  • Daily group dog walks for employees and their dogs
  • Dog friendly water fountains
  • Designated play areas for pets
  • Dog food and treats provided by the company

Here at Wellness, we celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day every year. It’s always a lot of fun to bring in our pets!

How to Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets

It is extremely important for pet owners to have a plan in place in the event of a disaster or evacuation. The safety of your pets should be treated as a priority along with the rest of the family.

Plan Ahead for Taking Shelter

In the event of a disaster, it is important to have a designated place for you and your pets to take shelter. This will prevent unnecessary stress and confusion during an emergent situation. Here are some things to consider when choosing a shelter –

»     Not all storm shelters will allow pets, so it is important to contact local disaster shelters to find out ahead of time

»     Contact your veterinarian for information regarding pet friendly safe havens

»     Local animal shelters may provide emergency shelter and/or have a foster plan for temporary placement in a home outside the area

»     Make a list of hotels outside of your area that allow pets – this could be a safe option for you and your pets to take shelter together

»     Be aware of road closures and all possible routes to get to your chosen shelter locations

Keep Your Pets Prepared

It is just as important for your pets to be prepared for a disaster as the rest of your family.

»     Have an updated emergency kit for your pet

»     Be sure that your pet is current on vaccinations and has been microchipped

  • In the event that your pet is lost during a disaster, having them microchipped can be their ticket home
  • If your pet has to be placed in an animal shelter during a disaster, you want to be sure they are vaccinated and protected from the spread of disesase

»     Be sure that you have proper pet carriers to transport your pets during a disaster

  • If you have a pet that suffers from anxiety of any kind, whether storm or separation, talk to your veterinarian about possible medications that may help during disaster situations
  • It may help to have an old shirt, or any item that has your scent, to keep inside your pet’s carrier – this has been shown to provide comfort to pets in a stressful situation

»     Get a Rescue Alert Sticker to place on the outside of your home to alert rescue groups that there are animals inside your home

Designate a Caregiver for Your Pet

This is something that deserves careful thought and consideration. There are two types of caregivers that need to be designated for any given disaster situation.

»     Temporary Caregiver

  • This is someone who you will choose to provide temporary care during a disaster situation
  • A neighbor or someone who lives close by would be a good choice as well as someone who is often at home during the day when you are gone to work.
  • This person should have access to your house and should be a familiar face to your pet
  • Be sure that your temporary caregiver is aware of your Disaster Plan and your chosen safe haven for your pet

»     Permanent Caregiver

  • This is the person that you designate to take care of your pet in the event that you can no longer care for them
  • Consider choosing someone who has either cared for your pet in the past or has experience caring for animals
  • Once you choose someone who is willing to take on this responsibility, discuss your expectations and be sure that your permanent caregiver fully understands how to properly take care of your beloved pet

Prepare for Evacuation

In the event of an evacuation, it is best to always be prepared for the worst case scenario – in other words, assume that you will not be able to return for at least a month.

»     If you have a close friend or family member that lives in a nearby or reasonably located city, you may want to designate them as a potential temporary caregiver for your pet in the event of evacuation

»     Have an emergency kit with all of your pets basic needs located in your house near an exit for convenient access

»     Bring your pet inside immediately if extreme weather is predicted – pets are likely to wander during bad weather if kept outside

When disaster strikes, having a proper Disaster Plan will give you peace of mind to know that your pets will be properly taken care of – because after all, our pets are our family.