GoFundMe to Help More Animals
I have been in animal welfare and rescue since 1978. I have helped thousands of animals. I am a certified animal abuse investigator, animal behaviorist, trainer, veterinary technician and more. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the state of NH and volunteer to raise and release orphaned baby wildlife! I help foster rescued and orphaned cats, dogs, whatever.
I also help people with pet care. Some people who are alone have no one to turn to for help if they become ill, or disabled or hospitalized. Many are on a fixed income. I would like to be able to help any animal or person who needs it.
Your help will help me, help more animals and people. In the past decades I have donated my time and money but with your help, I can do more.
Pictured above, is Gus Bennett. He was 4 weeks old and rescued from a burned building. He was the only survivor!! We were asked to foster him for the shelter, washed him up and fed him formula from a bottle. Boy, was he HUNGRY! After that he got a physical, deflead and wormed. Once he got his strength up, we weaned him onto solid food. Vaccinated, neutered, and leukemia tested him. What a healthy handsome boy. He is now my educator spokes kitty !!
With your help, we could help more like Gus Bennett.
In my business, we get calls every day from people that need help with pet care. One women called crying on the phone. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She had two cats at home that had not been cared for for at least two days. She had no family or friends. Could we help? She also could not pay, she was on a fixed income and barely making ends meet We could not just let the cats go uncared for, so we helped her. She was able to relax, get well and did go home soon after. We want to be able to help more people like this but as a company, we can only help so much. With your help, we could help more like this wonderful woman who really loved her cats.
Another rescue was Ricky, Lulu and Spanky. We got a call stating there were a few cats in a trailer that needed help. When we arrived there were 30 cats, kittens living in a mobile home with no heat, no food, no water!!! The home was covered in cat urine and feces. Some cats were too sick but most were adopted out to great homes.
There were three that I took in personally becuase of their health problems. i knoew most do not get adopted when they have health problems.
Lulu was one of the friendliest and she was close to Spanky. Spanky was so frightened of people ( many of the cats were not used to people) that he was litterally climbing the walls, poor guy. Once I got him in my arms, he was so exhausted, he just collapsed. I took Lulu, to help Spanky be calm. I knew that if Spanky was brought to the shelter, he just would not do well. So, I worked with him day after day to get him to come out of his shell. Eventually, he did and he is the most loving boy. He is now 12 and was diagnosed with cancer. We have been treating him since last December, but the cancer is now winning. The tumor is in his left nostril and sinus area. Treatment of course has been in the thousands. Just wish there was a cure.
Lulu, who was Spanky’s companion, has IBD and needs to always be on a special diet. Other wise her tummy gets upset and she has horrible bloody diarrhea. We suspect that she also has some food allergies as well.
And there then there is Ricky. He is my lovebug. He was rescued when he was 5 weeks old. He was covered in a black yeast. We immediately took him to 3 different vets, one told us he had distemper, one said he was going to be blind and the third had no idea. It took years before we found a diagnosis. He has severe food and environment allergies and because of his lowered immune system the opportunist yeast in all of our bodies, took over since there was nothing to keep it in check. It took many years and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of medical testing, etc. to finally come to this comclusion. We have to be very careful because he is allergic to beef, pork, grass, most tree pollens, mold, black ants and more. We did extensive blood tests to find out the exact allergens. He is also on a special diet. The bad part is he is picky. As soon as we find a food that works, he will eat it for a while then stop.
Ricky also has a luxating patella, he is fine now but as he gets older, this may cause him problems. Hopefully, he will not need a special harness to help him walk.
Both Ricky and Lulu are hyperthyroid. They are on medication, however, the best thing for a cure is Radiocat. This would cost approximately 2000 per cat, which includes all the pre-testing and treatment.
These are just a few of the many animals that we have helped. With your help we can help more.
My dream is to one day open an Animal Center. A place where a person can go to find almost anything to do with animals in one place. A business plan was completed a few years ago, then the economy hit. Many people who saw it, exclaimed it to be innovative, fresh, needed and will help animals with services, education and also in animal welfare. As time goes on and everyone gets back on their feet from the economy, we may revisit this. At that time, investestors will be needed. For now, we will help where we can. My wish has always been that every animal is loved and care for in a forever home.
ANY amount will help. So, if you only have 5 or 10, that will still help a baby orphaned kitten with formula, or a baby squirrel whose mom was killed. If you would like to help more than that, see the levels below!! But remember, any and all amounts will help animals in need.
First and foremost be CAREFUL. Rabies is a problem in New Hampshire. It is also illegal to possess wild animals in the state of New Hampshire. However, if you need information here are some websites. Click on highlighted/underlined text to go to the website.
What do you do first if you find a wild animal? (click here to learn what to do first)
If the animal is injured Bedford Animal Hospital and Merrimack Animal Hospital have wildlife rehabilitators working there and can help the injured animal immediately. CALL FIRST, do not just show up at the hospital.
What do you do if you find a baby…….(click below for information on specific animals)
- Squirrel ,
- Squirrel Rehab
- Wild Rabbit
- Orphaned Baby Bunnies
- Wildlife Rescue & Rehab
If you are looking for wild life rehabilitators in New Hampshire, be aware that all are required to be licensed by the NH Fish & Game. However, it is all volunteers. These volunteers use their own time, money and vehicles to care for all wildlife. So be patient for return calls. Since there are few volunteers to cover the entire state of New Hampshire, these rehabbers become filled to capacity VERY fast.
Click here for a list of NH Wild Life Rehabilitators .
Dori (owner of Prof. Pet Sitting Etc.) was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for NH for over 20 years.
If you can dedicate time and space to helping the babies, please do. It is very rewarding and much needed.
Wildlife rehabilitators are needed in New Hampshire
- Contact NH Fish & Game at 271-3127 if you wish to become a licensed NH Wildlife Rehabilitator
- What is a wild life rehabber?
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
Meet Some of the Cats We Have Helped
Scroll down to see our recent fosters
Here is a sampling of the many rescues that Dori has been involved with. Dori’s passion is animal welfare and has been helping animals in need all her life.
Ricky, Lulu and Spanky
In April 2002, I was made aware of approximately 32 cats and kittens inside a building and informed that they may have had no food and water for a few days. I called our pet sitter in that area who also happened to be the Animal Control Officer. We both went to check it out and were saddened by what we found. This little house had no heat – in April it was still very cold – and there was no running water or food. Feces and urine were everywhere throughout the entire home (which was later condemned and destroyed).
When the cats saw us, they all piled up at the front door, where the Animal Control Officer kept them occupied. I entered through the side door which allowed me to get inside without any cats escaping. As soon as they saw me, they swarmed and I had to tear open the 25 pound bag of cat food. They just climbed right into the bag, scrambling over one another because they were so hungry.
We had brought bags of litter and large cardboard boxes to provide clean bathrooms, and were able to obtain several jugs of water from a neighbor.
