Thursday, October 25, 2007

San Diego Fires: Taking Care of Your Pet

If you life in Southern California where the wildfires are burning and have a pet, there are some things you should know about to help keep your pet healthy. During emergencies such as wildfires, animals experience a spike in adrenalin, increased sense of panic and general confusion, similar to humans.

In particular dogs, cats and birds are especially sensitive to the smoke. In many cases they can smell smoke before humans can. Typically you will observe nervousness, aggression and resistance to being contained. Be especially careful when handling your pets, as they may attempt an uncharacteristic escape.

Air Quality
If you have the ability to minimize their expose to smoke, do whatever you can. Running an air purifier in your home will be also be helpful. Cats and birds are especially susceptible to respiratory complications associated with smokey air.

Clean their Fur, Skin and Paws
If your pet has been outdoors, the falling ash may be on their fur. Use a good comb to brush out your dog or cat's coat. It is important to get the ash out, so they do not ingest the ash as they try to groom themselves.

Comfort your pet to help them relax
Your pet can sense your own stress as well. Help them calm down by doing a few simple things:

For Dogs: If it is safe, take them for a long walk, give them plenty of exercise and play with them.

For Cats: Distract them as much as possible by using toys, and treats.

For Birds: Provide toys, be sure they are clean and your bird is interested in them.
Dogs & Cats: Brush them, this rythym alone usually helps soothe their nerves

All pets: Where appropriate, bathe your pets, provide fresh water for them to access other than for drinking.
Reward your pet with healthy treats and provide lots of love and attention during the day.
Note: I am not a vet or animal health care provider. Always consult your vet with any serious issues or concerns.
-Rick Rockhill


marlupe said...

what a great idea to share this information!

Ben Wu said...

My thoughts are with all my friends in SD. Both Pets and Pet Parents!!!


Terribly sad those fires...the people and animals I feel so much for..objects are replaced but to loss a pet..oh my I couldn't bear it! :(
THis was a fabulous know how email!! Thanks for putting it up!

Mo said...

Thanks for this post, Rick.
This whole story has me upset.
And makes me re-think my evacuation plan for my house & my furry kids.

Naomi said...

That's great advice for all pet owners Rick. We heard about the terrible fires in the States. It was all over the news here. Our hearts go out to all those poor people.


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