What Is Canine Influenza Virus?

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There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-influenza-viruscanine-flu

The Dangers of Lyme Disease

The Dangers of Lyme Disease for Pets

Lyme disease is an extremely dangerous disease that is passed to both pets and humans through the bite of a deer tick. Deer ticks can be picked up anywhere there is underbrush, trees, or grass and are commonly found in parks, wooded areas, yards, and campgrounds. Avoiding these areas is not feasible or necessary, but there are other ways to protect your pet. We recommend:

  • Keeping your pet on a pest preventive all year round
  • Use a pet-safe pest killer in your yard to minimize the risk of ticks at home
  • Check your pet over carefully, especially in warm areas of the body such as the neck, belly, thighs, ears, etc., to determine if a tick has attached itself to your pet
  • Understand the proper method to remove a tick from your pet—we can teach you at our animal hospital if you contact us for assistance

Protecting your pet from Lyme disease can be as simple as protecting your pet from tick bites. Talk with us today to ensure that your pet has the best tick preventive for their needs.

Easter Pet Poisons

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The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.

 

SOURCE: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

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Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause, or be caused by, other health problems. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

What is veterinary dentistry, and who should perform it?

Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. These procedures should be performed by a veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist. Subject to state or provincial regulation, veterinary technicians are allowed to perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian.

The process begins with an oral exam of your pet’s mouth by a veterinarian. Radiographs (x-rays) may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and the tooth roots below the gumline. Because most dental disease occurs below the gumline, where you can’t see it, a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation are performed under anesthesia. Dental cleaning includes scaling (to remove dental plaque and tartar) and polishing, similar to the process used on your own teeth during your regular dental cleanings.

Oral health in dogs and cats

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.

Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.

Causes of pet dental problems

Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:

  • broken teeth and roots
  • periodontal disease
  • abscesses or infected teeth
  • cysts or tumors in the mouth
  • malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • broken (fractured) jaw
  • palate defects (such as cleft palate)

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes.

It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).

The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays may be needed to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian or a board-certified veterinary dentist will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.

Why does dentistry require anesthesia?

When you go to the dentist, you know that what’s being done is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Your dentist uses techniques to minimize pain and discomfort and can ask you how you are feeling, so you accept the procedures and do your best to keep still. Your pet does not understand the benefit of dental procedures, and he or she reacts by moving, trying to escape, or even biting.

Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet. In addition, anesthesia allows for a better cleaning because your pet is not moving around and risking injury from the dental equipment. If radiographs (x-rays) are needed, your pet needs to be very still in order to get good images, and this is unlikely without heavy sedation or anesthesia.

Although anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.

What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?

Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning by your veterinarian. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant – patience and training are important.

There are many pet products marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Talk with your veterinarian about any dental products, treats, or dental-specific diets you’re considering for your pet, or ask your veterinarian for their recommendation.

SOURCE: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Pet-Dental-Care.aspx

5 Tips for Traveling with a Pet

Tips for Traveling with a Pet

Planning a flight or road trip with your pet this winter? Traveling with a pet can be fun, but it can also be nerve-wracking if you’re not prepared. The team at Kootenai Animal Hospital wants your pet to be safe during your trip, just as much as you do. That’s why we’ve provided the following tips for traveling with a pet so you both can have a safe, peaceful journey.

 

Know the Fees for Air Travel

Most airlines charge a fee to bring a pet on their planes, which is usually around $100 each way, so be prepared for that. You can find his information on your airline’s website. Airlines typically also require that you book your pet’s flight at the same time you book your own, but they may give the option to add your pet as a passenger later.

 

Make Sure Your Pet’s Vaccinations Are Updated

Even if you’re not traveling anywhere, it’s always important to keep your pet’s vaccinations updated to protect them from viruses and diseases. For airline travel—especially international travel—many airlines require proof of your pet’s vaccinations in the form of a health certificate. If your pet’s vaccinations aren’t updated, or if a health certificate is required, schedule an appointment at Kootenai Animal Hospital.

 

Choose Your Pet Carrier Wisely

Regardless of how you’ll be traveling, choose a carrier that’s comfortable and spacious for your dog or cat. They should be able to easily turn around in the carrier. Keep in mind that all airlines have dimension limits for pet carriers in the cabin, so if your pet will be your carryon, make sure the carrier meets these requirements.

