Be Kind To Pets.
My name is Riley. I’m a 7 year old Airedale Terrier. I was born on November 19, 1998 in South Carolina. A year later my dad and I decided to move to San Francisco, CA, and then later to Los Angeles, CA… Because my dad had never experienced earthquakes and did not know what to expect, he decided to create a emergency preparedness kit… [Read More]
Now more than ever, we need to have a plan of what to do with our pets in case of an emergency. Make sure your pets, large and small, are safe in the event of a disaster! Advance planning is key to keeping you, your family and companion animals safe… [Read More]
About Riley Care
Riley Care came about in 2003 when we (that is Riley and us, the parents) realized there was no one resource available anywhere that provided a well thought out Pet Emergency Kit (with all the important items necessary for a pet’s survival in case of a real emergency/disaster) All the kits we have seen seem to be standard human emergency kits with dog food thrown in (yuck!) Soon after that Riley Care developed to include important information for pet owners.
Finally, we are in the process of developing something very near and dear to our hearts, The Riley Care Foundation (more information coming soon)!
Our goal is to set high standards and bring knowledge to pet parents everywhere. Events like Katrina have also brought attention (tragically) to what can happen with our beloved pet companions in the event of a disaster.
Our Airedale Terrier, Riley, is so charismatic and sociable, we thought he would be the perfect “spokesdog” to spread the word. We did not have to do much convincing…
Riley loves human and pet kind alike and he “jumped” at the opportunity.
There are many products out there, and many companies that provide them… but not all of these products will be the best choice for your dog or pet. We hope to provide you to links and product recommendations along the way. If you have a product or product recommendations you would like Riley Care to review we would love to share your experience. Most importantly, please email us if you have any questions… Especially if you are a first time dog or pet owner, or have not had pets in a long time, we here at Riley Care want to help you (the pet parent) and your pet grow together by providing the best information available.
Riley says “Be Kind To Pets”!
Pet Emergency & Disaster Preperation
Now more than ever, we need to have a plan of what to do with our pets in case of an emergency. Make sure your pets, large and small, are safe in the event of a disaster! It’s not a matter of if, but when the next disaster strikes.
Advance planning is key to keeping you, your family and companion animals safe. Depending on where you live, you may experience wildfires or floods, earthquakes, or snow storms, hurricanes or tornadoes, mud slides or chemical spills. Emergency planning can save lives!
- Remember to make sure your pets are properly identified. Have ID tags with up-to-date contact information for all pets, along with leashes and carriers. You should also have each individual pet medical history (including a copy of picture of the rabies vaccination certificate) and documents on your phone or a USB. If your pet has medical or behavior problems, tape that information to the carrier or leash. In addition you can leave important documents or medical information in a sealed dog tag.
- Make sure to have a proper Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit! Your pet’s kit should include all the essentials for an emergency particular to the area you live in, a favorite toy for your pet (pets under stress will welcome a familiar toy rather than a new toy), a fresh water supply and an ample supply of your pet’s food sealed in a airtight container. Make sure you have a good supply of your pet’s medication too. Be sure to rotate all medicines, food and water to keep them fresh.
- Last but not least, place an emergency a Rile Care Pets Inside sticker on your front and back doors listing the number of pets, so others can evacuate them in your absence.
Riley says “Be Kind To Pets”
Health & Safety
- Riley’s tips for summertime!
- Keep your pet companion happy and healthy during the winter months!
- Holidays bring lots of excitement and activity to many households. To make this special time of year safe for your pets, please remember these holiday hazards!
- A new baby is an occasion for joy and celebration – but please don’t forget that the pets in your home will need help and some special attention to make this important transition.
- Poison control resource!
“My name is Riley. I’m a 7 year old Airedale Terrier. I was born on November 19, 1998 in South Carolina. A year later my dad and I decided to move to San Francisco, CA, and then later to Los Angeles, CA… Because my dad had never experienced earthquakes and did not know what to expect, he decided to create an emergency preparedness kit. And because we planned on doing a lot of traveling together, my dad thought it would be a good idea to add some items that would help me in the case of an emergency or disaster. He decided that it would be a good idea to include some of my toys, my food, an extra leash and my medical information too! That’s how Riley Care began. This kit is specifically designed as a supplement to your family’s’ emergency kit.
I have done a lot of traveling in my lifetime (I’m an expert traveler and love car rides), and have spent a lot of time talking to other dogs at the dog park (I am very friendly and really like to socialize with my friends). I’m also a very good listener… And what I have found out is that many pet parents have not thought about what to do with their pet companion in the case of a disaster (… I also found out that many pet parents don’t always have the information they need in order to keep their pet companion happy and content. So I decided to start this website.
