Hurricane and Summer Season Tips for Pets

June 7, 2012 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season is upon us and that means having not only an evacuation plan in place for ourselves and members of our household but also for our four-legged family members.  Plan ahead and should a hurricane or evacuation occur, you will be prepared and ready to deal with the situation.

  • Kennels or carriers for dogs and cats should be an appropriate size.  Kennels should be large enough for a dog to be able to stand up and turn around in.  If you evacuate to a location where your cat will need to remain in his/her carrier for a period of time, make sure it is large enough to contain a small litter box, food and water.  Be sure to list your contact information (name, address, phone number) on the kennel.
  • Make sure that you have not only food for your pets but sufficient water.  On average, a healthy dog drinks about an 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day so be sure to have on hand a sufficient number of gallons to tide you over and ensure you won’t run out of water for your pets.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure your microchip is registered.  Registering the microchip ensures that your name and contact information is associated with that microchip number.  It also makes sense to add an emergency contact on your microchip information that is not in the area – just in case you and your pet are separated and you are unable to be reached because of lack of power to local telephones and cell towers.  Remember — microchips are only as good as the information stored in the central database.  Contact your microchip provider to make sure they have all of your current information such as telephone numbers and address.
  • In addition to a microchip, an identification tag with your current cell phone number on a pet’s collar is highly advisable.  This makes it much quicker and easier to reunite a lost pet with his/her owner.
  • Make sure your pets are not only current on their vaccines but that you keep the proof of vaccination easily accessible in case they need to be boarded.  Most boarding facilities will not board a pet without current proof of vaccines.  Bordetella (also medically referred to as “tracheobronchitis”) is a required vaccine for most facilities prior to accepting a pet for boarding.  The bordetella vaccine prevents what is commonly referred to as kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs.
  • Have towels and/or paper towels and large trash bags on hand for cleaning up spills and accidents in the event of an evacuation.

Summer Season Tips

While many of us may enjoy the warmth of the summer sun and soaking in some rays, summer heat can be deadly to our pets.

  • Dogs should be walked before 11 am or after 6 pm to avoid the hottest part of the day.  There are usually a high number of cases of heat stroke in the summer so we need to be extra careful in caring for our pets.  Heat stroke in dogs occurs when a dog’s body is absorbing more heat than it can release.  The temperature in the dog’s body goes up and once the temperature reaches a certain point, the dog’s body is unable to regulate normal functions and damage to the dog’s muscles and organs can occur.  Every year thousands of dogs suffer from heat stroke, a condition which can quickly turn deadly if not treated immediately.  Dogs can experience heat stroke if confined in a hot space, if they are acclimating to hot weather or if they have worked or played too much without a sufficient cooling down period.
  • If your dogs spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade at all times and lots of  fresh water every day.  Make sure any water bowls outside are placed in a shaded area so as not to be heated by the sun.  Avoid excessive exercise during those hot days.
  • If you are going to take your dog for a drive in the car, make sure it’s in the morning or evening, as opposed to the middle of the day when the heat is greatest. And remember — NEVER leave a dog unattended, even if only “for a few minutes”, in a vehicle.  The temperature is much higher in the summer and that heat can be deadly for a pet.

Keep these tips in mind and your pets can stay healthy and happy during the summer heat and hurricane season.

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Entry filed under: Pet Information.

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