Evacuation Preparations for Your Pets

Article Written by:
Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA


Have pet carriers ready in case you need to evacuate. This will prevent the animals from escaping during evacuation by limiting their movement in the vehicle and when you arrive at the evacuation destination. Make sure you have a leash if your dog(s) are too large to fit in a pet carrier. Many shelters do not take pets, so make plans before …


Molt: To shed a cuticle or exoskeleton during a growth phase.

Molt: To cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth. In snakes, molting refers to “shedding the skin”. In birds, the replacement of all or some of a bird’s feathers is called a molt. Molting is affected by a number of factors, including an animal’s age, sex, reproductive status, and environmental effects.…

Intestinal Parasites


Internal parasites can be found in many different organs and tissues of an animal’s body. One area commonly targeted is the intestines. Parasite infections can occur through a number of possible routes, depending on the parasite species and the stage of the parasite’s life cycle playing a role in transmission. A primary route of infection is ingestion of infective eggs from the environment. Typically this happens when a dog or cat ingests fecal matter or soil that contains fecal …

Ferret Household Hazards



Ferrets are curious and intelligent creatures. This makes them both fun and entertaining companions, but it can also be the cause of serious injuries and sometimes death. Before buying your companion ferret, it is important to “ferret-proof” your home. While this task may take some time, it is well worth it to keep your ferret safe from pain, serious injuries, and costly surgeries that could occur. It is also important to monitor your ferret when it plays outside of …

Nuclear Sclerosis vs. Cataracts in Companion Animals

Nuclear sclerosis is a very common eye defect in older animals and is commonly mistaken for cataracts in companion animals. Nuclear sclerosis results in a cloudy appearance to the lens of the eye but is less harmful than cataracts because it does not greatly affect the vision of your pet. With no other outside contributor responsible, this disease appears as a normal part of the aging process and is often unavoidable. Nevertheless, if your pet’s eyes appear cloudy, it is …

I want to smoke beef bones and sell them to my customers for their dogs. Is this safe?

Cooked bones, including smoked, should not be fed to dogs. The bones can splinter from the cooking process which causes the bones to harden and become brittle; splintering bones can cause severe damage to a dog. Dogs can cut their mouths, pierce their stomach lining, and possibly block the intestines. 


Some raw bones can be fed because they will not splinter; however, some meat should be left on the bones to act as a cushion. The major bones of support …

Is it O.K. to give my dog rawhides to chew?

Yes. There appear to be no negative effects of offering rawhide chews. Feeding rawhide chews is an effective method of maintaining dental health, specifically in preventing gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums due to bacterial plaque. Chewing rawhides helps keep plaque from forming by scraping teeth to clean them. Rawhides can also prevent or decrease the severity of periodontal disease (gum disease). Gum disease is seen over a long period of time as a buildup of plaque, tartar, …

I want to start cooking for my dog and get him off commercial diets. Any advice?

Preparing a diet at home for your dog can be a rewarding task, but caution must be taken to do so correctly. Home-prepared diets tend to be highly digestible and can provide high-quality nutrition. However, home-prepared diets can be more expensive, can provide variable nutrition, and take considerable time and care to ensure they are adequate for your dog’s health.


Dogs are omnivores and require a diet that consists of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water in correct proportions. …

Hairballs in Cats


Hairballs are a classic feline ailment.  Cats are meticulous groomers, and their tongues have tiny barbs that pull out loose hairs while grooming.  These barbs make it difficult for a cat to rid the tongue of the hairs, so the cat usually ends up swallowing them.  Usually, the swallowed hairs pass through the body and end up in the feces, but they can also accumulate in the stomach and form a mass of fur.  The technical term for this mass …

Remove a Tick from Your Pet in a Few Simple Steps

To remove a tick from a pet in just a few simple steps, please do the following. We have included a video from the TickEncounter Resource Center for your convenience.

  1. You will first need a small pair of tweezers or forceps. 
  2. Next, grasp the tick firmly and as closely to the tick’s head as possible, but be careful not to pinch the skin. 
  3. Pull gently, and avoid twisting or crushing the tick, until it frees. Be sure the mouth parts