The cats were friendly and seemed healthy. Unfortunately none of them were neutered, so it is assumed they had interbred. The range of ages were 5 weeks to approximately 5+ years. I made some phone calls and many people jumped to assist us: the Merrimack Valley Feline Rescue donated distemper vaccines, feline leukemia/FIV combo tests and worming medication. The Feline Friends Rescue volunteered help, and a few of my Veterinary Technician friends volunteered their time. We gave them physicals, vaccines, tests (all negative, thankfully), and wormed them. The Animal Rescue League in Bedford, NH was gracious enough to take all the of cats and adopt them.
I chose to take a 6 month old white with black named Spanky. He was petrified of people and literally climbed the walls to get away. I knew he would not do well in the shelter. I balanced him out with an overly-friendly black with a bit of white littermate, named Lulu. I have found that animals take cues from one another, and I knew that Spanky would be looking at Lulu for comfort and learning in new situations.
I also adopted a 5 week old kitten named Ricky, who was diagnosed with congenital cataracts and was expected to be blind by the time he was a year old, may possibly have distemper, etc. He also had a mysterious black yeasty substance all over his face, eyes and in his ears. I had taken him to 4 different veterinarians, who were not familiar with whatever he had. After 4 years, I finally found, Dr. Holub who does help with Tufts Animal Hospital. He explained that Ricky (who did not have distemper, nor cataracts and was not blind), had allergies. Allergies in animals do not manifest like they do in humans, with itchy watery eyes, congestion and sneezing. In animals, allergies usually manifest in skin conditions. In Ricky’s case, his allergies manifested in an over production of black yeast in the hair follicles, known as Malazizia Pachydermitits. With the help of Dr. Anne Johnson, we did a blood allergy test. Poor Ricky is allergic to numerous grasses, tree pollen, black ants, 2 types of dust mites and a slew of other things. He now gets an allergy injection every 14 – 21 days and a monthly bath to keep the yeast at bay. I love all my cats, but Ricky is so completely special. He and I have this amazing connection, he is my “Soul Kitty”.
All three kitties (Lulu, Spanky and Ricky) acclimated into my home as if they had never been anywhere else and are doing fine with my other 7 cats! Lulu is still loveable and Mr. Spanky is an insatiable cuddle bug! I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Raina was apparently thrown from a car in the southbound high speed lane, just before exit 4 on the Everett Turnpike in Nashua.
I came across an unbelievable scenario driving down Everett Turnpike just before Exit 4. A young 8 month old female cat was clinging as close to the middle barrier as she possible could, in the pouring rain. I could not believe my eyes so I got off at Exit 4, and got back on to come around and sure enough, it was a cat. I pulled over into the break down lane and soon there after a Nashua Police Officer pulled up behind me. Thinking there was hope, I was glad to see him.
He came up to talk, I told him the situation, he saw the cat and demanded that I leave. He stated the cat got there and she will leave on her own. I left infuriated, my daughter was with me and I instructed her to call everyone we knew in rescue (and we know a lot). I turned around and went back, figuring the officer was going to have to arrest me, because I was not going to leave that area until I knew she was safe. Soon, three rescuers came armed with capture equipment. I called Maureen of the Bedford Shelter and she called the NH State Police.
The State Police Officer came down and he met up with the same Nashua Police Officer who made me leave. The amazing State Officer made him (Nashua Police Officer) stop all lanes on the highway, so we could rescue her, now named Raina.
After examination, we found that all 4 paws were raw, she was pretty scraped up and emaciated. The evidence pointed to the probability that she was thrown from a moving vehicle. It took months but she recovered and is happy in her forever home.
More to Come Soon !!
Sazar & Desilu
Felice & Linus
We are a Foster Family for
Manchester Animal Shelter
AND Humane Society Of Greater Nashua
All Fosters found homes
Businesses and Places We Love
Dog Parks –
We have been to a few dog parks where there is a cost, you must provide dog dna and there are fines, etc. These parks were not very friendly.
We did find a few that were friendly
- Concord Dog Park, Concord, NH
- Derry Dog Park, Derry, NH
- Hudson Dog Park In Bensons Park, Hudson, NH
- Merrimack Dog Park, Merrimack, NH
Businesses run by Pet Lovers !
Feel FREE to call these wonderful people and ask about us. They know us personally and have used our services. Please ask them for a testimonial.
Vangie Collins at VC Lampworks 321-2260 Vangie was a client with her beloved Rudy, Vangie makes incredible hand made glass cremation beads. Her amazing work was featured on NH Chronicle.
Dan Terry at Dan Terry Productions 888-3535 Dan was a client with his beloved Davidson. Dan is a professional DJ and Travel Agent
Charlotte Ford of Charlotte Ford Photography 521-2701 in Pelham. Charlotte has been a valued client, trusting us with her many dogs over the years, especially with her amazing Mr. Murphy. Charlotte takes breathe taking pictures. Her specialty is pets and weddings!
The people above are people who are dear to us. We will be opening up space below for anyone who are animal lovers and would love to be included here, ask us how. We have 3000+ clients and receive thousands of visits to our website every month. a great way to connect to other animals lovers and your business.
Monthly Pets Tips
- Read our January Pet Care Tips Article for much more
- Mark your calendar for when your pets are due for their annual checkup and vaccinations this year.
- Have pets’ teeth checked annually, just like humans, bad teeth can cause some health problems
- Look over your calendar and book any pet care reservations needed with us as soon as possible to ensure coverage.
- Call us Now for your February Vacation pet care reservation.
- If you adopt a dog this month – call us ASAP to set up Mid Day Let out so they have a break while you are at work
- Chocolate can be dangerous for most pets and deadly for some. Keep Valentine sweets out of pets’ reach.
- Call us Now for your March Vacation pet care reservation.
- If you adopt a dog this month – call us ASAP to set up Mid Day Let out so they have a break while you are at work
- This is the time of year that mosquitoes start to hatch. Be sure to keep you cat and dog on heartworm prevention year round.
- Call us Now for your April Vacation pet care reservation.
- If you adopt a dog this month – call us ASAP to set up Mid Day Let out so they have a break while you are at work
- Easter is a time when people are tempted to give rabbits and chicks as gifts. Many of them end up in shelters the week after Easter, or because of lack of care knowledge, these pets may end up with short lives. Give stuffed animals instead.
- Call us for your April vacation pet care reservation.
- This is Kitten Season – Go to your shelter and ADOPT a pair of kittens and always spay and neuter your pets.
- Call us Now for your May Vacation pet care reservation.
- Be Kind to Animals Month -Do something for animals this month, volunteer at your shelter, make a donation, give a homeless pet a home, become a foster home, etc.
- As summer approaches and vacations are planned, book your summer vacation pet care reservations
- Check to make sure your pets’ ID tag information is up to date.
- Update Micro chip information
- Call us Now for your June Vacation pet care reservation.
