PETS AND DISASTER SAFETY CHECKLIST

The best way to ensure the safety of your pets during hurricane season or any other disaster is to be prepared with a plan.

The best way to ensure the safety of your pets during hurricane season or any other disaster is to be prepared with a plan.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.

The best way to ensure the safety of your pets during hurricane season or any other disaster is to be prepared with a plan.

That’s why the Weather Channel and the American Red Cross put together this Pets and Disaster Safety Checklist that’s a must-read for all pet owners, especially during this time of year:

Plan Ahead

Plan to take your pets with you in an evacuation. If it is not safe for you to stay, it is not safe for them either.

  • Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route will accept you and your pets in an emergency. Call ahead for reservations if you know you may need to evacuate. Ask if no-pet policies could be waived in an emergency.

  • Most Red Cross shelters cannot accept pets because of health and safety concerns and other considerations. Service animals that assist people with disabilities are allowed in Red Cross shelters.

  • Know which friends, relatives, boarding facilities, animal shelters or veterinarians can care for your animals in an emergency. Prepare a list with phone numbers.

  • Although your animals may be more comfortable together, be prepared to house them separately.

  • Include your pets in evacuation drills so that they become used to entering and traveling in their carriers calmly.

  • Make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are current and that all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened, up- to-date identification. Many pet shelters require proof of current vaccinations to reduce the spread of disease.

  • Consider having your pet “microchipped” by your veterinarian.

Know What To Take

Assemble a portable kit with emergency supplies for your pets. Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers so that they can be carried easily. Your kit should include —

  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and/or carriers to transport pets safely and ensure that they can’t escape.

  • Food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan and a manual can opener.

  • Medications and copies of medical records stored in a waterproof container.

  • A first aid kit.

  • Current photos of you with your pet(s) in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike, this will help to eliminate mistaken identity and confusion.

  • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.

  • Pet beds and toys, if easily transportable.

Know What to Do

  • Often, warnings are issued hours, even days, in advance. At the first hint of disaster, act to protect your pet.

  • Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements for you and your pets.

  • Ensure that all pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date identification.

  • Check that your pet disaster supplies are ready to take at a moment's notice.

  • Bring pets inside so you won’t have to search for them if you need to leave quickly.

After a Disaster

  • The behavior of pets may change dramatically after a disaster, becoming aggressive or defensive, so be aware of their well-being and protect them from hazards to ensure the safety of other people and animals.

  • Watch your animals closely and keep them under your direct control as fences and gates may have been damaged.

  • Pets may become disoriented, particularly if the disaster has affected scent markers that normally allow them to find their home.

  • Be aware of hazards at nose and paw or hoof level, particularly debris, spilled chemicals, fertilizers and other substances that might not seem to be dangerous to humans.

  • Consult your veterinarian if any behavior problems persist.

Include All Your Animals
For information on disaster planning and emergency actions to take for livestock, horses, birds, reptiles or other small animals, such as gerbils or hamsters, visit RedCross.org, the Humane Society of the United States (www.HSUS.org) or Ready.gov.

COOL TREATS FOR HOT DOGS

For advice on the safest way to give cool treats to your hot dog, we turned to animal expert Dr. Wayne Mercer, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at SouthPark Animal Hospital.

For advice on the safest way to give cool treats to your hot dog, we turned to animal expert Dr. Wayne Mercer, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at SouthPark Animal Hospital.

The dog days of summer are definitely here. And just like us, our pets enjoy a cool treat when it’s hot outside.

To find out the safest options, we turned to Dr. Wayne Mercer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at SouthPark Animal Hospital.

“The safest ‘cool down ‘ treat for dogs is crushed or shaved ice — but in moderation,” Dr. Mercer says. “And no ice cubes because they can fracture teeth!”

If your dog has been outside, he says to be aware that too much of something cold on the stomach of a hot dog can cause nausea.

If you choose a store-bought processed treat such as Purina’s Frosty Paws, Dr. Mercer recommends only giving your dog one a day.

If you choose a store-bought processed treat such as Purina’s Frosty Paws, Dr. Mercer recommends only giving your dog one a day.

Whether you choose to buy frozen treats, such as Purina’s Frosty Paws, or make your own homemade versions, Dr. Mercer recommends limiting the amount you give your pet the first time. “There are always dogs who eat something new, or too much of something different, and they’ll develop diarrhea,” he says. “It’s best to try it in moderation and see how they do the first time to make sure your dog’s GI track can tolerate it.”

Even if your dog can tolerate store-bought processed snacks such as Frosty Paws, because of the ingredients Dr. Mercer recommends limiting it to just a once-a-day treat.

Paw Print Muffin Pan Ice Cube Mold from Pawsome Doggie, $11.99.

Paw Print Muffin Pan Ice Cube Mold from Pawsome Doggie, $11.99.

For a healthier homemade recipe freeze layers of pureed pumpkin, mashed bananas and Greek yogurt in a silicone mold. For fun, try the Paw Print Muffin Pan Ice Cube Mold from Pawsome Doggie ($11.99). It makes tiny two-inch treats and can also be used for mini doggie cakes or muffins.

Freezing broth (chicken, beef or bone) in an ice cube mold is another option. Or pureeing and freezing their favorite fruit (The O Report’s resident dog is wild for watermelon).

For cats, Dr. Mercer says they like pumpkin and dairy also, so you could freeze those or their other favorite ingredients, too., as long as you follow the same rules for dogs (make sure your cat can tolerate the treat and only give it to them in moderation).

Whether it’s your dog or cat, what’s the easiest cool down solution of all? “Just put ice in their water,” Dr. Mercer says.

REST IN PEACE, CHASER

Dr. John Pilley and Chaser during their many happy times together.

Dr. John Pilley and Chaser during their many happy times together.

One of the most famous animals from the Carolinas has died.

Chaser, a border collie known as “The Smartest Dog in the World,” died peacefully of natural causes on July 23 at the home of the Pilley family in Spartanburg, S.C.

As a puppy, Chaser was given as a gift to Dr. John Pilley, a retired Wofford College psychology professor, by his wife in 2004. Dr. Pilley taught Chaser a remarkable number of commands and to identify and retrieve more than 1,000 toys - each with a different name.

Chaser rose to worldwide fame with numerous articles and television features including an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson for PBS’ Nova.

Here’s the famous video:

Dr. Pilley died last year at 89 with Chaser by his side. Chaser’s Facebook page has a moving description of their last days together written by Dr. Pilley’s son.

Grooming Essentials

Since 1851, the classic American brand Kiehl’s has become famous for creating innovative skincare products for men and women.

Now your dog can benefit from Kiehl’s nature-inspired, scientifically proven formulas.

Cuddly-Coat Grooming Shampoo ($24) is gentle enough for a dog’s coat, face, and skin. It has Chamomile Flower Extract for cleansing and a light lavender scent.

Follow with Cuddly-Coat Conditioning Rinse ($20) to treat and condition dogs’ coat and skin.

In between grooming sessions, try Spray-N-Play Cleansing Spritz ($13) to remove stains from your pet’s coat or to spot clean and deodorize.