Category Archives: Pets

Post Tornado – Things You’ll Need

Here are good tips from tornado survivors – most of these come from the ‘wish I’d thought of these items before the tornado’ list.

Be sure to put this stuff in your home emergency kit just case. Depending on the level of destruction (your home, neighborhood or the entire town?) some of these things may not be easily accessible unless you have it stored ahead of time.

  1. Cash for purchases (Why? If there’s no electricity,  ATMs won’t work.)
  2. Cell phone, phone card, or quarters for land line.
  3. Clothing and personal items – Pretend you’re camping in the woods for two weeks – everyone in your family will need socks, good shoes (cover the ankles!) underwear, deodorant, meds, toothbrush/paste, short and long sleeved shirts/tops, shorts, long slacks/jeans, pajamas, hat (sun protection), diapers, formula, etc.
  4. Pets – Pet food, meds, leash, collar, ID. Also, consider nearby friends/boarders/pet care providers if needed.
  5. Notebook/pen and envelope for your Disaster Diary – track and all cash and credit card expenses, receipts and cash flow, names of disaster agencies, account numbers, phone numbers, and more.
  6. If your home is destroyed, you’ll need to think about temporary housing.  This may be a hotel, maybe a friend’s house?
  7. Finally – you’ll need to ask for help and aid longer than you think.

– Susan

Don’t Freeze Your Dog

In light of the sub-freezing temps around the country, we’re re-posting advice about dogs and cold weather.

Im ready to come inside

I’m ready to come inside

In January, 2009, we spoke to Dr. Eric Ruhland, a veterinarian from Hastings, Minnesota, (current temp today: 1, feels like -12) and asked him about his guidelines for keeping dogs safe in this frigid weather.

1. Small Dogs (under 20 pounds, up to 50)

Smaller breeds get colder faster. Keep them outdoors no more that five minutes.

Why? Small dogs, like Yorkies, have a larger surface to volume ratio – which means more surface area and smaller bodies (the opposite of an elephant which has a lot of volume).

2. Large Dogs (over 50 pounds)

Larger dogs, like German Shepherds, can be outside up to 10 minutes in this freezing weather.

3. An Outdoor Dog?

If you have a dog that’s always outside no matter what, they need an enclosed area of an enclosed exclusion from the elements that has at least six inches of bedding. There are laws in every state for keeping a dog safe and outdoors. As an example, here is Minnesota’s law.

4. For All Dogs

For all dogs, watch for frostbite. Dr. Ruhland says there are several areas to be concerned about:

  • Noses (they are wet and can easily freeze)
  • The inside back of the thighs (almost no hair!)
  • The insides of ears
  • Ear tips

And Dr. Ruhland’s rule of thumb? If you think it’s cold outside, so does your dog.

Thanks Dr. Ruhland!

– Susan

3 Quick Tips for Traveling with Pets

Lots of people bring their pets on vacations.  There’s a lot to remember, but here are three of our favorite tips from over the years:

Food
I like to take out and measure each meal of food for the dog and put each meal in a small, resealable plastic bag. I know if I just grab one of those bags it’s the right amount of food and I don’t have to bring a measuring cup.
– Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advisor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish.

Water
A change in the water might cause diarrhea and intestinal distress for the pet. If you’re going to a different area, use bottled water. Also, your vet may be able to prescribe an anti-diarrheal medication or suggest a brand of canned food for your pet to prevent loose stools.
– Lisa Peterson, AKC Director of Club Communications and owner, breeder and handler of Norwegian Elkhounds

And this one is just plain smart:

Phone Number
Have a little tag made that has your cell phone number on it (many pet stores have machines that do this) – stick that on your dog’s collar when you’re traveling. If your dog gets away, they’ll call you at home but you won’t be there!
- Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA Executive Vice President of National Programs and Science Advsor and owner of a dog, two cats and some fish

More tips here.

The Car is Not a Dog Park

OK, so Lauren Fix, the Car Coach (you’ve seen her on the TODAY show), writes for us now and then.  She sent us a great article on Pet Safety and Your Car.

We looked through this and saw that our dog, Lovey, probably believes that our car is a dog park.  We let her do everything in the car she shouldn’t – sit in my lap, move from front to back seat, and we let her hang out her window (though I hang on to her).

So, we’re revising our car routine for Lovey so everyone is safe.

Thanks for the tips Lauren!

– Susan

Quick Advice: Pet Travel Kit

Great advice after we tweeted about Pet Travel Kits – Rachel Farris from PetRelocation.com contacted us with this tip for pets and airline travel:

>>For photocopies of health documentation, we use plastic shipping sleeves (normally used for address labels) to secure the documentation to the top of the travel crate. These sleeves are great as they show the content, stick to the crate easily and usually have a resealable closure – perfect for airport officials to quickly and easily access the documentation.<<

Thanks Rachel!


Drive and Keep Pets Safe!