 

Make Sure Your Pet Has ID

Of course, one of the last things you want to happen on your trip is losing your pet. So whether it’s a permanent microchip or an ID tag (both would be ideal), always make sure your pet has ID when you travel. You may also want to have a recent photo of your pet handy, whether it’s in your phone or a physical copy.

 

Expect the Unexpected

In case of an emergency, it’s always a good idea to have a pet emergency kit with you when you travel. We recommend that you also get familiar with the locations of the emergency veterinarians near your final destination, in case you need their services during your trip.

And if you determine that traveling with your pet is NOT the best decision, remember that Kootenai Animal Hospital offers boarding for dogs and cats. If you have questions about these travel tips or would like to book a boarding stay, give us a call at 208-773-6000.

5 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holiday Pet Safety Tips in Post Falls, ID

America’s favorite winter holidays are just weeks away! We know you’re busy shopping, decorating, and party planning, so we wanted to remind you of a few things to keep your pet safe this holiday season. Consider the following five pet holiday safety tips from Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls. We hope you both have a holly jolly season and a wonderful new year with your pet!

Tinsel and Garland Safety

As you decorate your tree, keep in mind that there are certain decorations like tinsel and garland that can be dangerous to your pet if ingested. This is especially important to remember if you have a cat, since cats are known to be drawn to shiny, stringy items. If ingested, these decorations can pose an obstruction hazard, which may require surgery to correct. So either avoid buying these decorations altogether or keep them in an area where your pet can’t access them.

Keep Pets Away from Christmas Tree Water

Many pet owners opt for real Christmas trees, unaware of the potential dangers that they can create for their pets. To a thirsty pet, a bucket of Christmas tree water is just another harmless bowl of water to slurp up. But if that water contains toxic agents like preservatives and pesticides (often used to keep the tree fresh), drinking it can be very dangerous to a pet. If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, use a tree skirt to cover the water to eliminate any temptation for your pet to drink it. Also make sure to leave plenty of water in your pet’s bowl to keep them hydrated.

Dangers of Holiday Plants

Mistletoe, holly, and lilies are just a few of the seasonal plants that are toxic to pets. If ingested, these plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought. So either keep these plants out of your pet’s reach or choose artificial plants instead. If ever you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic plant or any other toxic substance, call Kootenai Animal Hospital at (208) 77-6000 or your local emergency veterinary hospital for an after-hours emergency.

Keep Electrical Cords Out of Your Pet’s Reach

If you have a curious pet, don’t string the bottom of your Christmas tree with lights, since many pets are known to paw at twinkling lights or chew on them. Chewing on electrical cords and lights can cause electric shocks and even mouth burns. Keep those Christmas lights out of your curious pet’s reach, or opt for a fiber optic tree instead.

Dangers of Fatty Foods and Table Scraps for Pets

We know you might be tempted to share your holiday meals with your pet, but before you do, keep in mind that there are certain foods that can be dangerous for them. Fatty foods like bacon, sausage, and poultry skin are on the list. These and other fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. They can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. So as a rule of thumb, avoid feeding your pet any fatty table scraps from your holiday feasts.

5 Holiday Pet Safety Tips

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America’s favorite winter holidays are just weeks away! We know you’re busy shopping, decorating, and party planning, so we wanted to remind you of a few things to keep your pet safe this holiday season. Consider the following five pet holiday safety tips from Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls. We hope you both have a holly jolly season and a wonderful new year with your pet!

Tinsel and Garland Safety

As you decorate your tree, keep in mind that there are certain decorations like tinsel and garland that can be dangerous to your pet if ingested. This is especially important to remember if you have a cat, since cats are known to be drawn to shiny, stringy items. If ingested, these decorations can pose an obstruction hazard, which may require surgery to correct. So either avoid buying these decorations altogether or keep them in an area where your pet can’t access them.

Keep Pets Away from Christmas Tree Water

Many pet owners opt for real Christmas trees, unaware of the potential dangers that they can create for their pets. To a thirsty pet, a bucket of Christmas tree water is just another harmless bowl of water to slurp up. But if that water contains toxic agents like preservatives and pesticides (often used to keep the tree fresh), drinking it can be very dangerous to a pet. If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, use a tree skirt to cover the water to eliminate any temptation for your pet to drink it. Also make sure to leave plenty of water in your pet’s bowl to keep them hydrated.

