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Surviving Disasters

COVID-19 is a disaster in itself, yet we must prepare to survive wildfires, earthquakes, major weather events, or even long -term power outages all while masked, and socially distanced. Planning for these events before they happen offers you the luxury of time to be sure you and your family, including pets, are ready to respond or even evacuate. Additionally, to prepare your home and immediate vicinity for wildfire prevention go to: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire for specifics on getting your home as prepared as possible to help you and give firefighters a chance to fight any fires. While keeping the environs of your structure as prepared as possible, build your family and pet safety plan. Consider these sites to help you in that process.

  • If you are notified of an impending emergency, and must evacuate early with your pets:
    • Prior to the emergency, identify “pet friendly” hotels in and out of your area

www.bringfido.com 877-411 FIDO
www.pet-friendly-hotels.net 866-966-3046
www.petswelcome.com 845-297-5150
www.tripswithpets.com 866-212-1803
www.dogfriendly.com 833-475-2275

    • Animals should have identification such as collars, tags, microchips, etc. and include their names
    • Prepare for extreme weather conditions – have blankets, heating pads, misters, shade cloths and the like
    • Be sure pets are used to being placed in appropriately sized carriers or crates – have toys, treats and familiar items
    • Have a sufficient supply of medications, food, water, bowls, medical records, current photo of your pet, your veterinarian’s name and number (remember your PetDesk app) can help with that information)
    • Carry a litter box with litter, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for sanitation
    • Include first aid supplies as well as a pet first aid reference book. Learn the basics of pet first aid.
    • It is critical that your emergency plan include a fully stocked animal emergency kit, with advice for its use. Red Cross Pet first aid on line course: https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/first-aid/cat-dog-first-aid. Emergency treatment and first aid for pets should never be used as a substitute for veterinary care.
  • If your pet is separated from you and displaced by the emergency, contact the local humane society, animal shelters or organizations (www.hssv.org).
  • To help you develop your own detailed plan, visit FEMA, (www.ready.gov), the American Red Cross, (www.redcross.org), American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (www.aspca.org), the Humane Society of the United States, (www.hsus.org), the Center for Disease Control, (http://www.cdc.gov/features/petsanddisasters).

As you develop your family emergency response plan and check your insurance against floods, fires, and earthquakes, consider getting pet health insurance if you don’t already have it. Accidents can happen at any time and pet insurance can help not just during emergencies. Of course, pre-existing conditions are usually not covered. Talk with our staff about getting pet insurance if you have questions.


by assistant editor, Roo, aka, Super Searcher With a Nose for News.

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Pain hurts, and can hurt bad! That’s certainly an understatement and rather obvious, yet imagine if you had pain and couldn’t tell anyone that you hurt. While animals can’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “excuse me, my leg aches”, they will show signs and symptoms that something is not quite right and they may be in pain. Pets may suffer pain from arthritis, cancer, toothache, or have a thorn in the foot.

Unfortunately, dogs and cats tolerate a lot more pain before we show signs. Keep an eye out for the following signs of pain in your furry friend.

Common Signs of Pain in Dogs

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Anxious expression
  • Submissive behavior
  • Refusal to move
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Growling
  • Guarding behavior
  • Aggression; biting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Self-mutilation (chewing)
  • Changes in posture

Common Signs of Pain in Cats

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Quiet/loss of curiosity
  • Changes in urinary/defecation habits
  • Hiding
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Lack of agility/jumping
  • Excessive licking/grooming
  • Stiff posture/gait
  • Guarding behavior
  • Stops grooming/matted fur
  • Tail flicking
  • Weight loss

For more information about the causes of pain in pets, visit the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) at https://ivapm.org/animal-pain-awareness-month.

September Dates to Remember

September 7, Labor Day. In honor of Labor Day, all hard-working people and the amazing jobs they do, El Gato will be closed. If you need medicine or special food to get you through the long weekend, please let us know as soon as possible.

September 19, Puppy Mill Awareness Day. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), actively operates to end the cruel and disgusting practice of puppy mill breeding. A puppy mill is another way to say a puppy farm. Dogs are kept in filthy, small cages and bred continually to provide puppies to pet stores. The breeders may connect with online, “puppy concierges” or “puppy finders”. If you are looking for a puppy, check the puppy’s source carefully and please visit https://www.aspca.org/barred-from-love.

September 26, National Dumpling Day. No matter your heritage, you will probably find dumplings of some form in your culinary heritage. Whether sweet, savory, appetizer, main course, or dessert, enjoy a dumpling today! Yum! I confess, I think I would like dog biscuit dumplings. Hey mom! Let’s make some!

Fires this year are especially close and scary for a lot of people. We hope everyone is out of any danger and stays safe!

Happy Labor Day!