Be Prepared to Care for Your Pets in a Disaster – National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 12

85018767_l cropPrior to 2005, not much official consideration had been given to the needs of pets in a disaster situation. But when more than 150,000 pets perished in Hurricane Katrina, largely as a result of there being no provisions for the rescue of animals, this critical concern was brought to national awareness. In addition to legal measures being passed to protect the rights of animals to be rescued by officials in disasters, National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day was established to help educate the public on the needs of animals in these situations.

Your pets are a part of your family, and just like any other family member, planning and preparation for unexpected situations is important. Here are some ways you can prepare to care for your pet in a disaster:

Be Aware

  • While you can’t predict every potential problem, it is important to know what the most likely dangers are for your geographic area, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc.
  • Know what the local disaster evacuation plans and routes are for your area.

Find Safe Havens

  • Never leave your pet behind if you have to evacuate, as they will be unable to fend for themselves in a disaster situation. However,
  • It is important to have a Rescue Alert Sticker on your windows to alert rescuers to the presence of your pets, in the event that you were separated at the time of evacuation. If you evacuate with your pets, and there is time, write “Evacuated” on the stickers to let rescuers know that you are all out.
  • Some evacuation shelters do not accept pets, so it is very important to research where your pet could board in a disaster.
  • Know which hotels in the area would accept you and your pets together in a disaster.
  • Designate a trusted friend, neighbor or family member that can come into your home and help your pets if you are away in a disaster.

Pack an Emergency Kit

  • Make or purchase a first aid kit for your pet. If you make your own, ask your vet for advice on what to include for your pet to meet their individual needs.
  • Keep a 7 day supply of food (both canned and dry) and water for your pet in waterproof and airtight containers that are easy to transport. Rotate these every two months.
  • Make sure your pet’s tags are up to date and secure to their collar, and consider microchipping. It is also a good idea to include a recent photo of you with your pet for visual identification in case of separation.
  • Include a copy of recent health and immunization records in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Pack an extra leash and collar, along with their carrier. Dogs will need crate liners, and cats will need a disposable litter tray and a supply of cat litter.
  • Pack a few comfort items – blankets, a couple of toys.

Add to this list anything that is individual for your own situation, as you best know your own pets and their personal needs. For more information on how to keep your furry family members safe in a disaster, please see these helpful articles on the ASPCA and the Red Cross websites.

 

 

 

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Responsible Animal Guardian Month

With Responsible Animal Guardian Month, Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Chip Your Pet Month, the month of May is here to remind you to be more aware of your pet’s health, surroundings and happiness. And it is also to help people understand that we are not just “owners” of our pets but rather “guardians” of another life. We would never want to treat pets simply like property to be treated however we want and discarded when we tire of them. When you are a Guardian, you have compassion, responsibility, consideration and love for your pet.

For their health, check them over for lumps, bumps, sores or anything unusual. Our pets are just as susceptible to cancer as we are, they are exposed to the same environmental risks as us. See the vet if you find something. Be sure to feed them a good quality food in the correct amount for them. Always have clean water available for them. Get lots of playtime in, both physical and mind challenging. Remember all of their needs: both physical and emotional.

Do proactive things too for your pet and your community.

  • Microchip your dog or cat. This tiny chip has a unique ID number that can make the difference between your pet finding their way home or being lost forever. Microchips are no bigger than a grain of rice, implanted under the skin at the shoulder blades. Almost all shelters and veterinarians have scanners.
  • Start or participate in a Trap – Neuter – Release program in your neighborhood. This helps keep stray cats healthy and helps to prevent the number from growing.
  • Encourage other pet parents to spay/neuter their pets.
  • Donate funds, supplies or your time to a local shelter.
  • Know the early warning signs of cancer, Learn the 10 L’s

There is so much wonderful information and ideas available that we couldn’t begin to share it all. But here are just a few links with more information:

https://www.puppyup.org/its-responsible-animal-guardian-month/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/10-traits-of-truly-loving-companion-animal-guardian/

https://www.idausa.org/campaign/guardian-initiative/latest-news/animal-guardian-month/

https://www.puppyup.org/canine-cancer/about-cancer/

https://positivelywoof.com/pet-calendar-may-is-national-chip-your-pet-month/

Don’t forget to consider a Hale Pet Door to give your furry companions a way to get outside for more playtime.

Help Us Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

12337829_lOn National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30, 2018), Hale Pet Door salutes the pet parents who have chosen to open their hearts and homes to pets in need through adoption.

