Emergency Preparedness For Your Pets

September is Designated as Emergency Preparedness Month

September is  National Emergency Preparedness Month. How very fitting as residents of the Carolinas and much of the East Coast are bracing for Hurricane Florence to hit later this week. Here at Coddle Creek we take this issue seriously.  We lived through Hurricane Hugo twenty-nine years ago and learned a great deal. 

emergency preparedness

Take Me With You!

Hurricane Hugo Compared to Hurricane Florence

In Hugo, we learned there could be power outages as far west as Boone and Asheville.  We learned that rooftops could be lifted and homes destroyed.  Billy was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC.  He and other military personnel were “deployed” for weeks afterward in various parts of North and South Carolina to help with clean up.  

I lived in Asheville, NC.  My sister was a student at Appalachian State University in Boone.  Our brother lived in Clover, SC. We each experienced heavy rain and high winds with some damage in the areas of our homes.  Our parents lived on the family homeplace in Lincoln County.  Approximately 10 acres of their property was covered in hardwoods.  Remarkably, my father had enough downed trees to cut all the firewood they needed to heat their home for the next eleven years.  After their deaths, there was still enough firewood stacked in the chicken house to have heated their home for several years.

The National Weather Service website contains personal stories from numerous people, including the then young meteorologist Eric Thomas at WBTV.  A story in the Charlotte Observer on the 25th anniversary of Hugo tells similar stories.

Similarities Between Hugo and Florence

Florence has enough in common with Hugo to have us on alert and well prepared.  We expect you are prepared if you lived through Hugo, grew up hearing the stories or have lived around here long enough to meet some of us “old-timers.”  You most likely know what you need to keep yourself safe and comfortable. Therefore, we are focusing on the extra information you need to keep your cats, dogs, small caged pets and birds safe.  

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

A lot of emergency preparedness for pets is similar to emergency preparedness for humans.  We know the drill.  Have enough water and food. You need medication. Have supplies handy and ready to deploy.  But there are several special considerations for our pets.

Several major networks offer great tips.  Here is an article from CNN. And Fox News offers great tips too.

Special Food and Water Considerations for Pets

  • If you feed raw food you will need extra ice and coolers in case of power outages
  • For pets on a prescription veterinary diet you will need to have an extra bag of prescription kibble or box of canned prescription food
  • If you make home prepared meals for your pets you will need extra ice to keep the food safe if you lose electricty
  • For pets who eat regular kibble or canned food you need an adequate supply in case you can’t get to the store
  • Pets that drink distilled water or filtered water need extra jugs of water

Medication for Your Pets

  • If your pet is on  medication for thyroid issues, Cushings, diabetes, anxiety, etc you will need  enough for two weeks
  • But even if your pet is not usually anxious he may feel nervous with the noises of a major storm, changes in barometric pressure, etc
  • If you have to evacuate from your home your pet may get sick in your vehicle
  • If you have to move to the home of a relative or to a shelter, your pet may be nervous
  • In each of these instances it’s a good plan to talk with your vet today about what over the counter supplements may be helpful if it’s too late to have your pet evaluated for prescription medication  

Special Supplies for Your Pets

  • Nature’s Miracle makes a cat calming spray that can be sprayed on blankets and beds
  • Feliway makes diffusers and a calming solution for the cat scratching post
  • Sentry makes calming collars for cats
  • Adaptil makes calming collars, sprays and diffusers for dogs
  • There are numerous storefront retailers and on line retailers that sell a wide variety of calming treats, collars and sprays for multiple species of pets
  • It’s helpful to use one of the calming sprays on your pets’ blankets or to put a calming collar on them
  • It’s also helpful to give your pet a calming treat if they don’t have medication to treat anxiety

Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters and Hotels

  • Bring Fido provides information on pet friendly hotels
  • Here is a list of pet friendly emergency shelters
  • Many breed specific rescue organizations have active social media pages
  • Log into those social media pages to see if someone is offering a place to stay for others affected by the storm
  • Because most public emergency shelters will have separate areas for humans and pets you will need dog crates, cat carriers and bird cages for your pets
  • To block the scary view of others it’s helpful to place a blanket or towel over the dog crate or cat carrier.
  • Each dog will need a crate, bed, towels, food/water bowls, ID tags, collar, leash, harness, poop bags and toys
  • Each cat will need a carrier, bed, blankets, food/water bowls, toys, ID tags, collar, litter, litter box, litter scoop and bags to use for used litter
  • Consider a harness and leash for your cat
  • Each bird needs his or her cage, food and water containers, toys and blankets to cover the cage

What to Do Before the Next Pet Emergency

Chances are you were not fully prepared this time.  That’s ok.  Very few people are always fully prepared.  Good preparation takes planning, time and money. You can’t be blamed for not knowing what you don’t know.  Now you know so you will do better next time.

