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.

Keep Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave

The temperature is soaring, and it’s only going to get hotter. Make sure you know how to keep your cat safe in the summer heat.

cat is in the garden

cat is in the garden

  1. Watch out for heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse. If you think your cat may have heatstroke, get the vet ASAP — the condition can cause permanent organ damage and death. Learn more about heatstroke in pets.
  2. Offer your cat several ways to cool off. Leave a fan on in a place where your cat can sit in front of it, add some ice cubes to her water or offer her a cool treat (check out our recipe for catsicles.)
  3. Let your cat find cool spots in the house. Your cat will seek out the cooler parts of your home, so make sure she has access to areas with tile floors or rooms that don’t get much sun.
  4. Play in the morning or evening. Any exercise should take place during the cooler hours of the day. This is especially important for young kittens and seniors, both of whom are very vulnerable to heatstroke. (If your cat has just eaten, make sure you give her some time to digest before you begin playtime.)
  5. Brush your cat often. A well-groomed, tangle-free coat will help keep your cat cool. (Learn more about grooming your cat.)


Article originally published by PetFinder.

Labor Day Safety Tips for Pets

 1. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.

2. Always assign a dog guardian. No matter where you’re celebrating, be sure to assign a friend or member of the family to keep an eye on your pooch-especially if you’re not in a fenced-in yard or other secure area.

3. Made in the shade. Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water, and make sure they have a shady place to escape the sun.

4. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of paws’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing-or even kidney disease in severe cases.

5. Keep your pet on his normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingesting any of these items can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression in your pets, and if inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia.

7. Never leave your dog alone in the car. Traveling with your dog means occasionally you’ll make stops in places where he’s not permitted. Be sure to rotate dog walking duties between family members, and never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.

8. Make a safe splash. Don’t leave pets unsupervised around a pool-not all dogs are good swimmers.


Car Sickness In Pets

Does your dog throw up in the car when you go for rides? He may be experiencing typical motion sickness, just like some people do. Motion sickness usually begins very shortly after starting the car ride. The dog will begin to drool and then vomit. It’s not serious, but certainly not something that we like to clean up! To solve the problem, first try acclimating the dog to car rides. Do this by simply putting him in the car for a few minutes each day without going anywhere. Then try just going down the driveway and back, and the next day going around the block. Gradually build up the distance and time the dog rides in the car.

Sometimes this will help to decrease the dog’s anxiety over riding in the car and may help to decrease vomiting. If that doesn’t work, there are some over-the-counter medications you can try. The medication will need to be given about an hour before the car ride. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation as to what drug to try and the dosage for your pet.


(Never give any medications to your pet without your veterinarian’s advice!) These drugs are safe, with drowsiness usually the only major side effect. But since your dog isn’t driving the car, that shouldn’t be a problem! If over-the-counter drugs don’t work, your veterinarian may be able to suggest another method for curing the car sickness.