Tips on What to Do if You Find a Stray Dog or Cat
You’re driving down the road and you spot something out of the corner of your eye. It’s a stray dog or cat. Your stomach is in knots, you are not sure what to do, but you want to help.
It’s not always easy to catch a stray who is scared, hungry and possibly hurt, according to the article, “What To Do When You Find a Stray Dog,” at petMD.com. “Loose dogs who appear to be healthy and willingly approach their rescuers can be leashed and taken to a safe location, but if approaching the dog could put you at risk, it’s best to call your local animal control agency,” the article said.
According to the article, “How to Help a Stray Pet” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), it’s best to be safe and ensure the stray animal is safe, too. HSUS offers the following tips:
• Be careful and “Don’t cause an accident.” If you see an animal in the rear-view mirror, brake, signal and pull off the road, and then use your hazards.
• Most strays are frightened, so don’t do anything to scare them. Prevent them from darting into traffic.
• Be careful and cautious when approaching.
• Try to “lure them into your car.”
• Call a local animal control agency or the local police for help.
• Check local laws about homeless animals if you decide to bring the animal home.
• Search for an owner first and then think clearly about next steps.
According to the HSUS article, “If you’re uncertain about whether or not to help or keep an animal you see alongside the road, here’s a final word of advice: First, think of what you would want the finder of your animal to do if they happened to find them injured without their collar.”
Make Sure to Find a Good Vet When You Bring Home a Pet
You have a new pet, and one of the most important things you can do is find a veterinarian. What do you look for in a vet and how do you find one?
A good vet “ensures better health for your pet and peace of mind for you,” according to the article, “How to Choose a Veterinarian,” at WebMD.com. Secure a vet early on because “The worst time to look for a vet is when you really need one,” the article said. Don’t wait until an emergency happens.
The article advises to research vets if you need one for a new pet, if you are changing vets, or if you are moving to a new area. The article also offers the following:
• Ask friends or neighbors, and get a reference from someone who cares as much about pets as you do.
• Check credentials by going to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) website, and check the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners website.
According to the article, “How to choose the right veterinarian,” at the AAHA website, animal hospitals that are accredited by the AAHA, “show they are committed to meeting — or exceeding — standards in a variety of different areas (approximately 900 standards, to be exact).”
Those hospitals are ranked very highly and “must prove to a third-party (AAHA) that they consistently provide the safest, highest quality care,” the article said. High standards of care include:
• emergency services
• pain management
• contagious diseases
• surgery and anesthesia
The AAHA article suggests a “get acquainted” meeting. You can ask questions and get a feel for the vet, the facility and staff, and see if it’s a good fit. It’s important to have a good vet and a good relationship to ensure your pet’s good health.
Disabled Pets Need Love and a Great Home
Just like any other pet, there are many animals who have disabilities. You may have seen them in person or on television: the dog with three legs, the kitty with one eye, and the list goes on. These animals also need loving homes.
Oftentimes you would never know that a disabled dog or cat has a disability, as it “detracts little from a pet’s ability to live a normal happy life,” according to the article, “Disabled Dogs & Cats” at Petcentric.com. Puppies and kittens born with a disability don’t know they differ from the others. “The most common pet disabilities are blindness, deafness or loss of one limb,” the article said.
• For blind cats and dogs, there’s not much to do. “Dogs and cats use their senses of smell, hearing and touch to get around,” the article said. Leave things in the same place, and don’t place pets unattended high up on a chair or bed.
• Although dogs and cats typically have great hearing, they can adapt well to deafness, the article said, as they “become more sensitive to vibrations they feel. And like all dogs and cats, they are excellent readers of body language, so communicating with them is not as difficult as you may imagine.”
• Dogs and cats on three legs can do well. It’s important that they are at a “healthy weight.”
There are many products on the market for animals with certain disabilities. According to the article, “10 Ways Handicapped Pets Get Around” at petMD.com, the following products can help:
• Dog and cat wheelchairs
• Body wheels
• Hip harnesses
• Body harnesses
• Pet stairs
• Dog ramps
All pets need homes, and the ones that may be slightly “imperfect” tend to make perfectly great family members. They don’t know there’s a problem and neither should you.