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Are you prepared for a disaster?

Oftentimes in the news we hear of natural disasters where people are being evacuated. From tornadoes to flash floods to wild fires, depending on where you live, disasters can happen and catch you off guard unless you are prepared.pets inside

Not only is it important to have a plan of action for the humans in your family, but what about the family pets?

Even though more agencies are considering the family pet, make sure you are prepared first. That goes for every day emergencies to natural disasters.

According to the The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), there are a number of things you can do to keep you and your pet at the ready:

  1. Identification goes a long way: Pet IDs for all your pets are essential every day and in case of emergency. Ensure your family pet wears a collar with ID tags as you never know what can happen. From your pet escaping out the front door to an emergency, things can happen, so have tags with current information on your pet at all times. Have your pets microchipped. It offers an added plus. Again, ensure you register the microchip with your current information. “Put your cell phone number on your pet’s tag.It may also be a good idea to include the phone number of a friend or relative outside your immediate area—in case you have had to evacuate,” according to the HSUS.
  2. Prepare an emergency kit. From water, food, medications, litter box and leashes to harnesses and carriers, get it together and have it easily available.
  3. Do you have a place to stay with your pets in an emergency? Start researching places you can take your pet if it’s necessary. The HSUS recommends calling your local office of emergency management. Also check hotels and motels and their policies, friends, family, vets and shelters.
  4. Make arrangements with a trusted friend or family member in case you are away during an emergency so that they can take your pets until you meet up.
  5. If you have to evacuate, take your pets! According to the HSUS, “If it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets.”
  6. For those who must stay home during an emergency, find the safest place to wait it out with your pets.
  7. Keep pets safe after disaster. According to the HSUS, “Your home may be a very different place after the emergency is over, and it may be hard for your pets to adjust.” Make sure your pet is safe with dogs on a leash and your cats in cat carriers and within your sight. Don’t let pets roam as it could be very dangerous.emergency

The old adage, “Better safe than sorry” rings true when it involves pets and disaster. You’ll feel much better knowing you are prepared and that your beloved furry family members are protected.

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It’s February, and it’s the month of love – Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. While you show love to your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, children, grandchildren, and your friends, make sure to show love to your pets.

How do you love your pet? Let’s find the ways.

Here are some great way to bring on the love for your dogs:

  1. Walking, hiking and day tripping: Take that extra walk with your dog. Not only will it give you both some exercise to help you keep fit, your dog will love you for the extra dose of getting out to smell the roses, or the other dogs. Go that extra mile and take a hike with your dog. Many dogs love a great car ride. Get in and go! Visit with friends, family or just follow the open road and see where it leads.
  2. Toys galore! When was the last time you took your pooch to pick out a toy from the love your petlocal pet store? What are you waiting for? Get going!
  3. Out with the old. Is your dog’s bed a bit worn around the edges or chewed up a la Fido. It’s never a bad time to check out some new, comfortable bedding.
  4. Snuggle up! Show the love by hanging out on the couch with your favorite movie and your favorite pup. Include popcorn for you and a dog treat for your best friend. Did someone say, “Lady and the Tramp?”
  5. Don’t eat that! Sometimes people confuse love with giving too much food – to animals and people alike! Try not to overdo it and over-love with too much food or the wrong foods, some of which can be very harmful to your pet. If your pet gets into a food that can be harmful or deadly, contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Not to mention overweight pets can lead to various health problems.

Cats oftentimes are seen as mysterious, finicky and not quite as social as dogs. However, every cat is an individual, and many cats are very social and love interaction. Here’s ways to show them love:

  1. kitty loveExploration keeps the mind happy: Since cats love to explore, make sure your kitty has a cardboard box, a paper bag, scratching posts and even a cat condo.
  2. “Cat TV”: Cats often like to look out the window, watch the birds and check out what’s going on in the neighborhood. Ensure this fascination by allowing your cat access to window. Don’t forget to include lots of perches.
  3. The great outdoors: It can be dangerous to let your cats roam freely, but you can create a secure outdoor area for your kitty so he or she can get fresh air and be safe at the same time.

Our pets enrich our lives every day, so there’s no better time to return the favor.

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Keep Your Cat Healthy During National Cat Health Month in February and Beyond

Did you know that February is National Cat Health Month? It’s important to keep your cat healthy every month and even every day, but February celebrates the cat and how you can keep your feline friend at the top of his or her healthy game.

Americans love their cats, as there are about 74.1 million pet cats as opposed to 70 million pet dogs in the U.S. according to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2012). Additionally, in 2011, six of 10 pet owners viewed their dogs or cats as part of the family. 

Even with the amount of love shown to cats, veterinary visits for felines were down as compared to those for dogs. The AVMA’s U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics showed that dogs saw a vet 2.6 times a year per household as opposed to 1.6 times for cats. Owners spent $378 a year per household at the vet for their canines and only $191 for felines. 

