Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ask Lola: A slobbering advice column written by a dog for eco-minded dogs and their owners

Dear Lola: With the recent news about hurricanes and extreme weather. Do you have any tips on how to prepare our pets for natural disasters so they can weather the storm?

Sincerely, Concerned Animal Lover

Dear Concerned Animal Lover: With the recent news about Hurricane Ike it is predicted that this will be a category 4 tropical storm. So for precaution 1 million people along the Texas coast were asked to evacuate. No matter what natural disaster you may face it is important to be prepared for anything.
So while you are getting ready to flee from the storm don't forget your furry friends. Here are some tips on how prepare Fido or Felix for any natural disasters.

Tag Your Pet: Keep a collar with current ID tags on your pet at all times in case an earthquake occurs and your pet runs away or you have to evacuate. Consider getting your pet micro chipped as well. Microchips provide extra assurance in case the tag falls off. Most shelters and veterinarians have a device for scanning microchips.

2. Emergency Kit: Have the necessary emergency pet supplies on hand. If you will need to evacuate, your pet will need to go with you. Supplies should include: doggy pick-up bags (preferably eco-friendly ones that biodegrade), a good pet carrier, about a one-month supply of water, pet food & treats, and your pet's regular medications, a sturdy leash, harness, collar, blankets and a favorite toy. For cats, make sure there is extra litter. Also have on hand your pet's medical records including proof of vaccinations, which are necessary in case your pet needs to be boarded. Keep a photo of your pet in your wallet in case your pet gets lost.

3. Never leave your pet alone during a hurricane or natural disaster. It is a big no no to leave your dog tied in the back yard. It is important to understand that locking your dog in a room with food and water while you evacuate does not equal safety. Leaving your pet unattended can lead to injury, fear, homelessness or worst death. So better yet, compile a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels outside of your immediate area, as well as animal shelters, veterinarians and boarding facilities that will temporarily board pets during an earthquake or other disaster. The Internet is a good place to search these facilities. Also check with friends and relatives who may be able to care for your pet.

4. Prepare a pet first aid kit which should include the basics such as antibiotic ointment, antispetic, Q-tips, bandages, gauze pads, roll of cloth, thermometer, tweezers, instant cold pack, rags/rubber tubing for a tourniquet and a first aid book. There are also portable pet emergency kits that you can purchase.

Stay Calm: Pets may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented in and after a disaster: keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash/harness is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal. There are some wonderful & effective products that will help during any disaster situation. Animals have the ability to sense earthquakes and storms in advance. During and after any natural disaster your pet may be extremely nervous and sensitive to sounds. You can reassure your pet by speaking and acting calmly which can be a challenging task. If that does not work Spot Organics Chill Spray & Essential Oil and Happytails Sleepytime Tonic are just a few of the all natural & holistic solutions to remedy and sooth any anxious, nervous or restless dog. Since dogs may panic, get confused, frightened, have separation anxiety if boarded or left in the care of family & friends so these products are great.

Barkingly yours,

Lola the eco-dog

If you haven't guessed it already my column is not just about saving the planet but is also a about helping the community of dog lovers. If you have a question or need advice from Lola the eco- dog on ways you & your dog can go green or wants some advice or encouragement just Twitter her or email her at . Lola the eco-dog is here to help! If you love Lola’s column subscribe to her blog.