All You Need To Know About Caring For Dogs during Natural Disasters
Written by Emily White | March 29th, 2018
Are you a resident of the Earthquake Pacific Northwest of America? Reports are looking into the possibility of an intense earthquake wrecking havoc in the near future. There is a great need of safeguarding the interests of our families and homes. However, most people tend to forget to prepare and meet the needs of their dogs and disasters before, during, and after a natural disaster hits. How can you approach such a situation to make sure that your PNW dog survives the shock of an earthquake?
Ways of Preparing Your PNW Dog for an Earthquake:
Assembly of emergency essentials: There are tutorials online that guide dog owners on the contents necessary for the first-aid kit for dogs. Most of them emphasize on the non-perishable food contained in the kit. Make sure that food and water stocked up for your furry friend are not expired. Additionally, make sure that it is enough to last a week at least. This will enable your dog to stay replenished for the post-earthquake state.
Have an unique and individual emergency kit for each of your dogs. Instead of stocking up general supplies for all your dogs in one place, separate them. This will enable you to keep track of each of your dogs' needs. If one of your dogs has health problems, make sure you cater for him/her individually. This will help you keep track of your dog’s supplies and will prevent your supplies from being exhausted within the first few days.
Accessibility of essentials: As you pack up in preparation for the earthquake, make sure that the emergency kit for your dogs is accessible. You could use a separate bag or pack them closer to the zipper of the bag in preparation of cases of emergency for dogs.
Implementation and use of identification materials: There is a lot of confusion when an earthquake hits. There is a great possibility that you might separate with your dog. Prepare for such a scenario by implementing identification materials on your dog such as the use of microchip systems.
An accessible history of PNW dog’s vaccination records: Make sure this recorded is in both soft and hard copy. Additionally, ensure that you have multiple copies of this record. Thus, when a copy or device is destroyed or lost you will have alternate samples of this.
Identification of your dog’s carrier bag and emergency kit: Make sure that you have pictures of yourself with your dog. Affix them to the carrier bag and first-aid kit for your dog. This will help you locate it when it wanders off during an earthquake.
Locate dog-friendly hotels and shelters: Just in case your home is destroyed, you and your pet might need to relocate. You need to make sure that your new shelter or hotel caters to both your needs and that of your dog. Some of these shelter destinations may require you to have the proof of vaccination of your dog.
Fur Babies and Human Babies
Written by Alexandra G. Roodenburg | September 16th, 2017
Hubby and I had two fur babies before we had human babies. Fur baby number 1, a Siberian Husky named Nikita, was the smartest dog I have ever known. She had all the typical qualities of a husky times ten. Very independent and an extreme alpha dog (second in line in the household after my hubby), she preferred men, well trained, but she had a strong mind of her own. Fur baby number 2, a Bull Mastiff named Kenshin. We figured we needed to add a big dog to keep up with and stand up to Nikita and wanted to add another breed to the family. Poor Kenshin was bullied by Nikita until he finally reached fullgrown size and said no more.
Nikita definitely preferred Daddy to Mommy. It was actually not until she realized there was a human baby growing in Mommy’s belly, which she realized way before we did, that she accepted Mommy and at this point she was 3. All of a sudden she would not let Kenshin get too close to me. She would step in between Kenshin and me and growl and push him away when he tried to jump up to sit in my lap (Yes, our giant baby was a true lapdog). All of a sudden people and other dogs were not allowed near us on walks. Can you imagine walking your dog and all of a sudden you come across an angry, growling, wolf-looking dog? It took us a few weeks to figure out what was going on. Dogs know on instinct, for humans it can take a while.
Nikita with baby
The evening of the day we found out I was preggo, I took both dogs on a walk by myself as hubby wasn’t home. A stranger tried to approach me and started asking questions about the dogs and me. I did not feel all that comfortable because he kept asking me questions although I said I needed to get going. Nikita sensed something was off and started pacing while growling in between us. All of a sudden Kenshin lunged towards him, hitting my left knee on the way, dislocating it and I dropped to the ground. Nikita immediately laid down next to me all while growling to guard me (well more so baby) while Kenshin took it as playtime and started jumping all over barking wanting to play. Not wanting to let go of the leash but realizing he would injure me further, luckily I realized there was a light pole right next to me and in excruciating pain, I managed to wrap his leash around the pole to give me leverage to keep him off me. Of course I went on the walk without my cellphone. The guy was freaking out pacing back and forth realizing I was injured and being too scared to approach the dogs to help. I got him to go find our neighbors who were home thank God, and also dog people. Thankfully since Nikita knew them, she let them approach us. They put the dogs in our apartment, called an ambulance, and called Hubby.
