Have pet care plan in case of disaster
• Got a disaster plan in the event of a wildfire, hurricane or other natural disaster? Work out a buddy system with friends, neighbors, relatives or your pet sitter. Set up a plan to collect and care for each other’s pets in the event that one of you is traveling or at work and can’t get home to rescue pets. Exchange house keys, and make sure you have contact information to facilitate a reunion. If you’re home and must evacuate, always bring pets with you. Never assume that you’ll be able to go back in and get them.
• With the help of a $2.8 million grant from Maddie’s Fund, researchers from the University of Tennessee’s colleges of veterinary medicine, social work, business and the department of public health are working together to develop a health care system that will improve access to veterinary care for families with limited financial resources. Ensuring that all pets have good health care not only benefits the animals and their families, but also improves public health. Called “AlignCare,” the one-health model will promote interprofessional collaboration that takes into account the influence of pets on family health and well-being and help to keep pets in homes while providing needed care.
• Does your cat love playing in water? Whether they dabble their paws beneath a running faucet, splash in their water dish, swim in your pool or join you in the shower, more cats than you might think are true water babies. Among the breeds known to play on the wet side are Turkish vans (nicknamed “swimming cats” in their homeland of Turkey), Turkish Angoras, Savannahs, American bobtails, Bengals, Japanese bobtails and Manx (both island cats), Abyssinian (which originated in Indian Ocean coastal areas), Norwegian forest cats (descended from viking cats) and Maine coons. — Dr. Marty Becker, Kim Campbell Thornton and Mikkel Becker