Monday, September 26, 2016

Your pets LOVE Halloween, too!!!

The best ways to celebrate the spooky season with your pet in Champaign-Urbana

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Go on an autumn hike, like Allerton Park's Fall Color Tree Hike in October, and enjoy the crisp weather and colors of the season with your furry friend. October 22nd.

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Enter a costume inspired 5K with your canine companion: Howl'OWeen Jog/Walk in Toalson Park.  (October 22nd)  Costumes encouraged; or the Pumpkin Paws Jog/Walk in November (11/21).  Both are hosted by the Champaign Bark District.

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Dress your pet to impress to be a greeter to the Trick or Treaters on the BIG day.

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Organize a neighborhood Costume pet parade.  Let the neighborhood families know, because kids love dog parades, and costume parades, so why not both!!

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Host a Pet Friendly Halloween costume party for your friends, and their furry friends, too.  Have a contest for the best human-pet costume duo.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Preparing for Severe Weather

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After the recent severe weather, and tornado that touched down in our area, there were reports of several pets lost during the disaster.  This is a disaster and tragedy that is all too common.  Even simple thunderstorms can cause a spike in your pet’s anxiety, and need to hide or flee, depending on the pet.  Storms and weather as severe as what our region has recently experienced brings to mind the need to have a disaster preparedness plan, not only for our family, and our property, but also for our pets.
Here is a description of four areas of emergency preparedness, and how it helps you prepare for your pet’s well-being.

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     1. Be informed: Be aware of which stations and systems will alert you to upcoming adverse conditions and disasters.  Know where to turn for accurate information in your area.  The weather channel app will push local alerts to your phone, and be sure to be near a radio or television that will broadcast updates.  Make sure you can hear the tornado sirens in your home.  Champaign and Urbana test these on the first Tuesday of the month, as many of you may know.

Image result for cat in cat carrier     2. Plan Ahead: Create a plan in case of emergency, and make sure your whole family knows their role in preparing.  Having a crate or pet carrier to secure your dog during a storm, or having them leashed and ready if you will need to leave your home.  Find and have cats and smaller critters in carriers, ready to take if needed, so there is no last minute struggling to get a cat hiding under the bed.  Designating certain family members to this task ahead of time can minimize confusion about finding and securing pets.

Prepare your pet’s identifying paperwork in a water tight setup to have on hand in case they are lost or separated from you.  A plastic Ziploc bag containing your pet’s rabies license, microchip information, and an updated photo of your pets.  Have a tag for your pet to wear that includes contact information. 

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Have a bag packed with pet essentials you may need if you need to leave your home quickly with your pet to include: leash and collar, pet first aid, food, water, medications, handy wipes, paper towels, a flashlight, and a can opener. 

3. Evacuate: Evacuate if that is an option for the particular adverse event.  Consider a friend or family member’s home, a pet hotel that is not in an evacuation zone, a red cross shelter that will accept pets, etc.
In the event that evacuation is not an option, as in our case with sudden tornadoes, it is important to take certain precautions for your pets.  Bring all pets inside.  Separate dogs and cats, and keep them leashed and crated.  Have a large supply of newspapers of puppy pads for sanitary reasons.  Have a pet first aid kit, and maintain a supply of fresh water.

Image result for pet emergency preparedness      4. Return home.  When the weather event or emergency event is over, take certain precautions with your pets for a time.  Leash your pets when you are outside, even if they typically stay in the yard or close to you.  There will be unfamiliar scents, sounds and sights, and their anxiety level may still be on high alert.  Keeping your pets on leash can prevent issues with downed debris or power lines if you are controlling their destination.  Check your water quality before serving city water to your pet. Image result for pet emergency preparedness