So where is the love for cats? Here are some interesting statistics about shelter dogs and cats from the ASPCA: 

·         “About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.

·         Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.

·         Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.” 

From “The Importance of Taking Your Cat to The Vet,” the following are some statistics provided by The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP):If we have so much love for our cats, maybe it’s time

 to ensure they get the health care they need, and there’s no better time to start than in February!

·         “Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian.

·         Of the cats that do visit the veterinarian, they average 26% fewer visits than dogs.

·         41% of cat owners visit the veterinarian only for vaccinations.

·         39% of cat owners say they would only take their cat to the veterinarian if the cat was sick.

·         60% of cat owners report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian.

·         38% of cat owners report that they get stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the vet.” 

Many pet parents assume a vet visit is unnecessary if their cat is not sick. However, because cats have been known to hide sickness and pain, the best way to prevent illness is to ensure your cat receives a checkup. Why take a chance when you really don’t know? For cats and cat parents who get stressed and for those cats who hate the vet, try researching feline-only vet practices that specialize in just cats. It can help make things run more smoothly. 

It’s just not a good idea to avoid the vet and compromise your cat’s health. There is also cost, which is another hindrance for some. Remember though that a checkup now can save a lot of cost and heartache down the road. Don’t skimp on your cat’s health. Keep up with your cat by keeping up with his or her good health. You’ll be happy you did.


Keep Your Pet’s Pearly Whites Clean and Healthy to Ensure Overall Good Health 

Just as with people, good dental health signifies all-around good health in our pets. A sign of bad teeth, bad gums or even bad breath in our pets can actually point to something more serious.

Along with general vet wellness checkups for your family dogs and cats, make sure your veterinarian checks your pet’s teeth. Your vet can detect if your pet has any dental issues, including periodontal disease, which is prevalent in many dogs and cats. 

To ensure you remember the importance of your pet’s dental health, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) “sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February.” 

For starters, although we brush our teeth at least twice a day, most people neglect their dog’s or cat’s teeth. You can keep up with the dental health of your pets and start with brushing their teeth on a daily basis. Speak to your vet about a brushing plan that you can begin at home. Although it may not be easy to do or your pet might not take to it at first, check Dr. Sheldon Rubin’s video with tips on brushing your pet’s teeth and information about periodontal disease. In another video, Dr. Cindy Charlier discusses the disease and prevention. 

Heed the following tips and advice for your pet’s best dental health:

·         As with humans, a lack of dental care can cause disease that affects other organs, including the heart.

·         Proper dental health can prevent other serious health issues down the line

·         In order for your pet’s adult teeth to come in, all the baby teeth have to come out, which doesn’t always happen on its own. Consult your vet.

·         Your pet may need a professional cleaning due to plaque buildup, so it’s important to keep up with dental and wellness checkups with your vet.

·         Even though your dog or cat may seem fine, there could be a dental issue of which you are not aware, yet another good reason for vet checkups. 

Stay on top of your pet’s dental hygiene to keep good pet health all around, not to mention, he or she may have better breath. That’s a win-win for everyone!


Ensure Your Dogs and Cats Get Spayed/Neutered to “Fix” the Problem Before It Starts 

February is known for so many things, especially Valentine’s Day, a month to shower loved ones with cards, kisses, flowers and more. It’s also Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and the celebration of World Spay Day, held the last Tuesday of every February. It’s also a great time to show the love for your pets by ensuring they are spayed or neutered. 

Why February? There’s a great reason behind the timing. “The purpose is to encourage people to have their pets sterilized before the spring and summer months when there is a rampant overproduction of puppies and kittens,” according to February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month at The Humane Society of Greenwood website. It is during those months that animal shelters across the country “experience an unmanageable increase in animal intake.” 

When you spay or neuter your dog or cat, you help to prevent the overpopulation of pets in shelters and on the streets, in addition to helping the overall health of your pet. Homeless animals are in every town, city and state across the nation. The numbers are staggering. 

·         For females there is less risk of pyometra (reproductive tract infection) and mammary tumors (breast cancer).According to “Why You Should Spay/Neuter Your Pet” at the Humane Society of the United States website, “In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions.” The article says there are “more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs” euthanized every year. So accordingly, “Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats. There are also numerous health and behavioral benefits to spay/neuter as per “Spay/Neuter Awareness Month: A Veterinarian’s Perspective” at

·         For males, the risk is reduced for testicular tumors, prostrate and associated urinary difficulties.

·         Cats will be less exposed to feline leukemia and the feline AIDs virus. “They will fight less and will not be mating, which means they will be avoiding the most common ways these feline diseases are spread.”

·         Males are less inclined to roam, be aggressive or mark.

·         Females are less inclined to fight. 

By investing in spay/neuter for your pet, including your pet rabbits, you help prevent health problems, help prevent pet overpopulation, and prevent potential high vet bills due to problems that could arise in the future. 

If you are concerned about the cost of spay/neuter, there are low-cost facilities throughout the country. Find a program near you.