- Read our June Pet Care Tips Article for many more tips
- Adopt a Dog Month
- Another hurricane season is coming. Read through our Disaster Planning for you and your pets and make plans if ever you need to evacuate. Go over these plans once a year with your family. Better to be safe and knowledgeable than in a crisis, panicked and have no plan.
- Remember that if you need to evacuate, ALWAYS take all pets with you.
- Having your dog go with you in your car is fun but it can be deadly. Even if you leave the windows down a little the inside of your car can heat up FAST. Good rule of thumb is that if the temperature outside is 60 degrees or more, leave your pet home. It could save their life.
- Call us Now for your July Vacation pet care reservation.
- Read our July Pet Care Tips Article for many more tips
- Fireworks can be scary for most animals. Be sure to keep them somewhere safe when you and your neighbors celebrate Independence Day.
- Call us Now for your August Vacation pet care reservation.
- Read our August Pet Care Tips Article for many more tips
- A summer outing on a lake or ocean can be a lot of fun with your dog along. Be sure to outfit your dog with a life jacket in case of emergency.
- Call us Now for your September Vacation pet care reservation.
- Read our September Pet Care Tips Article for many more tips
- The cold weather months are just around the corner. Protect your pets by keeping them inside and having a disaster plan in place for them in case you lose power for an extended period of time.
- Remember that if you need to evacuate, ALWAYS take all pets with you.
- Call us Now for your October Vacation pet care reservation.
- Check out our Halloween-October Safety Tips for more great tips
- Adopt a Cat Month
- Halloween is a dangerous time for pets. Kids play cruel tricks on pets, especially black cats. Keep all pets indoors, cats should always be indoors, but especially around this holiday so no harm comes to them.
- Call us Now for your Thanksgiving Holiday pet care reservation.
- Check out our Thanksgiving November Pet Tips Article for more pet tips
- Thanksgiving is a time to indulge in tasty food and treats. Many foods are too rich to share with pets. Be sure to give treats that are healthy for them.
- Call us Now for your Christmas Holiday pet care reservation.
- Check out our Christmas December Pet Tips article for more great tips
- Pine needles, tinsel, ornaments, tree lights, holiday candy and poinsettias can be harmful to pets. Be sure to take precautions to prevent your pets from ingesting these dangerous holiday items. Better to not have them in your home.
- Call us Now for your January Get Away Vacation pet care reservation.
List of Rescues & NH Pet Laws
NH Laws on Free Pets and Pet for Sale Explained
Every state has its own laws pertaining to animals of all shapes, sizes and breeds. Our state of New Hampshire is no different. Here are the most used Animal Laws in New Hampshire.
NH Law on Free Pets and Pets for Sale
Pets must be:
- 8 weeks of age or older
- Up to date on all vaccines
- Health certificate within 14 days of going to a new home
Animal Shelters & Organizations in NH
In NH We are very lucky to have many animal organizations, shelters and rescues ready to help animals
We also have:
- Cat Only Organizations,
- Horse Only,
- Dog Breed Specific Rescues,
- Wildlife Rescue,
- and Many Organizations in Other New England States!!
Here is the link to our complete list of
Help for Sick Pets
Spay & Neuter Clinics & More in NH
For our Complete list of NH organizations as well as National organizations, Check out our article –
The worst feeling is when you love your pet more than words can say and they become ill. To make matters worse, there is medical help but it will cost more than you can afford. I have been in the situation more than once but luckily, I did have resources and credit cards to take care of the high cost of helping my pets. My heart goes out to those that are less fortunate than I. The guilt of not being able to take care of one’s pet is a horrible experience. I hope that anyone reading this has never been in that situation. I wrote this to help if you are or if you know someone who is in need of help.
Heartbreaking Situation – a pet owner is unable to afford treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price. If the owner is homeless, a veteran, elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of care may be too much. Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship or trauma in their life, making it too difficult to afford pet care. And some animals, brought to clinics by kind hearted people, don’t have an owner to pay for treatment. Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured animals are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer.
Here is a list of organizations that are set up to help.If you know of an organization not on this list, please contact me via email at Profpetsit@aol.com
Keep in mind, that these organizations may require certain things from you. They may need to know why you need help, may require financial proof, etc. Please do not take this personally, they just want to help those in need and want to be able to stretch their funds the farthest. Each organization is independent and has their own set of rules and guidelines. Therefore you will have to investigate each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance:
DONATIONS to any of these organizations will help them continue their great work and help many more animals.
ORGANIZATIONS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
- Your Veterinarian – check with your veterinarian. Some Animal Hospitals have funds that have been donated for such a purpose. If your veterinarian has a fund, please let us know.
Shelters in NH
- Cocheco Valley Humane Society: Dover
- help with pet food, temporary foster program
- Concord-Merrimack County SPCA: Penacook
- help with pet food, assistance for necessary veterinary medical care
- Manchester Animal Shelter: Manchester
- Help with pet food
- Low cost Spay/neuter clinic For owned cats and rabbits
- Free Spay/neuter for PitBulls & Pit Mixes
- New Hampshire Humane Society: Laconia
- help with pet food, spay/neuter assistance
- Upper Valley Humane Society: Enfield
- Help with spay/neuter assistance
Organizations in NH
- Helping People, Helping Pets
- Helping People, Helping Pets is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides access to veterinary care, pet medications, and pet food assistance to loving pet owners who are experiencing financial difficulty and are at risk of losing their pets.
- Serving the counties of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham and Strafford
- All Better Pets – Manchester, NH
- All Better Pets was established in 2010, with a mission to provide care for abandoned and homeless pets (however,They helped a dog Molly in 2013 who got hit by a plow and broke all 4 limbs. The owner brought her to the clinic, so you may need to ask for this assistance) . In 2012, All Better Pets officially became a 501(c)3 non-profit. To date, All Better Pets has ‘mended’ and placed over 200 animals through its facility and helped hundreds of animals working through other organizations.
Spay & Neuter Programs in NH
Great Fun Video on Importance of Spay/Neuter – Click here to watch !!
- Animal Rescue Veterinary Services – Londonderry, NH
- Low cost spay and neuter clinics for owned dogs and cats under 6 years of age.
- Merrimack River Valley Feline Rescue
- The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society’s Catmobile Program is a subsidized mobile spay/neuter clinic designed specifically for cats. Our package includes a brief exam, spay/neuter, rabies vaccination for cats over 12 weeks of age (weighing 1.5kg/3.3 lbs.), flea treatment and nail trim.
- Manchester Animal Shelter: Manchester
- Low cost Spay/neuter clinic For owned cats and rabbits
- Free Spay/neuter for PitBulls & Pit Mixes
- Rozzie May Animal Alliance, Conway,
- Mobile Spay/Neuter Van
- Vaccine and Microchip Clinic
- Pet Food Pantry
- State of NH Plan B Spay and Neuter Assistance
- State of NH has Plan B program:
- if you receive or are eligible to receive financial assistance from the state of NH (food stamps, SSI etc) you can get your pet fixed for $30 through Plan B
- Please ask organizations and your veterinarian if they accept this.