I have also had my share of Emergency Room experiences and learned a lot that way too! My goal is to provide useful and necessary information and practical tools for pets and their parents. The more you know about your pet companion, the better you will be able to find solutions for his/her needs!
Thanks for visiting me at Riley Care! I am constantly updating this site with new and exciting information.
Please come visit me often and share your stories with us (IGLINK). I am also available to answer your pet related questions. Check it out… and remember Be Kind To Pets!”
New and 1st Time Pet Owners
Here are a few general tips that Riley says everyone should be aware of!
- Keep all electric cords out of reach or covered by a chew-proof guard. Puppies and kittens will chew on anything.
- Don’t leave any medicines on tables, chairs, or in open cabinets. You’d be amazed what your pet can get into.
- Cover your outside pool or pond. Many heavily-coated dogs and cats may be unable to swim to safety when their coats are soaking wet.
- Keep pets away from ice-covered ponds and lakes. Cats and dogs may wander onto ice too thin to support their weight.
- Keep all painting supplies and chemicals in closed cabinets. Anti-freeze (for example) has a sweet smell and taste to animals but is highly toxic. Know your dog’s stomach and what foods can be highly dangerous; like chocolate. All breeds are different.
Traveling With Your Pet Companion
If your pet companion is in good health and enjoys riding in the car, you can safely take him/her with you… but make sure to follow these guidelines:
Have your pet examined by a veterinarian and make sure to get health and rabies certificates. You normally will not need them, but it is always a good idea to have them on hand. If you are leaving the country, be sure to check on quarantine and certificate requirements. Make sure your pet companion is welcome wherever you are staying!
Pack food and water, dishes, bedding, leash, and your pet emergency kit. Your pet should also wear a collar and ID tag at all times! Maybe even include the name and number of a friend. The tag should carry the name and phone number (with area code) of someone who knows how to find you while you travel.
Feed your pet a light meal several hours before driving (you don’t want them to get sick). Keep a bowl of ice cubes in the car to provide your pet moisture without allowing it to take big drinks. Stop frequently for exercise, but never allow your pet to run loose. A nylon cord with swivel snaps allowing a maximum length of 15 feet makes a good travel leash. (Our cat friends should also wear a harness.)
If your pet cannot be safely secured by a harness, get a solidly-constructed pet carrier with good ventilation for your pet companion to ride in. Several days before the trip, open the carrier and let the pet companion get acquainted with it. Use a pillow, newspaper or a sheet to cover the bottom of the carrier for the trip. Never allow your pet companion to ride with its head out the window. Please get your dog adjusted to wearing a pet seatbelt so that in the event of an accident to not only protect your dog, but yourself as well.
Never leave your pet unattended! If you leave your little companion in a parked car (even on a mildly warm day), they are susceptible and can suffer a heat stroke in just minutes!… or they could become a target for thieves.
Riley says “Be Kind To Pets”… and enjoy the trip!
What To Do With A Baby On Board
Unfortunately, families often cite a new baby for giving up their pet, and certainly the child’s safety and well-being are of utmost concern. However, you can help prepare your pet for the baby and ensure that they become good friends.
Consider that the amount of time you now spend with your pet is apt to be drastically reduced once the baby arrives. You might begin to gradually scale back the attention you give him before you bring the baby home to accustomed him to the new routine; this will help minimize his reaction to a new member of the household.
Speak with friends who have successfully raised children and pets together, and seek their advice.
A new baby brings home with him or her all sorts of new strange smells and sounds for your dog. Be aware of your dogs own curious nature to these changes. If you have a dog that jumps, now is the time to train him not to jump. Remember, too that pets will be curious about the baby when the child is on the couch or in a chair. Thus, it’s wise to discourage your pet from getting on the furniture early on – before the baby comes home.
Obedience training for dogs is highly recommended before your baby arrives. It strengthens the bond between a dog and his owner, and the better you can control your dog, the better yours chances of fostering a friendly relationship between your dog and the baby. If your dog is aggressive toward small animals or people, or possessive of food or toys, consult a canine professional before the baby arrives. It only takes one second for what looks like a bond between a dog and a child to turn drastic… heir on the side of caution to protect both your new child and dog.
Ensure that your home is parasite free before you bring the baby home. Ask your veterinarian how you can safely rid your pet of fleas, ticks and worms.
Install a baby gate (or a screen door, if you have cats) at the door of the baby’s room. Your pet should be allowed in the room with you, but should learn that he does not always have free access to this area..
Riley's Tips For Summertime
Summertime temperatures and humidity, parked cars, jogging, beaches, swimming pools and “the wind in your face” can be hazardous to your pet’s health.
