Friday, August 21, 2015

Top 5 Tips to Prepare Your Pet for a Natural Disaster

Living in South Florida, I know a thing or two about hurricanes. And with hurricane season in full swing - and possibly the first hurricane of the season heading our way - it is important to make sure that pet owners are prepared. Here are my top 5 tips for preparing for a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Many years ago, my humans and Jack and Emma endured the brunt of hurricane Wilma.  They experienced high winds, and what they suspected was a tornado behind their apartment.  Once the storm had passed, my humans had  no power and nowhere to go.  Thankfully, they were close enough to my grandparents and were able pack up and stay with them for a short period of time.  Ultimately, the power outage lasted so long, that my humans had to make other arrangements.  Fortunately, their vet's office was open and able to board Jack and Emma in a safe location while my humans recovered from the storm.  Ever since that frightening experience my humans - and our entire family - prepares as soon as possible.  Here are some of our tried and true tips:

1.  Make sure that you know where the closest pet-friendly shelter is in case you must evacuate your home.  If you are not located near a pet-friendly shelter, or if you have more pets than the shelter will allow, make sure you have a set plan as to where you will go and how you will get there if a natural disaster strikes.  Nothing is more stressful than loading your pets in a hurry and not knowing where you can go.  Planning ahead will reduce your stress, and help you think more clearly and act more quickly during an emergency.  Check out this great article by Pet Friendly Travel for more information about finding a pet-friendly shelter

2.  Your pets need to eat, too, so make sure that you have enough pet food to last at least one week.  Our rule of thumb is to buy food for the month.  We buy really big bags of dry food and store them in air tight containers.  We also buy wet food by the pallet (Mimi is a little finicky when it comes to eating).  Keep in mind that you might not have power.  If you have a dog like Mimi that prefers wet food, make sure that you have something that your dog will eat that does not need to be refrigerated. 

3.  Water is an absolute necessity for humans, as well as their pets.  PLEASE please please purchase enough drinking (purified) water for all of the humans AND animals in your household.  We make sure to have at least 1-2 gallons per animal on hand during a storm or other natural disaster.  This is vital to your pet's health and survival.  If the power is out, and the weather is hot, your pet may need more water than (s)he normally drinks.  Please take this into consideration and make sure to have plenty of clean water available.

4.  A secure leash and collar are also important.  In the event that you need to leave your home, it is vital that your have a leash and collar that are relatively new and secure in order to prevent your dog from breaking loose.  There could be downed trees and/or power lines after a storm, and the last thing you want is your precious pet getting caught in a dangerous situation.  Keep your pet secure and have a sturdy leash and collar available.

5.  Similar to number four, make sure that you have a size-appropriate crate.  I understand that not all families use crates, and that is OK.  But in the event of an emergency, having a crate is necessary.  If you need to evacuate, having your pets in a crate will make transporting them easier - and safer.  It is also easier to bring your pet into your "safe room" (i.e. a closet with no windows) if they are crated.  I cannot imagine trying to round up three dogs, two kids, and two adults into our safe room while a storm blows through the house.  Also, pets tend to get very nervous during storms and sometimes a crate helps to comfort your pet and keeps them safe.  Keep in mind that you may also be required to have a crate at whichever shelter or hotel you evacuate to.

These tips are just the "tip" (see what I did there?) of the iceberg; batteries, flashlights, and all of the other "human" emergency preparations are important for pets, too.  The moral of the story is plan ahead to ensure that all family members - pets included - are safe during a natural disaster. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Devoted Doggy Helps Keep Your Car Clean!

 Cars are a big investment for humans, which is why protecting your vehicle from paw prints and dog hair is important!  The Devoted Doggy Premium Seat Cover is the perfect (and necessary!) accessory to help protect your vehicle.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this item at a heavily discounted price in exchange for writing an honest review of the product.  All opinions are my own, and the discount in no way altered my opinion of the product.  I only share products with my readers that I use myself and believe are relevant to my readers.

Living in Florida, we get a lot of rain.  A LOT.  And rain makes mud.  And mud means dirty pups, which means dirty everything.  Being a dog, I don't so much mind the mud; in fact, I enjoy a good roll in the mud every once in awhile.  The stinkier the better is my motto.  Unfortunately, my humans do NOT agree.

Agreeing is not something that my humans and I do often, but when we do, it is usually for a good cause.  One thing we do agree on:  the Devoted Doggy Premium Seat Cover.  My humans are happy because their precious vehicles remain pristine.  I am happy because they stop yelling at me to get my muddy paws off of the seat.  (Although, it does not cure them yelling at me for putting the window down while we are driving 70 mph on the expressway.  Touché.)

The Devoted Doggy Premium Seat Cover itself is really great, and big enough to cover a full bench seat (which is super important if you have a multi-dog household like me).  The material is thick enough to catch falling dog hairs and to prevent nails from puncturing the fabric, and its quilted design makes for a comfortable ride.  And here's the best part: it easily folds up to store in the back of the car until it is needed.  (Well, I suppose it folds easily if you are a human with thumbs....)

Overall, I am really pleased with this product.  We have actually used the product several times since receiving it; our most recent use involved the transport of three stinky dogs home from boarding.  But, if you excuse me, I have places to go and bacon to eat.  And I will be surely using my Devoted Doggy Premium Seat Cover.  Human!  I'm ready to go!  Fetch me my stretch!