- State of NH has Plan B program:
Apartments & More that Allow Pets in NH
For our complete list of Rentals go to:
Rentals that allow Pets in New Hampshire
Read our full Article on Pet Friendly Rentals in NH
Here are some more Tips with renting when you won pets from the Humane Society of the US.
Moving out and have a few Pet Stains? Here are some removal tips from HSUS
Here is a great site to quickly find pet friendly rentals. www.rent.com
Just put in the city and state and the list populates quickly in the link above. Right under the price, it show number of bedrooms and baths and Pets ok or no pets. you can click to find out exact pet information.
LIST OF RENTALS IN NH BY STATE
We need YOUR help in adding to this list and updating information.
Please email links and information to Profpetsit@aol.com and let us know.
- Hampshire Green
- Link for more information
- 1 – 2 Bedrooms
- $1175 – 1905
- Pets Accepted: Dog or cat : 2 * Restrictions: 35 lbs. full grown maximum weight each; Pets must be house-broken and properly inoculated; Breed Restrictions include but not limited to: Akita, Husky, Chow, Pit Bull, Doberman Pinscher, Presa Canario, Elkhound, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Great Dane, Wolf Breeds * Deposit: N/A * Monthly fee: $20 (only one fee for 1 or 2 pets) * Non-refundable fee: $300 (only one fee for 1 or 2 pets) – Due at move-in
- Penacook Place
- Link for more information
- 1-2 bedrooms
- Pets are allowed, though not stated online, ask for details
- Link for more information
- 1 & 2 Bedrooms, Rent $850 – 2145
- $500 Deposit per pet
- allow up to 2 pets (Cat & Dogs) there are some breed restrictions. Your pet must be one year of age, have had health check and shots and be spayed or neutered. A signed animal addendum is required to be on file in leasing office. Deposit and Pet Rent: Dogs-$45 monthly pet rent, Cats-$35 monthly pet rent.
- Mystic Knoll Apartments on Abbey Lane
- Link for more information
- GPS Input: 80 Moose Club Park Road, Goffstown NH 03045
- 2 bedroom units from $1100 – 1450
- NO BREED RESTRICTION
- near area amenities to include the Rails for Trails system, retail, restaurants, & the Piscataquog River.
- Here is a HUGE list of pet friendly apartments in Manchester
- Link to Pet Friendy list
- 1 & 2 bedrooms, $600 – 2000
- Dogs and cats allowed in many, some are cats only
- Brookstone Manor Apartments
- Link for more information
- 135 Elm Street, Milford, NH 03055
- 1 to 2 Bedrooms $900 – 995
- Pets Welcome, along with large breeds
- Eastern Ridge Apartments
- Link for more information
- 29 Capron Road, Milford, NH 03055
- Studio, 1 & 2 bedrroms $779 – 929
- Cats and small dogs allowed, dog park
- Milford Trail Apartments
- Link for more information
- 90 Powers Street, Milford, NH 03055
- Cat & dogs up to 100# allowed, dog park
- Studio, 1 & 2 bedrooms $779 – 929
- Pine Valley Lofts
- Link for more information
- 37 Wilton Road, Milford, NH 03055
- Cats & small dog, pet deposit, grooming
- 1 & 2 Bedrooms $724 – 1058
- Bay Ridge Apartments
- Link for more information
- 25 Bay Ridge Drive, Nashua, NH 03062 (Exit 1)
- 1 & 2 bedrooms, $1034 – 2859
- Cats and Dogs allowed
- Dog park and lots of amenities
- Large list of Apartment buildings in Nashua allowing Pets
- Link to Pet friendly List
- Check Requirements, vary
- rents from $750 – 3000
Really Cool Website – My Apartment Map
- Put in the zip code you want to move to, click on the cat or dog icon and it shows the nearest rentals.
Another cool website – Dogfriendly.com
- Give you tons of information for traveling with your pets
for You, Your Pets & Family
written and compiled by Dorinne Whynott,
In the past decade, it has been scary with all the hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, fires and earthquakes. These are big enough reasons to warrant an evacuation, but there are smaller reasons, too. You could have a house fire or if you live near a train track or a highway, there could be an accident with one of the vehicles carrying hazardous material, there could be work done on a home near you and someone accidentally hits a gas line. We all live within a few hundred miles from a nuclear plant or there is the possibility of a biological and/or terrorist attack. In Nashua, a few years ago, some were evacuated from their homes when there was a chemical problem in a plant in the southern part of the city. Spring of 2006 brought drought and dry conditions, starting wildfires to many NH towns and then there was the Mother’s Day floods.
If you ever need to be evacuated, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If it is unsafe for you, it is unsafe for them. Even if you are told you will be back in a few hours, take your pets. Once you are evacuated, you will NOT be allowed back into the affected areas and there is always the possibility of the disaster becoming worse. Survival of you, your family and pets goes up dramatically if you are prepared, so here are some tips and information collected from The American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, Emergency Animal Rescue Service, The ASPCA, and The American Red Cross. If you would like further information please contact these organizations, (contact information located at the end of this document).
Disasters can happen at anytime and anywhere. In a disaster, roads may be out, cell towers may be down, phone lines and electricity may be stopped so do not depend on these. Cells phones are always a good idea, however, it is also advisable to have a corded phone, so in the case of no electricity and no cell phone, you will still have a phone line in case of emergency. When a disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond so please be proactive. Prepare BEFORE a disaster. Hopefully, you will never have to experience a disaster, but the probability is that you will at some point in your life, being prepared will help in a very hard stressful situation. As we saw in New Orleans, it is best to not rely on state or federal government for all your needs.
Think about what you would do if you had to live in your home during a disaster. What would you do for food? Water? What if you had no electricity? No heat? What if there were no gas available? No propane? No Oil? What would you do if the outside air was contaminated? How would you seal your home? What if you had to stay in your home for 4 – 6 weeks? Okay, this sounds drastic, but what if? When the planes hit the towers, what did you think? I thought we were at war. What if the scenario of the TV series “Jericho” were a reality? One day you are living your life as you have always done, and then within minutes life as you know it changes. All I am suggesting, is to think about these things, prepare for as much or as little as you feel comfortable to protect you, your family and your pets. I am giving you suggestions that can apply if you are contained in your home and/or if you are evacuated from your home. Of course, if you can stay in your home, you can prepare with more food, water, etc, then if you must leave and pack things in your vehicle. You will need to decide before hand, what would you bring and not bring if you must leave. So, here are some ideas.
Create a Family Disaster Plan
- Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross Chapter. Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community. Ask how you would be warned. Find out how to prepare for each. Ask the American Red Cross for a brochure on “Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit”. Click on Making a Disaster Kit for more information.
