Protect Your Pet during El Niño

When it’s raining cats and dogs, keep your pets safe and stress-free with these wet-weather tips:

  1. Walk smart. Whenever possible, schedule your dog’s walks around the day’s forecast. If you need to head out during a downpour, seek out tree-lined streets or covered areas to avoid getting drenched.
  1. Be visible. Dark, stormy conditions can seriously diminish your dog’s visibility, so invest in dog-walking gear equipped with blinking lights or reflective coating. Or just stick some reflective tape on your pooch’s collar, leash or harness.
  1. Stay dry. Some dogs don’t mind playing in the rain. For the others, consider getting your four-legged friend a raincoat. Some dogs will even tolerate waterproof booties that will keep those paws dry. With or without a coat, there’s bound to be some post-walk cleanup. Stash some towels by the door and try using a blow-dryer on long-haired dogs. And don’t forget to dry out your pup’s ears—wet ears can leave them vulnerable to bacteria buildup and increase risk of infection.
  1. Hunker down. Nasty weather can make pets nervous, so make sure to load up on treats to soothe stressed pets. For more help in keeping your furry friends calm, create a cozy space by draping a blanket over their crate or kennel and encourage pets to burrow in when the rain gets rough.
  1. Get prepped. Don’t leave your pet out of your emergency plans. As you’re putting together your El Niño preparedness kit, include food, water, medications, treats, and a small blanket for your pet. The City of LA Emergency Management Department suggests keeping at least a two-week supply of pet food and water in your home at all times as well. Since dealing with lost pets can be especially chaotic during emergency situations, it’s also crucial to verify your cat or dog’s info with your microchip company and to check in with your vet to ensure that all vaccinations are up to date. The ASPCA offers free rescue alert stickers to place in your home windows.
  1. Protect you neighborhood, too! When you’re walking your dog in the rain and nature calls, it is especially important to pick up your dog’s waste. Rainwater can pick up dog waste and send it directly to our rivers, creeks and oceans. While you’re at it, why not take a neighborly step and pick up any unattended dog waste lying nearby? You’ll be keeping your community and our local waters clean. We’ll even make it easy for you: Los Angeles residents can request a free canister of dog waste bags or a refill roll!

 

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