Emergency Preparedness for Pets Before You Actually Need It

Pet emergency preparedness can save your pet's lifeMost pet owners spring into action to prevent, recognize, and treat a pet emergency, but what’s the right approach when it comes to disaster preparation? There are similarities, of course, but to truly tackle emergency preparedness for pets, you have to widen the scope quite a bit. Between hurricanes, floods, fires, and more, pets can quickly become separated from their owners, and suffer from injury or illness.

If You Gotta Go

Evacuation is one of the most common results of a natural or man-made disaster. The rule of thumb for owners of all types of pets is that, in the case of evacuation, pets must go, too. In other words, if it’s unsafe enough for people, it’s certainly no place for animals.

Acceptable Alternatives

A major part of your emergency preparedness for your pet must include a list of alternative places to safely stay in the case of evacuation. Have an evacuation route all mapped out, and mark places along the way that you know are pet-friendly. Hotels, motels, friends, and family members are all excellent, safe choices, but if there’s a lack of availability, you may not be able to keep all your pets together.

Depending on the type of emergency, there could be temporary Red Cross shelters positioned around the area. Designed to help people, these shelters cannot accept pets except for service animals. Check with us about pet boarding.

Tips and Tricks

In the spirit of preparation, cover your emergency bases in these ways:

  • Train your pet to leave the house. This will help them move quickly when it really counts.
  • Have your pet microchipped and always update your contact information if it changes.
  • Ensure that their vaccinations are all up to date.
  • Print up your pet’s medical records just in case.
  • Have a picture of your pet printed and placed on their travel kennel or crate.
  • Keep a backup collar, ID tags, and leash in your car.
  • Store a few days worth of food, water, waste disposal bags, toys, and bedding.
  • Keep some first aid items on hand.
  • Affix a sticker to the door or window near the entrance to alarm rescue workers that a pet lives there (be sure to remove them or write “evacuated” across them before you leave).
  • Before moving back into your home, be sure to carefully inspect your property for any potential hazards to your pet’s health and wellness.

Emergency Preparedness Pets

No matter the type of destruction your home or block experienced, it’s an uphill battle to get back into the normal swing of things. You may notice subtle to major shifts in your pet’s behavior. Aggressiveness, resource guarding, or anxiety are typical results of trauma or stress. Please let us know if we can help you address certain behavioral problems.

Also, if we can answer further questions about emergency preparedness pets, we encourage you to reach out to us at Godspeed Animal Care.

Promote Water Safety for Pets All Summer Long

Water safety for pets makes having a pet at the pool more fun.One of the easiest ways to combat a heat wave is to simply get wet. This might take some of us out of our comfort zone (that is, a nice air conditioned environment), but the bottom line is that splashing around is not only effective, it’s fun, too! Chances are, your pet agrees with the fun factor. You want to make them happy and comfortable, but water safety for pets absolutely must be enforced.

The Basics

There are quite a few precautions when it comes to summer in general. We recommend scheduling your pet’s wellness care exam before any upcoming adventures to ascertain the quality of their overall health. If they aren’t fully vaccinated yet or microchipped, these help protect them from unseen dangers this summer. Continue…

Expecting the Unexpected: Putting Together a Pet First Aid Kit

A pet first aid kit is important in a pet emergencyIllness, injury, and accidents are an unfortunate, but inevitable, part of life for pets and people alike. Knowing what to do (and what not to do) in the event of one of an emergency can go a long way toward maximizing your pet’s safety and comfort. Assembling a pet first aid kit and knowing how to use one is the first step in the process of being a prepared pet owner, and the team at Godspeed Animal Care is here to help!

Pet First Aid Kit

Ideally, every pet owner should keep a pet first aid kit in their car and home. Kits can be purchased online or in most pet stores or you can assemble your own.

If you’re putting together your own pet first aid kit, start with a sturdy container, such as a lunch box or tackle box. Something with a strap is ideal so you can sling the kit over your shoulder should you need to carry your pet. Include the following essentials:

  • Information – Download and print PDFs about pet first aid from the American Red Cross, and install their pet first aid app on your phone. Also have the numbers for Godspeed Animal Care, the Pet Poison Helpline, and an additional emergency contact programmed into your phone.
  • Basic supplies – Many of the basic items in a human first aid kit can be used in a pet first aid kit. This includes gauze, hypoallergenic adhesive tape, blunt scissors, antibiotic ointment, styptic powder, cotton balls or swabs, instant cold pack, and a compact emergency blanket.
  • Additional items – You may want to include other items, such as a clean towel, cloth strips, disposable gloves, saline solution, and bottled water for drinking and washing.
  • Other supplies – Keep your pet’s leash, carrier, muzzle (if needed), medications, and medical records stored near the first aid kit for easy access.