· Meet with your family. Discuss the types of disasters that could occur. Explain how to prepare and respond. Discuss what to do if you need to evacuate. Practice what you have discussed.
- Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated. Pick two meeting places: 1. a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire 2. a place outside your neighborhood in case you can not return home. Also, choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in contact” for everyone to call if a disaster you.
- Complete the following: Post emergency numbers by every phone and put these numbers in wallets and pocketbooks to go with you. Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity main switches. If you ever go away post this information in a visible place. Make a map of your house as to where these are.
- Keep gas tanks in vehicles full at all times, Stock pantries of canned goods (One month’s supply is best), keep cash on hand, keep plastic gloves and masks (boxes marked N95 or N100, can be purchased at drug stores and also used around home when using chemicals, painting, etc.) for disease control and if air is contaminated. If a disaster hits, gas, food, and other necessary items will be in short supply and banks will be closed.
- Post Pet Rescue Stickers on each door. They must be easily visible to rescue workers and must contain the types and number of pets inside, the name of your veterinarian and phone number, your phone numbers (cell, work, emergency) and emergency person’s phone numbers. Professional Pet Sitting Etc. does have Pet Rescue window clings for sale.
- Install fire/smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms, test monthly and change the batteries two times each year (an easy way to remember is to change batteries when the clocks are changed in spring and fall). It is also recommended to replace these devices every FIVE years. Another recommendation is to buy devices that communicate with each other, so if the one in the basement goes off, the others sound also and say the room of the unit that is sending the alarm.
- Contact your local fire department to learn about fire hazards. Have your home inspected for fire hazards and repair, also have your fire extinguishers checked. If you can afford to equip your home with a fire sprinkler system, these systems can extinguish a fire within minutes and keep damage to a minimum.
- Learn first aid and CPR (for people and pets), you can contact your local American Red Cross for information and training. Click here for Pet First Aid Video.
- Meet with your neighbors. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors’ skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help your neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly, disabled persons and neighborhood pets. Make plans for child care AND pet care in case you can not get home.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become stressed, disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
REMEMBER TO PRACTICE AND MAINTAIN YOUR PLANS.
The federal government has passed the PETS ACT, basically stating that each state must include pets in there disaster response plans. The following is a compilation of pet disaster preparedness from the American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, Emergency Animal Rescue Service, and the American SPCA:
Where could you go?
- Know where you can go with your family and your pets BEFORE anything happens. Evacuation shelters will not allow animals, so it is up to you to know where to go.
- Call hotels in and out of state. Go to the book store, there are books that list pet friendly hotels. Ask hotels with a “no pet policy” if that would be waived in the event of an emergency (A great source is the web site Pets Welcome).
- Keep a list of pet friendly places and their phone numbers.
- As soon as you hear that there may be an evacuation, call and make reservations and go as soon as possible. These hotels will book fast. Most operate on a first come, first served basis. Be one of the first to arrive and give your pets plenty of time to settle.
- If your pet is not used to traveling, take them for short rides in the car now, it will help them in a time of crisis and when they are going to regular check up.
- If they are not used to being crated/caged, again now is the time to get them used to it by feeding them in their crate/cage and leave the doors open, gradually get them used to staying in their crates for periods of time. If pets are not used to leashes, collars, harnesses (especially cats), it is advisable to accustom your pet to these also. If you have a pet that does not have some basic obedience training, or your pet is not used to strangers, etc., work on these now. Not only will it be a better life for you and your pets working with them to being comfortable in these situations in case of a disaster, but everyone will be able to live better at home if there were no disaster also. Again, helping your pets now, will help you and them later.
- Contact your veterinarian or pet professional for a list of emergency animal shelters. Click here to view many shelters in NH.
- Check with your local animal welfare shelter to determine if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Animal shelters may be over burdened caring for the animals they already have, as well as those displaced by disaster, so this should be your last resort.
- Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in you and your pets in a disaster. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
- Choose a Designated Caregiver. This is best when you take considerable time and thought. You should make plans for a temporary home for your pets in the event of an emergency (and you may need to make arrangements for a permanent home in the event you can no longer care for your pet, if you become incapacitated or worse).
- If you have not prepared a will and a trust, now is the time to do this. If you already have a will and a trust and your pets are not included, this may also be the time that you consider adding your pets to your wills and trusts if something should happen to you. Unlike a will, a trust provides for your pet immediately, and can apply not only if you die but if you become disabled (call your wills & trust lawyer for more information).
- Professional Pet Sitting Etc. and Dori have been placed in quite a few trusts by their clients to be notified in case of an owner’s passing to care for pets until they go to the prearranged home in the trust, or they have entrusted the company to find a permanent home.
Make a Disaster Emergency Kit
- Make an emergency kit (make a kit for you, a kit for your cat, and a kit for your dogs) and put everything in a plastic container, ready to go at a moments notice. You can use water proof luggage, duffel bags, Rubbermaid storage containers, trash cans, etc. Remember that no one can predict mother nature, you may be evacuated much longer than you originally thought, so pack for an extended stay. If you do not need everything you bring, great, save it for the next time.
- Make a list of items (not in your emergency kit like photos, your grandmother’s ring, etc.) you want to take or itemize what you may need to do for the emergency and post it on the inside of your bedroom door. Purchase an inexpensive lockbox or a small fire proof safe to place these important items in. If you need to leave you can bring this with you. Making your list ahead and having these important items in an easily accessible place will ensure that you won’t be scrambling when disaster happens. It is best to prepare this list when you are calm and over a period of time with much thought. You will not be able to think of everything in a crisis. Practice time (how long it takes you to do everything from packing the car to actually driving away), in many cases you are only given 15 minutes to 24 hours to evacuate.
- Now is the time to check what you have for insurance on your home and belongings. Make sure that you have guaranteed replacement” if your home and belongings are completely destroyed. Also ask about inflation in rebuilding, etc. It is advisable to take pictures of your home inside and out. Take pictures of each room, include all your belongings and if possible, write down an inventory.
- Scan all photos (personal and for insurance) and place on a CD, put family videos on DVD, make a list of all bank numbers, credit card numbers, include institutions phone numbers, all important documents (home mortgage, insurance – life, house, health, passports, etc.
- For all important documents, photos, CDs, DVDs, etc. if you can make three copies of each, and place one copy with a trusted friend or family member, second copy in a bank security box with the third (or originals ) with you. This way if anything ever happened you will have access to this important information (and memories), one way or another if one or two are unavailable.
- If you ever need to be evacuated due to unsafe conditions – anything can happen. Everything could be fine and you can return to your everything could go very wrong and everything in a 5 mile radius could be completely destroyed. So when you plan, plan for the worst. When you evacuate, you will not be able to bring everything you have stored for a disaster. It is just not feasible to bring everything, so you need to decide when you are calm and not in a disastrous situation (in a trauma situation, we may not make wise thought out choices) what is important to bring and what you must leave behind.