Next week do these steps:

Review the things we talked about and select the ones you have the time and budget to implement first. That might mean buying a dog crate.  Or maybe it’s getting one extra bag of pet food so you can stay ahead.  Likewise maybe you can schedule a vet appointment for your anxious pet to get medication. 

Train your cat to go in his carrier or your dog to love her crate. The public library has lots of books to help with this.  If your budget will stretch a little further schedule a few private sessions with a positive reinforcement trainer or take advantage of free classes offered

If you want to go a step further consider taking a pet cpr and first aid class in case your pet sustains an injury.  That’s helpful in every day life.  We teach Pet Tech classes and are happy to have you join us if your live nearby. 

Another great plan is to microchip your pets. 

And last but not least.  Never give up. This too shall pass.

That Hard to Buy for Gift Recipient

Gift Solutions for That Hard to Buy for Loved One

Do you have friends and family members on your list who seem to have everything? Can your friends and family members be hard to buy for? If so we have some suggestions.  

Make a Donation to an Organization They Support

hard to buy for

Courtesy of Lake Norman Lucky Cats

For starters consider making a donation in their honor to a charity that you know they like to support. There is no higher good than that. If your friend or family member is an animal lover remember there are no shortages of good causes right here in our own community.  Take a look at Iredell County Animal Services and Control, Lake Norman Animal Rescue, Cornelius Animal Shelter, Lake Norman Lucky Cats, Catering to Cats and Dogs and Lake Norman Humane.  

 

 

 

 

 

Shop Local for That Hard to Buy for Friend

hard to buy for

Photo by Beth Leatherman Harwell

Shopping at Made in Mooresville supports local businesses and services. They offer home decor, gifts and local products. Everything sold at Made in Mooresville comes from within about ten miles! They have a really cool Christmas Tree Coffee and Paint scheduled for December 17.  That’s a calm easy way for you to relax for yourself. Here’s a photo of their books for sale.  All the books are written by local authors or published locally. I really like the “Jack” books.  They are written for the early reader and the protagonist is a cute dog named Jack.

Speaking of painting, Karen Rosenthal Dortschy with Haute Dauge Portraits   creates beautiful paintings of your pet from photographs that you provide.  She has all the commissioned work she can complete before Christmas but you could certainly purchase a gift certificate so the recipient could choose his or her own photo later in the year.

If your friend or family member is owned by pets he or she may benefit from having their floors cleaned. Todd Kofoed with Bigg Time Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning will make the odors and stains of dirty dogs and cats disappear.

Maybe your friend or family member could use some stress relief.  If so check out gift certificates from Your Karma Center for Yoga and Wellness or Bikram Yoga Lake Norman.

Your Karma offers a range of yoga classes and massages.  How many ways can we spell r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n?LKN Bikram offers yoga and pilates classes and loads of workshops. You can’t go wrong with either option. 

Food for the Hard to Buy For Friend

For the hungry barbecue lover give a gift certificate from Big Tiny’s BBQ.  Those Texans know how to smoke some brisket. The green bean casserole is my favorite side.  How about a tin of cheese rings or gourmet chocolates from Gourmet Plantation? If you hurry you probably still have time today to sample some goodies at Daveste Vineyard at the wine, chocolate and cheese event.  The Celebration continues until 5:00 PM.

Reading is One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

We offer great reading suggestions for cat lovers and dog lovers.  Scroll down the linked pages to see our recommendations about books and other useful products. 

If your hard to buy for person has an established relationship with a local professional pet sitting business they would probably appreciate a gift certificate for cat or dog sitting or dog walking. Just remember to check to see which company your friend or relative uses use because pet sitting is a very personal choice. 

 

May all your shopping be easy, your holidays be bright and your Christmas be Merry!!

Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet

Love Your Pet Today and Every Day

 Love Your Pet Day

For us every day is love your pet day.  We love our three dogs to the moon and back.  And what a joy it is to take care of so many other well loved pets. Have you told your pet that you love her lately?  Check out our nine awesome was to demonstrate that you love your pet.

Nine Awesome Ways to Demonstrate that You Love Your Pet

  • Let your pet know how much you love his species by volunteering with a pet rescue group. You can transport rescued dogs or cats from a shelter to a foster home, be a foster parent, build a fence for a chained dog, rescue a bird, volunteer at a shelter to take photos of homeless pets or share about lost pets on social media.  We bet you have lots more ideas. Share those ideas with us.
Love Your Pet

Foster Brittanys on a transport

 

  • Take your dogs on a hike. You can go on your own trail on your property, visit a state or national park or just take a stroll around your local park.  Your dogs will thank you for the opportunity for a change of scenery and better yet a change of aromas.
Love Your Pet

Luke shows Daisy Mae around our woods on her adoption day.