Through the pregnancy, Nikita was preparing for the baby as much as we did. She gained pregnancy weight, started nesting and guarded me. We had to avoid all dogs during walks because to her, they were potential threats to HER baby. We did all the responsible preparations as pet parents. We ordered a copy of Preparing Fido (an absolute must!) which is a CD with various baby sounds everything from crying, screaming, cooing, etc. When human baby number 1 was born hubby would bring receiving blankets that baby had been lying on so that they would get used to the scent before we brought the baby home. The day Baby H met his fur siblings they were as prepared as they could be. Still, we could never have imagined the result!
Nikita went into full Pet-Mommy mode! This was her and my baby and it clearly showed. For the first time she truly accepted me! Kenshin was of course not allowed near baby H for the first few days. She would not leave him for a second! She was lying next to the bassinette or pacing around it, around and around in a circle. In fact, she did not sleep at all (or much) those first two weeks. She would come and get me when baby H was about to wake up, when he needed a diaper change, or was about to fuss. She simply knew beforehand. Let me tell you, this baby’s needs were met before he had a chance to ask for something! She would wake me up if I was sleeping or come and get me if I was in another room. Truly amazing! Kenshin had to sleep in the living room so that Nikita could relax a little in our bedroom.
As baby H was growing, Nikita was right there next to him, keeping a close eye so Kenshin wouldn’t knock him over when he started crawling and walking. Amazing bond and friendship! Of course, you should always supervise pets and kids. Little kids can easily tug on their fur siblings and the fur babies can of course respond to protect themselves. I think our case was truly special and not one you should take for granted (we did not experience the same with babies 2 & 3, even though Nikita showed similar behavior I was not to the same extent).
What To Say To A Friend Who Lost A Pet
Written by Etta Grue | September 8th, 2017
As dog owners, we all know that there will be one day when our furry companion will no longer be with us. We fear when this day will happen and can only hope that it’ll be our dog that will live a long and healthy life. When our pup is no longer with us, once being a dog owner, it’s more likely that we will get another furry friend again when we are ready. It’s not a replacement to our first dog, but to fill our life with love and joy again. A dog represents the true meaning of unconditional love that probably no other human can give us. They are always there for us in good and bad times, a dog never judges you and no matter how long you have been gone for the day, he will greet you by the door with a wagging tail and barks for love. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine said to me: “Why do we do this to ourselves over and over again, when we know how much it hurts?” I didn’t know how to respond to her question, I just said: “Because those years we get spend with them, even though we will most likely outlive them, will be so worth it.”
This summer, I’ve had three friends who lost their dogs and it breaks my heart. For several weeks, one of them sat in his car in the driveway outside his house after a long day of work, crying because it was too hard to walk inside the door to an empty house.
My other friend is going through a divorce and one day, her senior dog started to have a hard time to breathe, so she had to put her dog to sleep. First, the devastation to end a marriage and then suddenly not to have your pup by your side when you go through a life changing experience.
I got a text message a few weeks ago from one of my best friends: “Etta, I didn’t make it home. I was on vacation with my boyfriend and my mom who took care of my dog called me and said that he was suddenly very weak. She took him to the animal hospital and they said he wouldn’t make it. I was forced to make a decision to either be egoistic and let my precious baby suffer for two more days so I could make it back home, or have my mom be there for him when he took his last breath... I couldn’t do that to him. I had to let him go. I had him for 12 years, and I never got the chance to say good bye...”
How do we respond to something like this?
Although we will never be able to take away the pain that our friend experience, there are things we can do to be a compassionate friend:
Sometimes a simple: “I’m so sorry for your loss” may mean more than we think.
Be a listener. Even though we don’t know what to say, just being there for your friend and listen when they talk is more than enough.
Ask question about the sickness and what special and funny act the pet always did. All dog owners react differently to the loss of their pet, and some may not want to talk about it. Then it’s important not to push them. Although, if they don’t say much, but are open to talk about their pet, it may be good to ask questions about the pet because it will help with the grieving process.
Share a heartwarming or funny memory about the pet. Share something you liked about the pet with your friend. Many times, dog owners need to hear these good memories because it will help them get through the tough times ahead.
Tell your friend: “Your pet was lucky to have you,” and explain why.
Offer your hand and tell your friend: “Is there anything I can do?” Sometimes having someone who will be there for you means the world to the one who just lost a pet.
Send flowers or a condolence card. Many dog owners will see this as a thoughtful gesture.
Donate to an animal fund. If the dog had cancer, maybe an animal cancer fund is a good idea.
There is a strong bond between a human and her dog, so when they pass, the feelings we feel can be just as devastating as the loss of a family member. Even though we know that the time we have with them is limited, we choose the joy and the love they give us. Tonight, I will hug my three furry companions a little bit extra and being thankful for what I have today.