- It is recommended by all sources to have a supply of food and water for pets and people and medications if needed. One month’s supply is best.
- Canned food stores best but rotate cans using the oldest and replacing with new. Buy flip top cans or keep a manual can opener (in case of no electricity).
- Keep dry pet food in airtight containers (never leave dry pet food in bags on concrete, as concrete depletes nutrients and moisture through the bag). Also, check these plastic containers to make sure they are “food quality” containers. Many plastics leach chemicals into food products that are not good for consumption.
- Have extra bowls (disposable bowls or paper plates do not have to be cleaned between uses, so you do not use up much needed water).
- Make sure that you have spoons for mixing food, disposable is good.
- Buy a small grill with a supply of charcoal to cook with, in case you lose electricity. Gas grills are great, however, keep an extra full propane tank. Also keep in mind if you could not obtain more gas/propane.
- It is recommended 2 gallons per person per day, 1 gallon per pet per day, One month’s supply is best. This is a lot of water, so at the first sign of disaster fill empty containers and tubs.
- If tap water is unsuitable for human consumption then it is unsuitable for animal consumption.
- Store drinking water in tightly sealed plastic containers.
- Do not store water in direct sunlight (will grow algae). Rotate water every 2-6 months.
- Have extra water and bowls/bottles on hand for pets.
- The best situation is for you and your family to be in your home together, self contained. Check into alternative energies – solar, wind. There are many solar products to produce energy to run household items. Some items to have on hand – solar and/or battery powered lights, emergency TV/radio to keep up to date on information, CB radios may come in handy also.
- If you must leave your home, the best situation is for your family and pets to stay together. If your pets can not stay where your family is staying, spend as much time with them as possible. This will keep them calm and prevent others from bothering your pets. KEEP IN MIND – pets have been stolen in a crisis situation.
- Purchase wire collapsible cages to house cats and small dogs (and other small pets). Make sure it is large enough to put a litterbox, food, water and a small area for the pet to sleep (this will help if you need to keep the pets contained).
- Each carrier should be labeled with pets inside, owner information & numbers, general care and vaccine history. Keep copies of medical records in safe dry container with pets, a copy with you and a third copy in a safe place.
- To help keep a pet calm, bring a blanket to cover the cage.
- Also, bring a lock to lock the cage door so that the door can not accidentally come open by accident or by curious people if you are in a shelter (a combination lock is best, keys can become lost or misplaced).
- Bring a harness and leash for exercising pets out side of the cage.
- Bring extra collars, harnesses, and leashes and a portable tie out if needed (never leave your pet unsupervised when out of carriers).
- Bring pet beds and toys if they are easily transportable and there is room, especially if they can help keep your pet happy and calm.
- Make sure pets have access to water – obtain a good quality water bottle made for carriers (bowls can be tipped over and create a mess).
- Try to keep to some schedule for feeding and exercising.
- Be aware of temperatures where your pets are housed – it should not be too hot or too cold.
- If you are evacuated bring a small container of dish soap and disinfectant (Purelle).
- Bring a minimum of FOUR rolls of paper towels (more if space allows), small bags to dispose of waste, Litter scoops, pooper scoopers, litterboxes (bring extra disposable litterboxes , aluminum roasting pans work great).
- Bring enough litter, One month’s supply is best (try to use less than you normally would).
- Have a human first aid kit (Pre-made kits& MORE )and a first aid kit & book for your animals. Pre-assembled animal & human first aid kits can be purchased or go to one of the organizations at the end of this article and ask for a list of items to make your own –
- During or after a disaster and in high stress, a pet’s behavior can temporarily change, packing a muzzle is a good idea in case behavior becomes less than desirable, plus your pet may be in close quarters with other pets and may be cared for by people they do not know (especially if something happens to you).
- If your pet is stressed and does not travel well or hates unfamiliar surroundings, talk with your veterinarian about possibilities of medications to keep on hand in an emergency.
- Have any long term medications, for you or your pets. One month’s supply is best.
- If you have any medical conditions that others should be aware of, wear a medical alert bracelet so that people will know if you can not speak for any reason.
- If your animal is on a long term medication or has a medical condition (allergies, diabetic, kidney failure, FIP, etc.), have a tag made indicating this and put it on your animal’s collar (same idea as an alert bracelet for people).
- Also check out the Health section below for more information
- Have a collar and ID tag for any animal that can wear them (remember to include the above medical conditions).
- Use safe break away collars for cats. All cats (and dogs) should have collars and ID and be used to wearing them all of the time.
- On the collar and/or tag include your name, home phone number, an alternate phone number and your address.
- Another permanent form of ID, which can be used in addition to a collar and tag is micro chipping, in case collars and tags fall off. Check with Animal Shelters or your Veterinarian.
- Attach a temporary tag with the phone number and address of your temporary shelter (if you know it), or of a friend or relative outside buy temporary tags that you can write on and set them aside in your disaster kit. Another good idea when you are traveling or visiting with your pet, attach this temporary tag with the temporary vacation information, just in case your pet gets loose.
- Have multiple copies of current (within 6 months) photos of your animals to help locate them should they get lost.
- Include yourself in some photos as proof of ownership.
- As stated above, take photos of your house and belongings inside and out for insurance. Put all photos (personal and insurance) on CDs. Put all taped memories on DVDs. Make three copies of everything, one copy to a trusted friend or family member, one copy in a bank security box and the third copy with you. That way, no matter what happens, you will never lose your memories and have necessary proof for insurance to start your life again if everything becomes destroyed.
- Make a medical sheet for each member of the family, include things such as blood type, surgeries, dates and type of vaccinations (include all childhood & adult vaccines received), any known allergies, all medications being taken, any surgeries and/or medical conditions, list last few readings for blood pressure, etc. This will help medical personnel if you needed medical care in the event of a disaster, if you could not speak and access to your medical history was not available. This information is required to be carried on each person who does disaster response. It may come in handy for each person to have, just in case.
- Check with your doctor about any vaccinations that may need to be updated. Some childhood vaccinations that you have received as a child, may need to be boostered as an adult. Adult Vaccine Schedule
- Do a similar medical sheet for each pet
- Keep your pets’ vaccinations current. This will protect them if they need to be housed with other animals. Keep a notebook with all medical records ready to go. You may need to show proof of vaccinations.
- It is advisable to keep all important paperwork in water proof containers (Ziploc bags or plastic container).
- In the event you are unavailable for pet care for whatever reason – It is also advisable to leave information on pets’ crate for feeding schedules, behavior problems, and a written permission slip for the pet caregiver to obtain medical for your pet in the event of a medical emergency (you may need to include a credit card number and expiration date with your signature just in case the emergency veterinarian will not treat if there is not a financially responsible party – this can be tricky because you do not want your CC information in the wrong hands).
- Bring grooming items, grooming helps calm some pets and will help pets that easily mat.
