I have over a dozen CareZones in my collection, and I have Jonathan, CareZone’s CEO, to thank for it: When he showed me the CareZone he’d created for his dog’s petsitters, a universe of possibilities opened up before me. I’ll tell you in future posts about my housesitter CareZone, my home maintenance CareZone, and my gardening journal CareZone — this post is about using CareZone to help care for your pet.
Our pup Chloe is young and healthy (touch wood!), but like many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, she has runny eyes, which we’re trying to address with eye drops, every other day. She also gets dosed with Revolution, once a month. Medications list? Medication reminders? Check, and check!
She also has a short list of care providers and potential care providers, including her regular veterinarian, her canine ophthalmologist, the compounding pharmacy that makes her eyedrops, Seattle’s three 24-hour emergency veterinarians, and the nearby pet supply stores that carry her preferred food and treats. When we go on a trip, I figure out which emergency vet is closest to our destination, just in case. Contacts list? Check!
We use the Notes feature to store the number of her identification chip, and information about the chip and its provider. I’ve scanned Chloe’s current rabies vaccination certificate, shot record, and municipal pet license, and stored the scans in the Photos & Files section (if she had an eventful medical file, I would scan that too). I’ve also uploaded several good pictures of her, showing her distinctive, identifying bits (the width of her forehead blaze, the pattern of her fur). One or more of those documents might be vitally important while we’re traveling, and it’s great to have them available on my phone.
And, finally, we use the Journal feature to note and track what we call “Unexplained Yelps.” Cavaliers are practically perfect dogs, except that they’re prone, as a breed, to a dreadful ailment called “syringomyelia” — one symptom of which is yelping with discomfort for no apparent reason. To date, Chloe’s UYs have ultimately turned out to have a reason, thank goodness, but if she starts heading down the path I dread, a record of her symptoms as they manifest themselves and increase in frequency and severity would be invaluable to her vet.
One thing Chloe’s Journal doesn’t include is photos, but only because the need for them hasn’t arisen. Looking back over our pet-owning history, however, it’s easy to envision how photos would improve a Journal entry. The two cats I married, for example, each had ringworm at one never-to-be-forgotten point in our lives; if CareZone had existed then, their Journal entries would have included daily pictures of their lesions, so their vet could see how they responded to treatment. Similarly, my first dog, Lady, lost nearly half her hair before her vet got to “T” (for “thyroid deficiency”); it took a long time to return her to health, and periodic photos would have reassured us that progress was, in fact, happening.
Chloe generally travels with us, but we also have a CareZone for our cats, who remain home with a petsitter. Our petsitter is invited to be a helper on the cats’ CareZone, and while the cats are in her care, she has access to the important information she might need about them, including their Contacts, Notes, and Photos & Files. She posts daily updates in the cats’ Journal about their doings and outlook on life, and attaches photos of their cutest moments. Seeing our cats snoozing takes the guilt and regret out of traveling, and we like having a dedicated, private channel for our communications with their caregiver. Thanks, Jonathan!