With 6.5 million animals entering shelters every year across the US, overcrowding of shelters is one of the most pressing issues in animal welfare. Choosing to adopt a pet instead of buying one from a breeder or a pet store benefits both animals and people in a number of ways, including:

Saving Lives

When you adopt a shelter pet, you are not only saving the life of the pet you adopt, but you are making room for the pet that comes into the shelter after him. Your adoption fees also help support the shelter, which helps them save more pet lives.

Saving Money

It costs much less to adopt a pet through a shelter or a rescue when compared to purchasing, and your adopted pet will most likely be spayed or neutered, brought up to date on shots, dewormed, and treated for fleas and ticks before they come into your care, saving quite a lot of money on veterinary bills. Your shelter may also cover the cost of microchipping.

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You’ll Get a Great Pet

Most shelter pets end up there through no fault of their own – because of a divorce, or because their owners moved, or otherwise couldn’t take care of them any more. These pets are screened for behavioral or temperament concerns prior to adoption, and are ready to integrate into the right home. And adult pets are already potty trained! It’s also worth noting that there is a rescue out there for almost any kind of pet you are looking for, including exotic ones.

Improving Your Health

Owning a pet has been shown to improve your well being in a number of ways, including benefits to cardiovascular health, increased exercise, reduced stress, decreased loneliness, anxiety and depression, and strengthening of compassion and overall improvement of mood. Pets can even help improve your social life!

These are just a few of the many, many reasons why it’s so great to adopt a pet, but here’s one more:

Rescue Rewards

Hale Pet Door is proud of the continuing success of our Pet Rescue Rewards Program. When our customers adopt a pet, they save 10% off of their purchase of a Hale Pet Door product, and we donate an additional 10% to their rescue or shelter. To date, we have made thousands of donations to rescues and shelters across the country.

This April 30th, and every day, we THANK YOU for adopting your pet, and for helping us to give back to pets in need.

National Kids & Pets Day

52399292_lIt’s National Kids and Pets Day! Send us a picture and/or short story of your kids and their pets.

What’s not to love about kids and their pets? The bond between a child and their pet is almost magical, bringing love, laughter and happiness to all who are around them.

But having a pet(s) brings so much more to our kids. Here are a few highlights of how they change us:

  • With their unconditional love our pets give support and help children develop self-esteem and confidence. And instills our kids to have compassion for animals and people throughout their life.
  • Pets – whether they have fur, fins, feathers or scales – teach responsibility. They need to be fed, their area cleaned, walked, played with and taught manners. They also need regular visits to the vet.
  • Children and families learn safe handling of pets. As well as how to keep both your child and pet safe in different situations.4539143 - a little dog licking a young boy's nose
  • They give your kid a playmate. Even if your child has siblings and friends a pet gives them another friend. One to learn new games with, like fetch and tug-of-war. And a friend to make them smile if they’ve had a bad day.
  • They also help kids understand the different stages of life. Life has lots of different happenings – birth, health, illness, growing older and death. With having a pet, your children will experience some or all of these different events, which are both happy and sad. Though no parent wants their child to experience illness or death, they will be better able to cope with life because of experiences with their pet.

Enjoy the smiles, laughter and heart tugs you feel as you watch your kids grow with their pets.

Ultimately our wish is that our pets help our children become kind, caring and compassionate adults – making the world a better place to live.

Heartworm Awareness Month

In April, pet organizations nationwide work to bring attention to the prevention of Heartworm Disease during National Heartworm Awareness Month.

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What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a potentially fatal disease that affects dogs and cats, as well as other mammals, and it is spread by mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it could carry microscopic baby worms to your healthy pet. Because mosquitoes can easily get inside your home, even exclusively indoor pets are at risk.

Dogs are a natural host for heartworms, and if not detected early, heartworms can multiply inside a dog’s heart, lungs and associated vessels until there are hundreds of worms, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and other organ damage. Symptoms of heartworm disease may not appear until the disease is advanced, and may include a persistent cough, lethargy, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss.

Because cats are not natural hosts for heartworms, it is less likely that worms will reach adulthood in a cat, and if they do, they will not be as numerous as in a dog. However, even immature heartworms can cause serious health problems for cats, including respiratory disease. Signs of heartworm in cats may include coughing, loss of appetite, vomiting, or weight loss.

How is Heartworm treated?

Treatment for heartworm disease in dogs can be lengthy and expensive, which is why prevention is key. If your dog does become infected, treatment might include medications, surgery and serial blood tests.