Dangers of Holiday Plants

Mistletoe, holly, and lilies are just a few of the seasonal plants that are toxic to pets. If ingested, these plants can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure if treatment isn’t sought. So either keep these plants out of your pet’s reach or choose artificial plants instead. If ever you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic plant or any other toxic substance, call Kootenai Animal Hospital at (208) 77-6000 or your local emergency veterinary hospital for an after-hours emergency.

Keep Electrical Cords Out of Your Pet’s Reach

If you have a curious pet, don’t string the bottom of your Christmas tree with lights, since many pets are known to paw at twinkling lights or chew on them. Chewing on electrical cords and lights can cause electric shocks and even mouth burns. Keep those Christmas lights out of your curious pet’s reach, or opt for a fiber optic tree instead.

Dangers of Fatty Foods and Table Scraps for Pets

We know you might be tempted to share your holiday meals with your pet, but before you do, keep in mind that there are certain foods that can be dangerous for them. Fatty foods like bacon, sausage, and poultry skin are on the list. These and other fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. They can also contribute to weight gain and obesity. So as a rule of thumb, avoid feeding your pet any fatty table scraps from your holiday feasts.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many because it’s a time when we get together with loved ones, give thanks, watch football, and, of course, FEAST! We want your four-legged friends to enjoy this time of year, too, but we also want them to be safe from the food and weather-related dangers. Consider the following Thanksgiving pet safety tips by Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls, ID to make your turkey day with your dog or cat a happy one.
Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Post Falls

Good Table Food vs. Bad Table Food

With those big eyes staring up at you and that soft chin resting on your knee, it can be hard to resist giving your pet some scraps from your Thanksgiving dinner. Although there are some table foods like green beans and other green veggies that are harmless to pets there are others that aren’t, so it’s important to know the difference. Remember to check your trash can to make sure it’s securely closed and inaccessible by your pet, so they don’t go digging for scraps.

Turkey: Turkey is a lean protein that provides many health benefits to both pets and people, so feel free to share a few scraps with your fur baby. Just be sure to give them only the white meat and to remove any excess skin or fat. Too much fatty food can cause pancreatitis, which can leave your pet in pain. It’s also important not to feed your pet any turkey with bones in it, since bones can lead to digestive and obstruction issues.

Mashed Potatoes: If not prepared with a great deal of dairy products like cheese, butter, or sour cream, potatoes are typically safe to feed to your pet. The gravy, however, is not, due to its high fat content.

Onions: Onions and other alliums (garlic, scallions, etc.) are also a no-no for pets. In large amounts, these foods can be toxic to your pet and can affect the red blood cells, leading to anemia, so if you’re feeding your pet scraps, make sure they’re free of these ingredients.

Sweet Foods: On the list of sweet foods that should never be fed to dog or cats are grapes, raisins, chocolate, and food with xylitol (sugar substitute). These foods contain toxic ingredients that can cause a number of health problems for your pet, including vomiting, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, and even kidney failure.

Cold Weather Safety

Here in Idaho, late fall temps can get pretty chilly, so we at Kootenai Animal Hospital want to remind you to keep your pet warm and healthy during the cooler months of the year. Of course, the one obvious way to keep your pet warm is to keep them indoors and limiting their playtime and walk time outdoors when temps are frigid. You may even want to consider purchasing a dog or cat sweater to provide your pet with an extra layer of warmth and protection, especially if you have a hairless or short-haired pet.

Another potential cold weather danger is antifreeze. Many antifreeze products are made with ethylene glycol, which creates a sweet smell and taste. This is what attracts so many animals to it and causes them to drink it, but ingesting even a couple table spoons can be deadly. To protect your pet, switch to an antifreeze brand that’s made with propylene glycol, which, although still dangerous if ingested, is much less toxic. You can also simply be mindful of any antifreeze spills in your garage or driveway, and make sure the containers are properly sealed and stowed away, out of your pet’s reach.

If you ever suspect that your pet has ingested antifreeze or a toxic food, or if you have any questions about these Thanksgiving pet safety tips, contact Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls at (208) 773-6000.