Leave your pets at home: Don’t let that eager look as you pull out the keys cloud your judgment. Even if you park in the shade and there’s a nice breeze blowing outside, the temperature inside a car can shoot up to dangerous levels within minutes (120 degrees or higher!) even with the windows down. Unlike humans, pets cannot perspire to cool themselves. The movement of air into and out of the lungs allows them to maintain their normal body temperature. Panting and salivation are outward signs that your pet is overheating. When humidity and temperature exceed beyond the point at which these cooling mechanisms can maintain body temperature a heatstroke results – and that can mean permanent brain damage or even death to your pet. So don’t take chances with your pet’s life – leave him at home!
Shelter: Dogs and cats need to have a cool place to stay when the summer temperatures soar, either inside or out. When it’s really hot, the shade from a tree will not keep your pet cool enough. He needs a doghouse or other shelter to protect from the heat. Dogs and cats can get sunburned just like people, so be sure to use pet friendly sunscreen. Their ears and noses which are not protected by thick fur are especially susceptible.
Water: Make sure your pet always has access to cool, clean water, especially in the summer heat. Refill overturned bowls and freshen water, but never give your pet ice water, which can shock the system, and cause severe upsets. Community dog bowls can harbor pet born diseases, it is best to have your own fresh supply.
Beach and Pool: If you take your pet to the beach, be sure to provide ample shade as well, and hose him down after he has swum in the salt water.
Protect your pet’s feet from the hot sand or pavement, so booties are an essential. Dog’s and cat’s foot pads are very sensitive to heat and can easily blister.
While many pets love to swim, chlorinated water irritates your pets eyes and ears, and heat and sunlight around a pool are intense. Never leave your pet unattended around a pool. Once in, a dog cannot get out without help, and may soon panic and drown. If you do choose to let your dog swim, it is smart to have a pet ramp leading into the pool.
Ticks and Fleas: Carefully go over your pets body at least once a week to check for fleas, ear mites and tiny bumps or cuts. Bring your pet to the vet for a spring/summer check-up and use a good flea and tick repellant that your veterinarian recommends. This can come in the form of a dietary supplement or a powder or spray. Some pet owners might wish to use natural options.
Hair is a natural insulator whether it is warm or cool. In the summer, an animal’s coat insulates against sun, heat and insect bites. Regular brushing removes dirt and loose undercoat, which cleans and cools your pet. When you brush, check around the ears, between toes, along the legs, at the lower abdomen and base of tail. Dog with extremely heavy coats may benefit from the newer pet brushes on the market.
Exercise: Dogs are naturally designed for sprinting, not for uninterrupted running or jogging. During such exercise, the body temperature rises faster than excess heat can be dissipated. In the summer, exercise of any kind should be cut back and limited to the cooler, early morning or later evening hours.
Riley says “Be Kind To Pets”!
Hazards During The Holidays
While chocolate is a favorite holiday treat for people, please don’t share it with your dog or cat – it can be fatal. Lean turkey meat is a delicacy which pets enjoy, but beware of sharp bones which can splinter and cause them serious health problems.
Poinsettia plants are beautiful to look at, but a poisonous temptation to pets who can’t resist nibbling on them.
Christmas trees have many tempting and attractive features for a chewing pup or kitten – tinsel or ribbon in your pet’s stomach can be deadly – as can biting on the wires attached to Christmas tree lights. Make sure your tree is secure from falling over. This can both injure your pet or cause a fire while you are not home.
If you keep your tree in a holder with water, please don’t add chemicals which pets may drink.
During the year we will blog about other holiday concerns like Halloween, Easter, & 4th of July.
Keep Your Pet Happy During Winter
Don’t leave your pets outdoors when the temperatures drop sharply: Short-haired, very young, or old dogs and cats should never be left outside. Dogs and cats are safer indoors.
No matter what the temperature, wind chill can threaten a pet’s life: An outdoor dog must be protected by a dry, draft-free doghouse or kennel that is large enough to allow the animal to lie down comfortably, but small enough to hold in its body heat, with a floor raised a few inches off the grounds. In the event if you an outdoor kennel, a vinyl kennel cover will provide protection from the outdoor elements.The house should also face away from the wind and have a doorway covered with burlap or a rug.
Outdoor dogs need more food in the winter, because keeping warm depletes energy: Routinely check your dog’s water dishes to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen.
Other winter hazards: The warm engines of parked cars attract cats. Salt and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can burn the pads of pets’ feet. Anti-freeze tastes sweet, but is a deadly poison to pets (and children). Take precautions against these winter dangers.
Riley wants to answer any of your pet questions and help you find the resource you need to solve your pet dilemma. If you have a question for Riley, please do not hesitate to email us. We will do our best to respond within 24 hours.. If it is a pet emergency, contact your local veterinarian or local Pet Emergency Clinic.
Poison Control Resource
As the premier animal poison control center in North America, the APCC is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance (which may include your yard and garden soil) (Link to Riley’s Garden and Home), make the call that can make all the difference: (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.