Helping Your Pet

Being prepared helps keep you calm, which is what your pet needs most during an emergency situation. Before rushing in to help your pet, analyze the scene for any potential dangers, such as oncoming vehicles. Be aware that your pet might try to bite you out of fear or pain. Also keep the following in mind:

  • Remove your pet and yourself from danger as soon as possible. If it’s safe, try stabilizing your pet’s wounds before moving.
  • In the event of a dog fight, seek help in separating the animals, and keep your hands and face out of the fight.
  • If possible, place your pet in their carrier or secure them in your car.
  • Keep your pet warm to prevent shock, but make sure they do not overheat.
  • Transport your pet to our clinic or to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. Call ahead for help and to let the staff know you’re on your way so they can be prepared for your arrival.

If you have further questions about putting together a pet first aid kit, please don’t hesitate to contact Godspeed Animal Care.

The Role of Pet Rehabilitation Therapy in Veterinary Care

Pet Rehabilitation therapy is important to your pet's health and recoveryMany people seek out the care of physical therapists throughout their lifetime. Whether it be for a bad back, strengthening a limb after surgery, or regaining function after an injury, physical therapy plays a huge role in helping us stay healthy, active, and comfortable.

Animals are no different. Pet rehabilitation therapy is fast becoming a cornerstone of veterinary care. Godspeed Animal Care knows how important it is to provide the very best for our furry patients, which is why we offer pet rehabilitation therapy services for animals in the Williamsburg, Virginia area.

Pet Rehabilitation Therapy Basics

Much like physical therapy in people, pet rehabilitation therapy focuses on the relationships between muscles, bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments in order to decrease pain and improve function. Continue…

Slow and Steady: Caring for Your Pet After Surgery

post surgery pet careSome pet owners are given ample time to prepare for their pet’s upcoming surgery, as in the case of a scheduled spay or neuter procedure. Pet owners coping with an emergency illness or injury don’t have time to consider all the in’s and out’s of prepping. However, what is possibly more important is taking care of a pet after surgery. Post-operative care can be a cause for concern, but with the right information your pet can get through it with flying colors.

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The Big Picture: How Ultrasound Technology Can Help Diagnose Your Pet

diagnose your petHave you ever been concerned about your pet not eating? Maybe she’s been vomiting for a few days, and you’re not sure why. Chances are, you brought her into the vet. Sometimes the problem is quickly pinpointed and treatment begins immediately. But what about if we can’t find what’s wrong through a physical exam, x-rays, and blood tests?

Sometimes we need to dig deeper to diagnose your pet, and this is where ultrasound comes in. Years ago, we may have had to perform exploratory surgery to get a look at internal organs. Today, we have ultrasound to help us examine internal organs in a non-invasive manner. Godspeed Animal Care is proud to offer this service to pets in our area.

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Pet Dental Treats: Do They Really Work?

dental chewsIf you pursue the aisles of your local pet supply store, the number of dental care products available for pets is simply staggering. Dental diets, chews, rinses, and treats abound. With most pets having some degree of dental disease before 3 years of age, the need is there. But do they really work?

Understanding and choosing pet dental treats can be a difficult task to undertake. Thankfully, your friends at Godspeed Animal Care are here to help you.

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Easier Than Pie? Getting a Handle on New Pet Vaccinations

new pet vaccinationsThe joy of bringing home a little bundle of furry energy can be quickly overshadowed by the list of things you have to do to provide for them – but it’s all worth it. Your new pet depends on you for everything, but perhaps the most important part of your job is to protect them from disease. Sure, the list of new pet vaccinations can be daunting, but we’re here to help you decode these dangerous diseases and encourage their prevention.

Need vs. Optional

Some new pet vaccinations are more appropriate for pets who will be visiting public places or areas frequented by other animals. However, even strictly indoor pets should receive the bare minimum of new pet vaccinations to protect them from potential exposure to disease.

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Diabetes in Pets

diabetes in petsDiabetes is a huge problem, both in humans and our pet population. This all-too-common disease can have serious health consequences if uncontrolled. Godspeed Animal Care thinks it’s important for animal lovers everywhere to have a good understanding of diabetes in pets and what they can do to prevent it.

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A Cut Above: What Makes Private Veterinary Practice Special?

private veterinary practiceAt Godspeed Animal Hospital, we believe that there is something special about a private veterinary practice. As with most local businesses, a private veterinary practice is rooted in the community in which it operates. We are your neighbors, friends, and fellow PTA members, and have been for years. We invest our resources into neighborhood little league teams, local non-profits, and our community as a whole.

However, as you may know, we have seen a rise in corporate veterinary practices in the Williamsburg area in the past few years. As a result, we find ourselves fielding more and more questions about what sets our private veterinary practice apart from our corporate counterparts. Because of this, we would like to share with you what we think makes a private veterinary practice special – for both you, and for your pets.

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