 

Pet Safety For Halloween

Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Holmdel, NJ

The Halloween season may be fun for us but there are many seasonal dangers that can affect our furry friends. The veterinary team at Kootenai Animal Hospital is committed to keeping our patients safe and healthy during the Halloween season and we’re here to be your partner in your pet’s care. Explore some of the most common Halloween season dangers detailed below, and as always, contact us immediately to speak to Dr. Rogers and the team if you have any questions or if you suspect that your pet is in an emergency situation. Prompt treatment is often the best means of getting your pet back on the road to good health as quickly as possible.

Jack-o-Lanterns, Candles, and Fires, Oh My!

Jack-o-Lanterns are some of the most popular Halloween decorations, and while they can be cute, they can also be quite dangerous! Anytime lit candles are within your pet’s reach, precautions should be taken to ensure that your pet stays safe. We recommend using battery operated candles in your carved pumpkins so that if they are knocked over by your pet, the danger of hot wax and burns is eliminated.

Bonfires can also be dangerous for our pets, especially when they spark. Our pets may not realize how dangerous a fire is and can venture too close, so it’s important that you keep an eye on your pet and make sure they are always supervised around fires.

Sweet Poison: The Danger of Halloween Candy For Pets

Candy, especially sugar-free candy and chocolate, are extremely dangerous for our pets if consumed! These treats contain ingredients that can be toxic for them. If your pet eats any candy, please contact our team right away so we can assess the situation and determine if your pet needs immediately treatment.

Halloween Costume Dangers for Pets

This may not seem like a real danger, but trust us, Halloween costumes have been known to cause many hazards for our pets! If you’re dressing your pet up for Halloween, t’s so important to ensure that your pet is comfortable in their costume and isn’t struggling to get out of it, which can cause them to injure themselves. Never keep your pet in costume if they are unattended and always keep an eye on the situation, watching for signs of discomfort or irritation.

 

How to Keep Your Pet Safe During Wildfire Season

Wildfire Pet Tips in Post Falls

This summer, residents of the Post Falls area have experienced several wildfires. If your family has not been directly affected by a wildfire, consider yourself fortunate. However, it’s still wise to have an evacuation plan set in place for this season, just in case a wildfire encroaches near your home. It’s also important to consider your pet’s outdoor activities when a wildfire is active, even if an evacuation hasn’t been ordered yet. Consider the following wildfire pet safety tips by Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls so that you and your family can be safe during wildfire season.

 

  1. Monitor Your Pet’s Outdoor Activity

Even if an evacuation has not be ordered for your specific neighborhood, the smoke in the air can still pose a threat to you and your pets. This includes eye irritation and respiratory problems. When the air quality is at unhealthy levels, it’s best to limit your pet’s time outdoors, especially if they already have known eye or breathing sensitivities. Keep your walks short, too, until you know the wildfires have been completely extinguished and the air quality is safe again. Monitor your pet for wheezing, trouble breathing, or any signs of distress, and call us at (208) 773-6000 if you notice any of these symptoms.

  1. Have an Emergency Kit Packed

When there are pets in your home, there are a few extra steps you should take to ensure their safety during an emergency wildfire evacuation. Although wildfire warnings typically allow ample time for a safe evacuation, it’s best to have your kit packed BEFORE an evacuation is ordered. Your kit should include the basic items for your pet’s care, including food and water, bowls, leash and collar, basic first aid kit, and medications. If you have a cat, remember to pack litter and a portable litter box as well. Your kit should also include copies of your pet’s medical records, even if you have them saved online.

  1. Have a Pet Evacuation Plan Prepared

In addition to the emergency kit mentioned above, make sure to have an actual plan of evacuation set in place that includes your pet. If you’ll be taking your dog or cat with you to your evacuation destination, make sure they are already well adjusted to traveling in a vehicle. If your pet typically travels in a carrier, keep that carrier in your vehicle or somewhere in your home where it is easily accessible. If you plan to board your pet instead, have several boarding facility options in mind that are outside of the evacuation area. Always call the facility ahead of time to be sure that they can safely accept pets.

If you have any questions about these wildfire safety tips for your specific pet, feel free to give us a call at (208) 773-6000. One of our team members will be happy to assist you.