Unfortunately, there is no approved drug therapy to treat heartworm in cats, but close veterinary care in these cases is still essential.

Prevention is the Best Treatment

Dogs and cats should be tested for heartworm at their regular veterinary visits, and your vet can prescribe monthly preventatives for you to administer to your pet. It is important to stay on top of preventative medications to avoid a gap that could leave your pet vulnerable to infection.

For more information on how to protect your pet from heartworm disease, please visit the Heartworm Society website.

Be sure to Thank your local Animal Care & Control Officers this week!

A12353062 - angry dog biting a african american dog catcherpril 8-14, 2018 is Animal Care and Control Appreciation Week, do something special for your ACOs this week. Send them balloons, flowers or a nice card, letting them know that you appreciate all they do for their and your community.

Do you know all that they do and are responsible for? Here are some highlights:

  • ACOs are public safety officers dealing with dangerous situations on a regular basis to protect your community.
  • ACOs help all kinds of animals (domestic and wild) in all kinds of situations – they may be lost, sick, injured, starved, misused or need transportation.
  • ACOs apprehend and impound loose dogs and/or livestock.
  • They assist citizens with the removal of nuisance wildlife (skunks, raccoons, and squirrels) by setting up and maintaining live traps.
  • ACOs also care for and adopt out homeless pets who need shelter and new families.
  • As one of your community’s animal welfare organizations, your city or county animal control collaborates with private non-profit animal groups to pull together all available resources for homeless pets.
  • Rabies is under control in the United States because of ACOs . They enforce the laws and statutes which protect people and animals from rabies and other life-threatening diseases.
  • ACOs will mediate neighborhood disputes over animal issues/concerns through communication, education, and enforcement
  • ACOs cooperate with other agencies/officers, such as Police Officers, Wildlife Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies when necessary.

To reiterate – in a given week (or even a single day), an ACO may rescue a kitten trapped in a wall, catch and relocate a possum or native snake, work with local police on a drug raid, help a lost dog find his people (and vice versa), retrieve a scared or confused horse or cow from morning traffic, adopt a homeless cat to her new family, and testify in court against an abusive pet owner. Whew!

So Thank You, Thank You, Thank You ACOs for all that you do!

Spring is Just Around the Corner – Are You and Your Pet Ready?

14163002 - cute rhodesian ridgeback puppy in a fieldWhile some areas of the country are still experiencing Nor’easters, others parts are already welcoming crocus and daffodils as the first signs of spring. We have “sprung ahead” into daylight savings time in most areas and are looking forward to longer, warmer days spent outdoors. This is also the time of year that many people start thinking about home improvement projects to be completed during the spring and summer season. Are you and your pet both ready for the upcoming hustle and bustle that accompanies this time of year?

A Few Things to Remember at This Time of Year

  • Pets can be lethargic after a long winter as well. Reintroduce them to outdoor activities slowly if they have been more sedentary than normal.
  • Watch out for fleas, ticks and heartworm that are more prevalent in warmer weather. Always keep up their protection but especially check for ticks if you’ve walked your dog in an area where they gather.
  • Pets can suffer allergies just like people do from things like dust, mold and pollen. If your cat or dog is sneezing, coughing, scratching, licking or chewing more than is normal, check with your vet to see if they are having an allergic reaction to something and to see how to treat it.
  • We love spring flowers and bouquets whether in our house or yard but they aren’t the healthiest for your pet and can even be fatal if they ingest certain plants, especially lilies. Keep these away from your pets and double check your landscaping for any plants that may be poisonous to your pets.
  • If you are taking your pet with you for a drive to enjoy spring scenery or fresh air, make sure they are properly secured in your vehicle and not allowed to roam loose in a car or truck. And NEVER leave your pet unattended in a car for any length of time. Even in the early spring, cars can heat up quickly to a lethal temperature. Also make sure they have access to shade and fresh water even in your yard.
  • Springtime home improvements and spring cleaning give opportunities for both added safety and added dangers. Make sure screens are secure so cats can’t fall out the window. Make sure there are no puddles gathering anywhere around your house where your pets could drink from filthy water. Make sure your pool fence is in good repair to keep your pet away. Keep all cleaning products, even natural ones, safely away from pets and keep pets safely away from newly cleaned areas until all surfaces are dry and won’t get any cleaning products on their paws or fur.
  • Does one of your home improvement projects this season involve a pet door so your pet can safely enjoy the great outdoors while still having access to his food, water, air-conditioning and comfy bed? Check out the line of Hale Pet Door pet doors, ramps, security barriers and more to make life better for you and your pets.