What happens if you are not home at the time of a disaster?
- You should choose someone who lives within walking distance to your home to check on and care for your pets. They may also need to transport your pets to safety.
- They should have a key to your home (or access 24/7)and know where carriers are and your disaster/emergency care box is, so they can grab and go. Key lockboxes attach to your home, open with a code (can be changed as often as you wish) and are a great way to have emergency access to your home with a phone call to whoever you feel comfortable without having many keys out and about. (Key lockboxes are sold by Prof. Pet Sitting Etc.)
- If you have a pet sitter or another company caring for your pet, do not rely on them. A good pet care company will have asked you for a person you trust close by to care for your pets in the event of an emergency. A pet care company may not live close to your home and they may need to evacuate themselves along with many other clients’ pets. It is always best to have a back up person within walking distance to your home. This person must be within walking distance because if your neighborhood is evacuated, no one from outside the area will be allowed in the evacuated neighborhood.
- Have your person meet you in a prearranged location to obtain your pets if they needed to be evacuated when you were not home.
What about pets other than cats or dogs?
- Most of the suggestions above are pertaining to dogs and cats. Horses, livestock, small pets, reptiles, birds, etc. all have special needs. Be prepared for their care. Also, remember that all pets will react very differently under stress. Outside your home and in your car, ALWAYS keep dogs securely leashed and transport all cats in carriers. Do not leave pets unattended anywhere. Even the most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite and scratch. Being prepared can save your life and the life of your pets.
- Hooved animals can be identified by taking a permanent marker to the hooves. Write your phone number, so when found you can be notified.
- Take off all halters, leads, blankets. In a weather disaster, these things can get caught or entangled, possibly injuring your animals. In a fire disaster, they can catch fire or melt into the animals’ skin.
- Leave gates and doors open to give them the best chance, depending on the disaster. However, take care, because your animals running loose can also pose a problem. Whenever, possible, it is best to transport them to safety outside of the disaster area before evacuation is imminent.
What about other emergencies such as a Pandemic like the Bird (Avian) Flu?
- According to Dr. Michael Osterholm as seen on the Oprah Show airing 1-24-06 (contact Harpo or go to Oprah.com for more information), it is not a question of if a pandemic of some sort will happen it is when. He states:
- You should have enough food, water, medications and all essentials for you and your pets to stay in your homes, (not leaving for any reason) for up to 5 WEEKS.
- If you need to leave your home while the virus is in the air, purchase special masks with air filters to screen out Avian Flu germs.
- Purchase plastic and duct tape to cover windows, doors and vents. Ahead of time, cut to fit each opening and store. This is to seal your home, to prevent the air born virus from coming into your home.
- During and pandemic, wash hands at every opportunity.
- You may consider getting vaccinated for pneumonia (Pneumovax). Most people who die from the Avian flu, died with pneumonia. The vaccine would be given to you now and then you are revaccinated at age 65 (check with your doctor).
- It is also advised to become vaccinated every year with the flu vaccine. Some experts believe that the Avian Flu will mutate to a humane form when a human that already has the flu also becomes infected with the Avian flu simultaneously.
So to recap:
At the first hint of disaster, act to protect you, your family and your pet.
- Leave early -don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too long to leave safely with your pets.
- Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements.
- Check to be sure your pet disaster supplies (including food, water, medications and other essentials) are ready at a moment’s notice.
- Bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you need to leave in a hurry.
- Make sure that all pets have collars, ID and medical information, and temporary tag with temporary information.
For more information on Disaster Planning click on or contact:
- The American Red Cross,
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-745-0243
- FEMA Information for Pet Owners
- Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) 1-301-258-3010
- Red Rover Responders ( formerly EARS) 1-916-429-2457
- American Humane Association 1-800-227-4645
- ASPCA: Animed, Preparing for Disasters
- or contact Dorinne Whynott at Professional Pet Sitting Etc. 1-603-888-8088, www.profpetsit.com. you can also go to our website
Dorinne Whynott has been in animal welfare since 1978, is the owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc., the founder of the Animal Care and Education Center of New Hampshire, the Animal Angels Network, the NH Pet Sitters’ Association and a co-founder of the NH Pet Expo.
Ms. Whynott is certified for Animal Disaster Response by the American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States and FEMA. She is also the head of the response team in Hillsborough County for the NH Animal Disaster Response Team (NHDART).
If you are interested in becoming part of the NH Animal Disaster Response Team (NHDART), go to the website or contact our office at 603-888-8088, we will give you information on where to go and what you need to do.
Misc. Pet Care Information
Check out our Blog Articles for more information
FREE ANIMAL POISON CONTROL NUMBERS:
Kansas State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital 1-785-532-5679
FREE 24 hours poison control hot line for pet owners and veterinarians. Be patient. The person answering the phone may have to take a few minutes to consult the vet on duty. …
Tuft University School of Veterinary Medicine 508-839-5395
ADOPT, ADOPT, ADOPT.
Please go to an Animal Shelter or Rescue League and adopt. There are millions of animal euthanized EVERY year, simply because there are not enough homes. So, please neuter your pets and adopt. Please go to our Resource section (click on to go there), to find a complete list of all animal welfare organizations in the new Hampshire area.
Great Animal Resource –
is the website ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist a division of the ASPCA. Just click on anything from cat to horses.
Leaving your pet in the car –
Many pet owners love to bring their pets with them on a car ride, whether they are going to the store or traveling. However, when the weather is wonderful and the temperature starts to go up, it can be VERY DANGEROUS for your pets. If the temperature is around 70 degrees, even leaving your car windows open about 2 inches, will increase your car’s temperature to over 100 degrees in a VERY short time. Since our pets cool their body temperature mainly by panting, when the air temperature they are breathing in is very high, they are unable to cool. Their internal body temperature increases and if they can not cool down, your pets will slowly die. My rule is if, the outside temperature is over 60 degrees, do not leave your pets in a car.
To learn more go to
- Pets in Hot Cars
- Study of 2 cars & temps inside (Note that there was not much difference with windows open) ,
- Dogs in Hot Cars .
- Car window
- RedRover Flyers
How long can I safely leave canned food out, un-refrigerated?
Many people feed canned food to their pets. I am asked all the time how long can canned food be safely left out, un-refrigerated? According to canned food manufacturers, canned food should never be left out for more than 2 hours. Canned food is a meat product. After that, just like human grade steak or chicken, it will start forming harmful bacteria that could possibly make our pets sick.
Read our article – Is Your Canned Food Safe
Feeding free choice or just feeding morning and night?
