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East Bay Animal Hospital
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A room-to-room tour of our beautiful veterinary facility in Largo, FL

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DISASTER PLAN
What would you do with your pets in the event of a disaster?
If you don't have a plan for yourself and your family, this is a good time to take care of that too!
Gather supplies into a portable kit
Include items that your pets need on a daily basis or would need if they had to evacuate your house and live somewhere else. In addition to food and water for a week, add a bowl, can opener, leash, carrier, health record/vaccine history and any medications that your pet may be taking. If you have a cat include some disposable cat litter trays and cat litter, as well as trash bags for clean up. Be sure to change out dry pet food every two months. Canned food lasts much longer (but check expiration dates).
Have a plan and test it out
Think about how you would evacuate your house and where you would go. Research where you can stay with your pet as not all evacuation shelters accept pets. Make a list of the contact information for friends, family, or pet-sitters that might take care of your pets. Also research local boarding kennels. Have a practice evacuation drill with your family and pets.
Keep identification information current Make sure your phone number is correct on each pet's tag and that the contact information on their microchips is up to date. Have your pet microchipped if he or she is not already.
Prepare a pet first aid kit
Include bandage material, an antibiotic cream,
Benadryl (ask your vet for the appropriate dose for your pet), scissors and tweezers. You can see a list of item for starting your own pet first aid kit here.
Place a pet alert decal near your front door
You can get one of these for free from the ASPCA or buy them from vendors online.
Carry current photos of your pets with you In case you need to make a lost pet poster.
Know where to search for lost animals
If your pet is lost and running on the streets they could end up in the local animal shelter, humane society, or SPCA. This is also why current ID tags and a microchip are so important. Have a list of local animal shelters and their phone numbers with your emergency kit.
Having a plan and being prepared is your best defense in case of an emergency or natural disaster. Hopefully, you will never have to implement your plan but knowing you are prepared will give you peace of mind. I hope this article inspires you to plan and prepare for your family - including the four-legged members!

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HEAT STROKE
Know the signs of heat stroke! This handy chart shows you what to look for during these steamy summer days.
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THUNDER
If your dog is shaking, quaking, barking or hiding during thunderstorms, you’re not alone. It’s a very common problem. The good news is — it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem.
Your veterinarian can help you explore the best options to help your frightened pet, and you may end up choosing one or more of the following treatments.
Try placing your dog in an area that blocks out the majority of the noise. Find the most “sound proof” room, without windows. Mute the storm noise by playing music, television, or sound machines, and also use blankets to muffle sound and light. Also make sure your dog has access to his crate, but with the door open to avoid a “trapped” feeling.
Distract your dog with a treat that will occupy him, such as kibble placed in a food-containing toy.
Ask your veterinarian about prescription medications. Most anti-anxiety medications are safe and can be a good addition to a storm phobia regimen. It’s best to try a “test dose” on a sunny day to see if your dog responds well. 

You can also try a “wrap” that calms your dog the way “swaddling” calms a newborn baby. Some dogs respond well to “thunder jackets” and anxiety vests.
Pheromone diffusers can help. They plug into electrical outlets and intermittently disperse aerosolized pheromones. We use them in our hospital as an to make our patients feel comfortable.
Counter-conditioning can also be used to proactively alter thunder phobia. This is a type of training in which a dog is exposed to the storm sounds in a controlled environment. Pet owners may purchase recorded storm sounds on the Internet and play these in repeated sessions with gradual intensity, while sitting with him and petting him to keep him calm, and providing treats as positive reinforcement.
Talk with your veterinarian about these options. We’re sure you can find a solution so the next big storm is less traumatic for your pet… and you!

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