Lauren Fix, the Car Coach has passed on smart tips for traveling in the car with your dog or cat. Here are a few …

Don't drive with your pet's head out of the window!
Driving this way is wrong

PET SAFETY TIPS

Animal safety in cars is critical to your best friend’s safety.

  1. Restraints and Airbags
    Airbags deployed in the front seat could harm your pet. And, an unrestricted pet will be thrown about and possibly injured, or injure a passenger during panic braking or in a collision. Pets should be restrained in the rear seat in pet harnesses or pet carriers that are secured by seat belts.
  2. No Running
    Don’t let your cat or dog run around in the car – it’s dangerous for both of you. Cats who don’t like the car may go berserk and try to claw their way out, or claw at you, or at the very worst, climb under your pedals. Always cage cats and place the cage on the rear floor.
  3. Heads Out the Window? No!
    See that picture with the dog’s head out of the window? Don’t do it! Do not let your dog hang his head out the window! He loves it, but it’s an easy way to get eye damage from flying dust and dirt.
  4. No Smoking, Please
    Don’t smoke in the car. This can increase feelings of nausea in humans, so most likely it would do the same to your pet.
  5. No Laps
    Don’t let your dog or cat sit on your lap while you are in the driver’s seat. It can be dangerous in a panic situation to try to maneuver around your pet.
  6. Too Hot? Too Cold? Not in the Car!
    Never, EVER leave an animal inside a car on a very cold or hot day. Every year, hundreds of animals are killed this way.

Read more of her advice – scroll down to  Safe and Secure in this article.

Obamas Pick the Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog will be the next first dog, CNN reports.

Well, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America is probably beside itself.

Some of the pix we’ve seen of PWDs show them half shaved (back half…).  We’re hoping the Obamas don’t do that; it looks like a groomer began shaving then had a change of heart. At the left is how the dog should look.

There’s no name yet, according to Mrs. Obama.  The girls have suggested names like Frank and Moose, which haven’t gone over well.  Everyone’s still thinking.

– Susan

Best of the Day – Stump at the Westminster Dog Show

OK, a couple of posts about the dogs, but who doesn’t love a good-looking dog? We’re watching the 133rd Westminster Dog Show.

Congratulations to the Best in Show winner – the 10 year-old Sussex, Stump, from the Sporting Group!  He’s the oldest winner at the Westminster and a well-deserved champion. We’re fans of the sporting group since Office Dog Lovey is a golden and in that group (she’s pictured here).

hey, I'm too much of an imp to be a show dog
hey, I don't need a cheese cloth filter on this photo to make me look good... oh, it's just out of focus...

We’re seeing a lot of ads about animal shelters and adopting dogs.  We’ve collected some terrific advice on what to think about when you’re adopting a dog – or any pet – go here for our info and go here for more ideas from the American Kennel Club – 101 suggestions on being a responsible dog owner (no pressure – just 101…)(if only kids came with hundred of suggestions….)

And, is it us or are these Westminster dogs better looking that most? (yah, it’s a joke, we know they’re best of the best of the best….).

Just saw a commercial about traveling with pets.  Say, if you’re traveling with a dog, check out these tips from our interviews with experts and dog owners …

Flying with a pet

Driving with a pet

AKC Eukanuba Championships

Lovey, the super office dog

We’re watching the AKC/Eukanuba championships on Animal Planet.

Of course, we’re rooting for the Golden in the sporting group…our office dog is a golden….

If you’re looking for a family pet, dogs are so wonderful..the American Kennel Club (AKC…) has some tips for you…

And, we, of course, have tips from experts – including the AKC, vets and profesionals who work in shelters.

Don’t Freeze Your Dog

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about dogs in this frigid winter weather.

Im ready to come inside
I'm ready to come inside

We spoke to Dr. Eric Ruhland, a veterinarian from Hastings, Minnesota (current temp: -6), about his guidelines for keeping dogs safe in this Arctic weather.

1. Small Dogs (under 20, up to 50)

Smaller breeds get colder faster. Keep them outdoors no more that five minutes.

Why? Small dogs, like Yorkies, have a larger surface to volume ratio – which means more surface area and smaller bodies (the opposite of an elephant which has a lot of volume).

2. Large Dogs (over 50 pounds)

Larger dogs, like German Shepards, can be outside up to 10 minutes in this freezing weather.

3. An Outdoor Dog?

If you have a dog that’s always outside no matter what, they need an enclosed area of an enclosed exclusion from the elements that has at least six inches of bedding. There are laws in every state for keeping a dog safe and outdoors. As an example, here is Minnesota’s law.

4. For All Dogs

For all dogs, watch for frostbite. Dr. Ruhland says there are several areas to be concerned about:

  • Noses (they are wet and can easily freeze)
  • The inside back of the thighs (almost no hair!)
  • The insides of ears
  • Ear tips

And Dr. Ruhland’s rule of thumb? If you think it’s cold outside, so does your dog.

Thanks Dr. Ruhland!

– Susan