Better safe than sorry! In the event of a disaster, do you know how to make sure your furry family members stay calm, safe, and healthy? Below are ten top tips for anticipating emergency situations where your pet may need extra attention:
10. Water: When crisis strikes, obtaining fresh water becomes a top priority. The more you can store for you and your family the better, but a week’s worth of water for each family member, including your pet, is a safe bet.
9. Food: It is best to stock up on canned, wet food. Food in cans keeps better, and your pet will be less thirsty if they get moisture from their meal, enabling you to stretch out the precious water supply. Don’t forget to pack a can opener!
8. Medicine: Some pets suffer from chronic conditions that require the constant administration of medicine to keep them healthy. Speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines you may not have access to if your community is hit with severe weather.
7. Proof of Ownership: Place photographs and/or any ownership papers of your pets in a sealed, airtight container as an essential component of your pet emergency kit. Keeping proof of ownership on hand will identify you as a pet owner should you get separated.
6. Vaccination Records: If your family has to evacuate and relocate to a shelter, due to capacity and safety issues, you may have to board your pet. Some animal clinics and boarding facilities will offer shelter to pets, but require your animal have up-to-date vaccinations– having a copy of their records will help secure a spot.
5. Emergency Help Lists: You will want to have a list of helpful neighbors and/or emergency boarding facilities handy. Know where you’ll be able to go to ensure your pet is safely cared for ahead of time.
4. Leashes and Pet Carriers: Your pet may panic and break loose to find a place to hide, and could become fatally trapped or injured. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, dangers abound from downed power lines, to fallen debris, and contaminated groundwater. It’s best to utilize leashes and/or carriers to restrain your pet from running out into unsafe conditions.
3. ID Tags: In case their collar or tags are lost, a spare set is important. Consider installing a microchip in your pet to help locate them as well. Just don’t forget to keep your contact information up to date!
2. First Aid: Together with the telephone number of the nearest emergency animal clinic, you can put together an emergency medical kit for your pets should they become injured. Include items such as gauze to bandage an injury, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, and milk of magnesia to absorb poison should accidental ingestion occur.
1. Creature Comforts: Your pet may be confined to a small space for an undetermined amount of time. Try to include a pet bed, extra litter, clean blankets, and towels in your pet emergency kit. Like you, your pets will be nervous and frightened. Soothing them any way you can, will make your pets more likely to stay calm and relaxed until conditions improve.
Wondering if you and your pet are disaster prepared? Take the ASPCA Quiz and leave the wondering to the birds.
— Casandra Armour