  • Brush your dogs’ and cats’ teeth every day.  Did you know that one way to show your pet that you love your pet is to assure they have teeth free of pain, plaque and tartar? Just like humans, dental health is important.  Infection in the mouth can get in the bloodstream and lead to serious damage to major organs.  Even more important, our dogs and cats can not tell us their teeth hurt and will probably try to hide their pain. The link at the beginning of this bullet point provides a self test about your knowledge regarding dental health and gives step by step instructions to teach your cat or dog to accept having their teeth brushed.
Love Your Pet

Our pet dental kit includes various styles of toothbrushes, toothpaste made for dogs and dental chews.

 

  • Play with your cats.  Contrary to popular belief cats do enjoy quality time with their humans. You can use flirt poles to get your cats to turn on their prey drives, spray catnip spray on tiny stuffed mice to get them to engage or drop a ping pong ball on the floor for them to bat around.  And what cat does not like to play in a bathroom sink with the water faucet on? Tell us what kind of play your cat most likes.
Love Your Pet

Nibbles loves to play if approached quietly and calmly.

 

  • Plant a cat grass garden for your cats.  This is particularly important for indoor only cats.  The grasses will stimulate their senses, give them something to nibble on, help to prevent hairballs, aid digestion and steer them away from potentially toxic house plants.
Love Your Pet

Tootsie enjoys her kitty garden.

 

  • Feed your pets the best quality food you can afford.  Prices of kibble ranges from very low to very high.  We know that you have to stay within your budget.  Check out an objective resource to learn what your pet needs and what is in the food you are buying. We recommend against buying your food at a big box retail store unless it specializes in pet supplies.  Two great local places to purchase pet food in the Lake Norman area are Village Paws and Claws in Mooresville and Huntersville and the Dog Supplies in Huntersville. You will find knowledgeable staff at these stores.  You will not find low quality food and that’s important. Both stores offer discounts.
    Love Your Pet

    Canned cat food provides necessary water content for your cats.

 

  • Learn about ways to make your home feel safe, comfortable and inviting for your cat.  Remember that cats love vertical spaces and don’t like to be backed into corners.  That’s why cat trees, elevated shelves and tunnels, and sunny windowsills make them so happy.  You can create “Cat TV” for them by placing a bird feeder outside a window they can easily see out of.  Go a few steps further and put a cat grass garden in the enlarged windowsill or bay window.  Add a scratching post nearby so your cat can keep his claws neatly trimmed and avoid shredding your furniture.
Love Your Pet

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

  • Take your dogs on a pet friendly vacation. There are scores of beach and mountain rentals that accept dogs.  Our two favorite places to vacation with our dogs are Duck, NC on the NC Outer Banks and Hot Springs Log Cabins in the mountains of NC.
Love Your Pet

Daisy Mae and Trooper in Duck, NC.

 

  • Provide regular veterinary care for your pets.  Getting them examined yearly while young and more often when they are seniors ensures that you catch little problems before they become big problems. Regular immunizations and preventives for fleas, ticks and heart worm are essential. Those dental cleanings can be lifesavers tool. No one wants their pet to be in pain.  Our sweet senior Luke had his dental cleaning earlier this week. We had no idea that he had cracked a tooth and that infection had set in. Fortunately his tooth infection had not caused damage to his internal organs but sadly he did have to have a tooth extracted.  I shudder to think what would have happened if we had not gotten a routine dental cleaning for him.
Love Your Pet

Luke with Ms Kim at Village Animal Hospital in Mooresville. He was still a little glassy eyed after his extraction.




We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend that you hire a professional pet sitter when you must leave your pets at home.  We provide daily dog walking services and vacation pet sitting services in the Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla communities.  Call us at 704-662-0973 to arrange a free meet and greet consultation.

How to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

How To Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

Pet Safety is important year round. The extra decorations, rich foods and company in and out of the house make the holidays a time to be extra vigilant to keep your cats and dogs safe. With that in mind we offer these seasonal tips to keep your cats and dogs safe during the holidays.