National Poison Prevention Week

March 18-24, 2018 is National Poison Prevention Week

50174473 - chart of toxic foods for dogs. also available without text.

Remember your furry friends this week and always. There are a lot of different things (plants, medicines, people food, household products, etc) that can make your animals sick or even kill them.

TIPS TO PREVENT POISONINGS

  • Be prepared for an emergency. Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number at your fingertips by saving the number in your mobile phone: 888-426-4435
  • Practice safe storage habits for household chemicals and other substances that can be poisonous for pets
  • Read and follow all labels and directions
  • Detect invisible threats

36871833 - white cat fight green snake in untidy dirty garden, danger.The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the best resource for any animal poison-related emergency. They are available at 888-426-4435, 24 hours/365 days a year and staffed by veterinary health professionals. There may be a fee for the call.

The ASPCA has a good page with more information on specific items: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

If you have a pet door, please be aware of what’s in your yard, for their safety and health.

Celebrate K-9 Veterans Day on March 13th

63544343_lDogs were called to duty in 1942, as the US Army was expanding quickly due to WWII. The United States K9 Corps was established March 13, 1942. Mrs. Alene Erlanger, a private citizen, initiated a program called Dogs for Defense. She, along with some breeders and the AKC, started a group to train dogs for military use. They had the first dogs ready for service by November, 1942.

The dogs are trained in bomb, drug and weapon detection, tracking the enemy and defending their unit. These dogs’ loyalty, bravery and high level of training make them extremely valuable to any unit that they are attached to.8887524 - airport canine. dog sniffs out drugs or bomb in a luggage.

There are approximately 2,500 dogs in active service today, with about 700 deployed overseas.

Joseph White, a retired military working dog trainer, originated the idea for this special day – March 13th – National K9 Veterans Day.

We salute and thank all of the K-9 military and service dogs!

Lucky Animals Get Adopted

March is traditionally a month when people think about being “lucky”. We thought it would be a perfect time to reflect on the thousands of “lucky” pets who are adopted into loving homes every day around the country. And especially we wanted to emphasize the benefits of adopting over buying.

According to the ASPCA website in March 2017, there have been “dramatic decreases in shelter intake and euthanasia of homeless dogs and cats. The ASPCA reports that an estimated 1.5 million companion animals are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, a decrease from about 2.6 million estimated in 2011. Contributing to this reduction is an 18.5 percent increase in national adoptions. An estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011.” This is wonderful progress but still a sad ending for the 1.5 million sweet and loving animals who continue to be euthanized every year.

How can you help?

  • Adopt don’t buy – Every pet bought at a pet store is one less adopted from a shelter and many pet store animals have come from puppy mills or disreputable breeders who do not provide humane conditions for their breeding animals.
  • Spay or Neuter your pets – Don’t add even more animals to the problem. Controlling the pet population at the source is a huge first step.
  • Volunteer – Check with your local humane society or a pet rescue. Animals need walked, fed, socialized, trained, kennels cleaned and more.
  • If you can’t adopt, FOSTER – Maybe you can welcome animals into your home temporarily until they find their forever home.

There are thousands of wonderful “lucky” stories of pets, rescued from bad situations or lengthy stays at shelters/rescues to loving homes. Dogs that have transformed themselves bringing joy and happiness to their new owners – some even becoming service animals for their new owners.

Here are just a few stories from around the internet that show the best of side of humans and our furry counterparts.

11 Tear-Jerking Stories of Rescue Dogs That Found the Homes They Deserve

Journey Into Rescue – The Story of a Lucky Puppy

10 Large Cat Breeds: The Next Best Thing to Owning a Tiger

Miracle Dogs: Rescue Stories

13 Before and After Adoption Stories of Dogs Will Make Your Heart Kablooey With Happy

5 Dog Adoption Stories That’ll Restore Your Faith in Humanity

5 of the Sweetest Pet Adoption Stories of 2016

To help your new/current dog have the best of both worlds (inside and outside) consider a Hale Pet Door to give them and you more freedom in your lives. And with Hale’s Rescue Rewards program, you not only help the pet you adopted you help other animals as well. When you purchase a pet door for your adopted pet and tell us the name of the rescue or humane society where you adopted them, you get 10% off your purchase and we donate an additional 10% back to the rescue so they can continue helping even more animals. A LUCKY day all around!