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.

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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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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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Dressed for Success? The Keys to Safe Pet Costumes

pet costumesPet costumes are a huge deal for many owners, but they don’t always come with an instruction guide or safety suggestions. Indeed, while they seem so obvious and self-explanatory, pet costumes elicit a great deal of confusion, stress, and anxiety – for pets and people alike. This is not to say they aren’t fun and festive, but when you have a head start on how to dress your pet in a safe garment (and how to mitigate any discomfort), you’ll be more likely to enjoy Halloween together.

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Life With a Service Dog

Humans have lived in harmony with canine companions for millennia, and the relationship continues to be mutually beneficial. From ancient Chinese scrolls depicting dogs and people working together to Roman frescoes showing a blind man being led by a dog, there’s clear evidence that supports this special dynamic.

Dogs have also been employed in the military looking for wounded soldiers or carrying messages to the front lines. These days, a service dog can help an individual in a variety of meaningful ways, and Godspeed Animal Care is proud to share them with you.

Seeing Eye, Hearing Ear

In 18th century France, canines were commonly engaged as assistants to the blind. Here in the U.S., the first guide dog school opened in 1929 called The Seeing Eye. Over the following years, formal training methods began to evolve in order to develop the concept of service dogs. While seeing eye dogs continued to help blind people with daily tasks and activities, service dogs were being trained to help deaf individuals as well.

Bonnie Bergin

The idea of the service dog was pioneered by Bonnie Bergin. Through her work with canine training and development, she helped to elevate the status of the service dog. Her work allowed a certain recognition of the bond between a service dog and their human partner, which created a wider acceptance in our culture.

High Standards

The roles of service dogs continued to grow in the 1980’s and 1990’s, as they became extremely useful to individuals on the Autism spectrum and veterans suffering from PTSD. With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, it not only became unlawful to discriminate against disabled people, but necessary requirements for service dogs were also enforced.

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Canine Influenza: Take Action to Protect Your Dog

French bulldog at homeWhile you may be dreading human flu season, canine influenza (dog flu) has been steadily infecting thousands of dogs across the United States and does not seem to be slowing down. Keep reading to learn more about canine influenza and how to protect your beloved pet.

History and Symptoms

Although there has been more discussion around canine flu since the H3N2 virus emerged in 2015, the illness has been around for a while. In fact, what’s referred to as canine influenza virus A developed from an equine flu strain (H3N8) and was first diagnosed in Florida in 2004.

Like equine-borne H3N8, the strain H3N2 was present in another species (birds) before it mutated and infected dogs. Collectively, these strains are often referred to as Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). This includes multiple viruses and bacterial infections that share similar pathologies.
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Rabies and Pets: Understanding This Devastating Illness

Clouds of Mexican free-tailed bats TexasThere are very few viruses as potent and deadly as rabies, yet this disease is often considered an illness of days gone by. In reality, rabies is still being spread among mammals, including an estimated 400-500 pets in the United States every year.

Understanding the relationship between rabies and pets can help you protect your fur friend and minimize the spread of this deadly disease.

The Basics of Rabies

Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain. Rabies can infect any mammal, but is most commonly found in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, dogs, cats, and bats. Rabies is also a zoonotic illness, meaning it can be transferred between different species, including humans.

Rabies is spread through saliva or other bodily fluids, typically through a bite, wound, or scratch. Although there are vaccines to stop the disease from progressing in humans (when administered early), there is no cure for rabies among cats and dogs. When the symptoms take hold, rabies almost always results in death. Continue…

Protecting Your Pet from Kennel Cough

Chihuahua puppyKennel cough (tracheobronchitis) can be caused by several different bacteria and viruses and is typically associated with a honking, persistent cough. In most cases, the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica (commonly referred to as just Bordetella) is to blame. However, kennel cough can also be caused by distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and the herpes virus.

Unfortunately, there have been recent outbreaks in our region, particularly in kennels, shelters, and other areas where dogs are housed together. With this in mind, it’s important to understand how to recognize symptoms and prevent the spread of kennel cough.

How Kennel Cough is Transmitted

Like most contagious viruses, kennel cough is spread through contact between animals. While it is airborne, direct contact also increases the chances of infection. Continue…

Oceans, Rivers, and Pools: Current Trends in Pet Water Safety

On the riverbankChickahominy, James, York…these rivers offer plenty of things to do, not to mention Mobjack Bay, Chesapeake Bay, and the endless Atlantic shoreline. Indeed, our community lends itself to outdoor fun, making pet water safety that much more important. Together, we can help you keep your pet safe on – and around – the water. Continue…