cats and dogs safe

  • Stabilize your Christmas tree so it’s not easily tipped over
  • Don’t decorate with plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs including lillies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
  • Don’t use tinsel on your tree…it can cause an intestinal blockage
  • Don’t leave lights on the bottom branches of your tree…pets can be burned and can also bite through the electrical wires
  • Keep ornaments out of your pets’ reach…they can cause an intestinal blockage, choking and cuts on paws
  • Don’t let your pet drink from the Christmas tree water…the preservatives can harm your pets
  • Use lighted candles only on shelves high enough your pets cannot knock them over
  • Don’t use edible decorations on your tree
  • Keep ribbons and strings on your packages out of your pets’ reach
  • Consider putting a baby gate or pet gate around your tree
  • Don’t feed your pets rich and fatty goodies…they can cause pancreatitis
  • Don’t give your pets uncooked dough…it can expand in their stomachs and create bloat
  • Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts can lead to organ failure
  • Alcohol, chocolate and foods sweetened with xylitol are poisonous to pets
  • When entertaining guests caution them not to feed your pets tidbits from the holiday table and to keep their plates and glasses out of reach of your pets
  • Consider confining your pets in another room when guests are present
  • At New Year’s remember that most pets are frightened by loud noises such as fireworks
  • Perhaps most important, don’t give pets as gifts…instead give the bowls, beds and toys needed and adopt your pet after the holidays

We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!

xylitol your cats and dogs safe

How Are You Celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is Just Around the Corner

Do you realize that Valentine’s Day is on a weekend this year?  Yes indeed, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate with the one you love and get away from your day to day activities for a mini vacation. Folks who live in Mooresville, Cornelius or Davidson have great proximity to the mountains for a wine tasting tour or something a bit more eclectic.  We’ve got some recommendations too.

What’s that you say?  You would love to, but what about the dogs, cats, birds and hamsters?  Not to worry.  Give us a call and we can set up a free consultation to meet you and your pets and get prepared to look after them while you’re gone.  Now, what to do about the human kids…..sorry, we’ve got nothing for you!!

Great Wineries to Visit on Valentine’s Day Weekend

A few years ago Billy and I visited Shelton Vineyards and had a great time. We happened to go during the time of year that we could take a tour of the vineyards, but the best part was the wine tasting, so who cares if it’s too cold to tour the vineyards? They are offering a special Cupid’s Package for Valentine’s Day weekend that is sure to please. When we last attended a wine tasting at Shelton Vineyards, the hotel was under construction but it has been open for several years now.  Located in Dobson, NC the trip from Mooresville is only 64 miles so you can easily get there in just a little over an hour.

If hotels are not your style there are bed and breakfast options available in the area. You better hurry though because those quaint lodgings are nearly all booked already.

Stony Knoll Vineyards offers a special Valentine’s Day wine tasting. They even have a sweet little cabin wine lodge.

Want Something a Little Different for Valentine’s Day Weekend?

Maybe you want a unique experience to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend.  Well, head on to Asheville and explore the not so common offerings.  I lived there for many years and can assure you the variety of activities is mesmerizing. Pottery making with your love, a 5k, a different kind of city tour or a “trip to Argentina?”

Valentine's Day pottery

Getting a little dirty

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts offers an opportunity to get dirty.

LaZoom Tours offers a funny twist on city tours.  The Let Your Love Roll Ride departs from the Asheville Brewing Company.

The Wedlock 5k run is a unique way to renew your commitment to each other and to running while also benefitting Helpmate, one of my favorite Asheville charities.  Helpmate has been advocating, supporting and assisting victims of domestic violence for decades.

Tango

Tango

If romance is intriguing, how about a “trip to Argentina?”  Lex 18 Supper Club is offering a 1920’s candlelit dinner, music and tango revue.

 

Relax and Enjoy You Time Away

Relax and enjoy your time away.  We’ll take care of your pets just as you would.  You will receive email updates to assure you those four legged family members are well cared for in your absence.

 

 

 

Spring Time Around Lake Norman with Dogs in Tow

For the first weekend in a very long time we did not have any pet sitting assignments so we enjoyed a stay-cation with our three fur babies.  Living near Lake Norman is a blessing…and the weather this weekend was perfect.

On Saturday Luke and I dropped in at the Open House at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Cornelius.  What a nice place that is.  We saw lots of evidence of teddy bear surgery and teddy bear dental work.  It was my first time in the surgical suite of a veterinary hospital and I was impressed.  Luke is an old hand at dental cleanings so he did not flinch at all.

After we left “surgery” we meandered down to Davidson and caught the tail end of Davidson Town Day. Luke took a few snapshots of the giant stacks of books outside the library.

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

While Luke and I were out and about Trooper and Daisy Mae helped Daddy with yard work.

Sunday was another great day so the humans took Trooper and Daisy Mae to Lake Norman State Park for a hike.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Luke stayed home to guard the homestead.  We love the 3 mile trail along the lake shore but we were all worn out by the time we returned home. Hiking with these two is different from our hikes with Luke and our late Beau.  Daisy Mae and Trooper were well behaved but clearly need a little more trail certification training!

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

All in all we enjoyed our stay-cation.  Now we are ready to get back to pet sitting and dog walks on a little more even terrain (and shorter routes than 3 miles).

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