Archive for September, 2011

Do You Have a Pet Emergency Plan?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

September has been emergency preparedness month, and it is the perfect time to be sure you and your pets are taken care of in case of an emergency. From fires to floods to tornadoes, none of us are immune from unfortunate events. Here are some pet-specific tips to be sure your animals are in good shape in the event of an emergency:

  • All pets should have at least one form of identification. Personalized collars and tags are great for these purposes, however microchips offer a more reliable means of identifying your pet. Be sure that tags and microchip registration have your current contact information.
  • Get a rescue alert sticker for your front door that tells firefighters and other rescue teams how many pets you have and what kinds. This should also list your veterinarian’s information.
  • Arrange a safe place for your pets. Ideally you should have a local shelter, boarding facility, or neighbor willing to take your pets in as well as somewhere out of the area lined up in case your area is evacuated.
  • Put together an emergency supply and evacuation kit for your pets. This should include a first-aid kit, a small supply of fresh pet food, kitty litter and pans, food and water dishes, an extra collar and leash, bottled water, and any medications your pet might need. Each pet should also have a sturdy carrier. It is also nice to have photocopies of your pets medical records, blankets, flashlights, soap, and garbage bags.

Plan! Know what areas of your house are safe in certain situations. Have all of your emergency supplies in a logical location. Designate caregivers for your pet in advance in case you are unable to care for them temporarily or permanently. A little thought goes a long way when trying to keep your furry family members safe.

 

Is Your Pet Allergic?

Monday, September 19th, 2011

If you can name it, your pet can be allergic to it. The most common allergies in dogs and cats include reaction to fleas, various foods, and airborne allergens like pollens, dust, and mold. How do you know if your pet might be suffering from allergies, though?  The following is a list of some of the more common animal allergy symptoms.

  • Itching is by far the most common sign of allergies in animals.
  • Over-grooming and/or hairloss are also common.
  • Recurring skin and/or ear infections are also seen frequently.
  • Unlike humans, pets rarely show respiratory signs of an allergic reaction.

If you think your pet might have an allergy, we can help you to come up with a treatment plan to best address the problem. Unfortunately there is no cure for allergies, and they often require lifelong treatment to manage the symptoms. We may suggest a combination of multiple medications in order to offer your pet some relief. Hypoallergenic food trials or allergy testing may also be suggested. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

 

Adjusting to a New Pet

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

You have finally done it. After months of research and careful planning, you are driving home with a new family member. But now that you have taken the plunge, where do you go from here?

First of all, before you bring your new “baby” home, you need to be sure that your home is pet-proofed.  Make sure any potentially toxic items are put where an animal cannot get to them. Don’t forget, pets have teeth as well, so things like electrical cords can be very dangerous. Baby gates can make keeping your new addition corralled easier.

Remember that this is probably as stressful a time for your new pet as it is for you. Do not overwhelm it. Make sure time to acclimate to new surroundings is allowed before introducing him or her to other pets or the family next door.  Give your new dog or cat some private time as well.

Try to get into a routine so your pet can be comfortable in knowing what to expect.  Meal times, play times, and potty times should fall around the same time.

Lastly, make sure to take your new pet to visit your veterinarian within a few days after bringing it home.  This will allow you to establish a relationship between your pet and vet and give you a chance to ask questions and address concerns.

Congratulations and good luck with your new little bundle of joy!