Tuesday, August 4, 2015

After the flood: Keeping your pets safe

Much of the Tampa area has been under water! Check out the latest story from Bay News 9.

It rain for over two weeks non-stop. Many neighborhoods are flooded. The water is starting to recede, but you may still find places a bit waterlogged. And with snakes and even gators found all over the place, it's important to be safe when you go outside and when your pets go out.

Here's some tips from American Humane Association:

  • Use caution when returning home and walking on higher ground. Snakes, insects and other animals may have found refuge there.
  • Be cautious about letting children or pets play in or drink ground water. Water may be contaminated.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier.
  • Watch for objects that could cause injury or harm to your children or pets.
  • Give pets time to re-orient. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and cause your pet confusion or to become lost.
  • Keep children and pets away from downed power lines and debris.
  • Uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals, presenting new stresses and dangers. Your pet’s behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers. Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.

Now, if it's been anything by you like it's been here in Florida, it's been tough to do anything with your dogs outside and they are starting to go stir crazy. Well it looks like there may be more rain in the forecast for later this weekend.

Jasmine would love to go outside, but I want the pool clean first!
So what can you do to keep your dog busy and their mind off being stuck inside? PetMD has some great ideas:

The Original Stair Master

If you have a flight of stairs in your home that are safe to go up and down rapidly, you might consider doing a few laps with your dog. If your dog is typical, he will follow you both up and down if you call him to -- if for nothing else than to see what you are doing “up there” and “down there.” If your dog is reluctant, have some training treats on hand to give him when he reaches the top and bottom of the stairway. 
Fetch the Halls

If you have a long hallway at your disposal, you can clear away any tables or other obstacles and turn the space into a dog run. And for the sake of your dog’s physical and mental health, forget what your mother used to say about throwing balls in the house.

Hide and Go Snack

If your dog needs more of an incentive, you can set up a trail of small treats for him to search out and devour. You will have to sequester him in a room while you hide the treats, of course, unless he is super well trained and is happy to sit obediently while you go around hiding the few snacks in strategic locations (floor level only, please).

Other variations on this game may include laying a trail of treats up and down the stairs, or hiding treats in a puzzle toy that releases the treats as the dog plays with the puzzle. Puzzle toys for dogs are a must on our list of toys, in fact, since they are stimulating for both the body and mind. Using his intelligence and sense of smell to search out each and every snack will be exhilarating for your pet -- and you'll have fun watching him do it.

And Barkpost has another 12 ideas. Check out their website. 

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