As the temperature steadily gets hotter, it is important to remember that our pets can suffer from the heat too. Here are some tips that can be used for every species.
Signs of heatstroke can include:
Ways to include your pet in the holidays!
If you travel on holidays, you'll want to prepare your pet to handle trips with minimum stress. Also, contacting airlines and train stations early to check on their requirements will save you some stress. If driving, find out where pet friendly hotels and rest stops are so the whole family can stretch their legs.
If not traveling with your pets, make sure to book reservations with pet sitters and boarding facilities as soon as you know your plans as they do book up quickly. Some dogs develop separation anxiety and owners traveling can precipitate such behavior. Carefully check out the boarding facility or in home care giver if there are any concerns. Contact your veterinarian for suggestions on how to ease your pets stay and keep them as comfortable as possible while you're away.
Make arrangements with your veterinarian for the caretaker to be able to bring your pet in if necessary while you're away. Find out about your veterinarian's payment policy, be clear about your wishes as to treatment, and leave contact information for the veterinarian to reach you.
If you are staying in someone's home, make sure your pets are welcome to stay with you before you go. While there, prevent things from happening that would keep your pet from traveling with you next time.
Whatever you're doing for the holidays, it's likely to be a fairly hyperactive version of your everyday life. Learning to function well in your everyday routine has not necessarily prepared your pets to handle holidays with grace. Learning holiday-savvy behavior WILL make everyday life a breeze.
Remember, more time inside usually means less opportunities for physical activity and exercise. Pets still have energy that they need to expend and they may find inappropriate ways to do so if not given proper exercise. They may become destructive and scratch or chew on the holiday decorations. Take time to include them in activities by buying them a few new holiday toys, this may keep them from eating the holiday roast!
Most of all, have fun, and enjoy the winter and holiday season!! Remember that your pets are companion animals and enjoy human contact; friends, relatives and attention in general. Your holidays will be much less stressful if you take just little time to be prepared.
Don't wait for a disaster, plan ahead! Get familiar with the types of disasters that may happen (power failure, earthquake, flood, fire, hazardous material spill, volcanic eruption) and make a plan of action.
Survey your property for the best location to confine your animals for any type of emergency. A small room away from windows and with a tile floor, like a utility room or bathroom is good for smaller pets.
If it becomes necessary to leave your home, decide on a location to take your pet. Contact boarding kennels, veterinary clinics, friends or relatives, and motels that take pets.
Plan several routes of escape. If you have a stock trailer or pickup with livestock racks, keep them serviced and always keep the gas tank at least half full. For smaller animals, have leashes or pet carriers or portable kennels on hand for each pet. Familiarize your pet with the carrier.
Be sure all animals have some form of identification, such as an ear tag, microchip, license, collar ID tag, etc. Be sure tags include your name, animal's name, address and phone number.
Take a picture of your pet and make note of its markings.
Have copies of your pet's immunization records and registration records if appropriate.
Keep an emergency supply of feed, medications, and clean water. Plan for 5-7 days worth, 2 weeks is ideal. Include items to handle pet wastes such as newspapers, plastic bags, and cleansers.
If you have to leave your pet at home, bring the pet indoors and leave only dry pet food, do not leave treats or supplements, and leave water in a sturdy container (i.e., fill the bathtub and leave toilet seats up). Never leave a cat and a dog together, even if the two are normally friendly, and place difficult or dangerous animals in sturdy crates or cages.
Be careful allowing your pets outdoors. Severe weather can alter scents and landmarks, and your pet could become confused and lost. Dangers could also be present such as downed power lines and wild animals.
If your pet is lost, contact local veterinary clinics, kennels, and humane societies.
If you find a pet, contact your local humane society or any emergency numbers that have been set up during the disaster.
For more information visit the Whatcom County Division of Emergency Management