PetScoop: Pet Evacuation Plan, Cat's Play Time, Go Big with Your First Fish Tank
 
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June 2011, Issue No. 55     

Get Your Pet Evacuation Plan Ready

Do you have an evacuation plan for your pet in the event of a storm, hurricane or natural disaster? Don't let the next emergency catch you unprepared. Pets are very vulnerable during and after natural emergencies, making it important to plan in advance.

Create a plan for your pets with these tips:

Evacuation
Some areas have emergency shelters that will accept animals. Find out if your area is one of them and pre-register with the shelter, if necessary. Here's a list of pet-friendly shelters by state.
If there are no pet shelters available, make a list of boarding facilities and pet-friendly hotels outside of your immediate area. Websites like PetsWelcome.com will help with the hotel search. Check their rules as hotels may restrict the type, size and number of animals.
Get a free pet evacuation window-cling sticker from your nearest Pet Supermarket. In case of a fire or other emergency, it will show responding personnel that there are pets in your home.
Documents / Supplies
If you're evacuating or moving, you'll need quick access to your pet's vaccination and rabies documents. Get them together now and seal them in a waterproof bag.
Most pet shelters will ask for proof of rabies vaccination, as well as license tags and a collar with a leash (or travel crate).
 
Other items you should take with you: a 2-month supply of any medications including heartworm preventive, food/water bowls, 2-week supply of food, litter box and litter, pet bed or blanket, toys, and waste bags.
Try to keep a recent photo of your pet as well, in case he goes missing or you need to leave it at a facility.
To create a portable first aid kit for your pet, download the American Kennel Club's checklist (PDF file).
Above all, please don't leave a pet behind during an evacuation. A secure room with some food and water may seem safe enough, but you just might return to a damaged home and a missing or injured pet.

We hope these tips will help you plan a safe evacuation with your pet and we invite you to visit your nearest Pet Supermarket for a free pet emergency window sticker.

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Why Bed Time is Your Cat's Play Time

The next time your cat is active at night, think of the bobcat, lynx and puma. They're wild cousins to your domestic cat and they follow instincts your cat would have out in the wild. Although she's indoors, your cat has natural senses and instincts that come alive at night. Unfortunately, they might inspire behavior that'll keep you up past your bedtime.
How the night comes alive for your cat:
Prime hunting time for wild cats is late at night and early in the morning. For your house cat, this is prime time to pounce after anything that moves or makes a sound, including other pets, insects and even you!
Vocalizing or meowing at night is her way of "speaking" to neighborhood cats, attracting other cats, expressing her insecurity or getting attention.
Darkness isn't much of an obstacle to your cat with her keen eyesight. Her eyes are especially sensitive to side-to-side movements, which lets her spot anything moving across the ground from far distances.
Cats have acute hearing as well and can hear high-pitched sounds. The sounds of outdoor cats, small animals, outside noises and even indoor insects may pique her curiosity.
   
Your cat's whiskers not only help guide her, they also help her hunt and smell by directing air currents to her nose and mouth.
Tips to get some sleep
Try to spend time with your cat before and after work, and any time you can during the day. Also set aside a little playtime before bed to wear her out with interactive toys.
Try to change her body clock to make her "hunt, eat, sleep" cycle work for you. Read tips on our blog.

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Why You Should Go Big with Your First Fish Tank

When beginning a hobby, it's usually best to start small: planting a few plants before growing a garden, for example, or running a few miles before trying a marathon. But in the world of fish tanks and aquaria, it's best to start big.

For beginners, bigger fish tanks are better. By big, we mean tanks of at least 20-gallons, which are larger than the 10-gallon tanks usually chosen by first timers. Here's why...
Small tanks are prone to quick changes of temperature and pH. Having a stable ecosystem is vital, but is harder to maintain in a smaller tank.
With a smaller tank, you'll have a smaller margin for error. It's easier to overstock or overfeed, which leads to more waste and more problems with water quality.
Certain types of fish, like goldfish, generate more waste, which could also affect water quality.
You will have to change water more frequently with a smaller aquarium.
Fish grow. What might have seemed a manageable number at first, could lead to an overstocked aquarium later.
A small aquarium may seem easier to manage, but may actually handicap you when it comes time to correct any problems. If you're a beginning aquarist, play it safe. Get a larger fish tank for healthier fish and easier maintenance.

Need help? Speak to a Pet Supermarket associate for help choosing an aquarium.

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Pet Appreciation Day!
Name That Breed!
Hint: Know as a "dual" dog for its pointer and retriever characteristics.

Greyhound
Pharaoh Hound
Saluki
None of the above

Answer
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Breed Profile

Himalayan Cats

What has the body and coat of a Persian, but the color and blue eyes of a Siamese cat? The Himalayan, a man-made breed. A loving and affectionate cat, the Himalayan loves to be petted and would rather sit in your lap than climb your curtains.

They're also very intelligent and are known as talkers, although not quite as talkative as Siamese. A very popular breed, the Himalayan comes in a variety of colors with a pointed pattern.
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