Many clients call and ask how should they feed their pets. What is better? Feeding free choice means to leave the dry food out all the time or feeding the correct amount at a specific time such as breakfast and dinner time. Most veterinarians prefer that pets are fed the correct amount for their weight morning and night. Each pet should be fed in their own bowl (glass bowls are preferred over plastic, plastic becomes pitted after a while and harbors more bacteria. Bowls should be cleaned after each feeding). Pets should be prevented from eating another pets’ food. You may need to separate each pet in a different room. This will prevent one pet from eating too fast before the other pet comes or hurrying up his food so he can eat the other’s food too. In many cases, eating too fast can cause stomach upset and the pet who does not get to eat his entire meal is left out. Behavioral problems may also occur over food. Each pet should be able to eat their entire meal at their own pace.
Feeding pets alone and at certain times, also helps the pet owner to monitor a pets food intake. If a pet is coming down with a health problem, in many cases the first sign may be that they will slow or stop eating. If a pet does not eat his full meal every time, it may not be a cause for alarm, however, it may be a cause to call your veterinarian if he has not eaten at all in 2 days (unless you see other signs, then call immediately). However, it is never wrong to call and ask your veterinarian if you have concerns before 2 days.
Getting your pet used to eating at certain times also has the advantage that the pet will be hungry. Not having food around 24/7 allows the pets digestive system to have a rest, rather than allowing the pet to nibble and graze at anytime during the day or night. Allowing access to food at all times also encourages pets to boredom eat (which brings on weight issues) or become territorial over food dishes, keeping others away. In most cases, free choice of food allows pet owners to not notice any problems until the problems are established.
Free choice feeding also creates a problem if one pet needs to go on a diet for specific health problems, while to other does not. The free choice feeding owner must choose to put both on the medical diet or put none on the medical diet. Both choices are not the best.
So, what is an owner to do? The hardest part is for all pet owners to get into a habit. Believe me, I am the worst to change my habits. However, once it is done, it is great. If you have rooms to separate pets in for feeding am and pm, that is one choice, however, I have 10 cats, and finding ten different rooms in my small home to feed them in is not feasible. So, all my cats are fed in their crates. I have stacked 3 on the bottom, 3 in the middle and 3 on top with the tenth one on the very top. At feeding time, all the cats run straight into their CORRECT crate. Each crate is labeled with the cat’s name and description (in case I need someone else to feed). The food is appropriately measured out for each cat, 3 cats are on special food and 2 cats require smaller portions (they gain weight very easily). I have found that feeding the cats in the crates has added benefits. Each cat is locked in the crate for however long it takes for them to eat (about 30 minutes). It enables each cat to eat at their own speed, no more wolfing down the food before another pushes in, no bullying going on. It also helped the two cats that were absolutely terrified of their crates feel comfortable. Now they jump in on their own happily. One did not like the door closed (maybe a bit claustrophobic?). All are doing well. I can monitor how much each cat eats at every feeding. They are all contained in one room. If there ever was a fire or I needed to evacuate, I am able to get all cats in their respective crates in a short period of time and place out the window….For me, this way of feeding works quickly, is great for healthy feeding, helps with pets who hate their crates and if ever you needed to evacuate in an emergency. This is a good thing.
What are some winter care tips for my pet?
- Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts. If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
- Provide dogs and cats with a dry, insulated pet house or shelter out of the wind. Bring your pet inside if the temperature or wind chill goes below 32° (pets feel the cold as well as we do, no matter how thick their coat is) or with nasty weather.
- Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
- Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth. Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car. (Cats and kittens are always safer as indoor pets)
- Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them. Thoroughly clean up spills at once. Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get them.
- Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet. Check water every 2 hours for freezing or get an electric heated water bowl. Fresh, clean unfrozen water is essential.
- Remove ice, salt, and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite. Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
- Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to your pets. Keep your pet on his regular diet.
- Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets. Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
- Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets. Cover or tack down electrical cords. Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach. Read warnings on items like spray-on snow. Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.
Source: The Ralston Purina Company (click on to view their website).
Pet Web Library(click on to view website)
This website is a wealth of information on animal diseases to medical information to toxic items, diabetes and so much more.
Diseases that can be transferred from animal to human
Some germs are passed form animals to human. Learn what germs can be passed from your pet to you and how you can prevent it. Learn about Toxoplasmosis, how to protect yourself while pregnant and that cats are only a small probability for contamination, you are more likely to get it from raw meat or gardening.
Very interesting sites, click on to view –
Veterinarian approved homemade pet foods
This website helps you the owner, in making good nutritional well balanced pet food. Follow the recipe very carefully to help ensure that your pet receives all the nutrition their body requires. Click here to view the Balance IT website.
Neutering Your Pet
All pets, male or female should be neutered. Not only is it necessary to help in pet overpopulation, with millions of homeless pets but it helps pets medically, psychologically and in most cases behaviorally. For every puppy or kitten that you bring into this world and find a home for, that is one LESS home for a homeless pet in a shelter. There are simply NOT enough homes.
- Pet Overpopulation is a serious problem – American Humane
- Pet Overpopulation – Humane Society of the US
See our article, scroll down for a list of Spay/Neuter Clinics –
Check out how old your dog or cat is.
Antech Diagnostics has a nice chart to figure out how old your dog or cat is. This site also has some other helpful information on Senior care, etc. Click here to go to How Old is my Pet?
Pets and Cancer
Cornell University has a narrated live action video designed to give pet owners a complete overview of cancer. Click here to go to Dogs and Cancer – ASPCA.
Animal Hoarding – What is it & more
Tufts University answers questions about Animal Hoarding, what it is and is not, health issues, animal welfare, intervention and other resources. We start you off at the general overview, then just click on the different sections on the navigation bar at the top. If you know of a possible animal hoarding situation, please call our office and we will refer you to the proper help. Click here to go to About Hoarding.
Do You have Allergies to Your Pet?
Many animals are brought to shelters because someone in the home is allergic. There are a few things that you can do to help alleviate allergic symptoms and possibly keep your pet. Click here to learn more about Allergies to Your Pets
Pet Loss for you and your pets
The loss of a pet can be the most devastating thing. I have been through the loss too many times, but did you know that our surviving pets also grieve. When we lost our cat a few years ago, many of our surviving cats went through a grieving process. Here are a few websites that may help you and your pets – A Grieving Pet , Coping with the loss of a Pet ,
Intestinal Worms in Dogs and Cats
Our pets can pick up many intestinal parasites. Check out these websites to learn more.
Lyme Disease is becoming a bigger problem in New Hampshire, so check all pets every day after they come into your home. Click here for more information: A Lyme Disease Primer ,
Humane Certified Food For Humans
The American Humane Association does many things in the world of animal welfare. They make sure that any animals in many of the movies we watch are treated humanely and are not harmed (look for the American Humane Association statement at the end of the credits or go to American Humane Home Page). This organization also protects children from abuse, check Protecting Children to learn more. Now they are protecting farm animals. If you would like to buy only humanely treated food, check American Humane Certified Producers to learn what to look for on your food labels.
Products that do not harm animals
PETA has a list of many companies with their web sites, that do NO harm to animals, such as any testing on animals. It is a pretty extensive list. Click here to read more, and scroll down a few pages to get to the links for the websites.