Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are your pets prepared for an emergency?

While we hope no one has to experience a hurricane or tornado, these mighty weather phenomena still occur, and every year pets are separated from their humans. Some families search for their lost ones for years. A lucky few are reunited, but most will never see each other again. 

It's fairly easy to prepare for emergencies like these. Here are some tips on how to make sure everyone's okay if the worst would happen.

Make sure pets are micro-chipped, and that the information is up to date.

It's also a good idea to let each pet carry your name, address, and phone number on the collar, just in case. Pets are resilient and many survive extreme weather. Simple things like microchipping and updating information can ensure that you find each other again.

Also, put a decal on your windows so rescue workers will know there are pets in the house.

Make an emergency kit

Keep a pet emergency kit with your family's emergency kit. Plastic zipper bags are great for protecting items. You will need:

  • Extra collar with ID tags and a sturdy leash
  • At least a two week supply of any medication your pet needs
  • Copies of health records, and a recent photo of your pets together with you - this might be invaluable if you're separated and need to prove your pet is really yours
  • Two week supply of pet food and water, and bowls for each
  • First aid supplies. At the least bandages, tape, tweezers, scissors, and antibacterial ointment.
  • Crate with a favorite toy and bedding - this can help reduce stress of being in a new environment
  • Cleaning supplies, poop bags, and similar

Research a safe place to take your pets

If you evacuate your home, do everything you can to bring your pets. Animals behind are often injured, lost, or killed. If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for them.

Many emergency shelters don't allow pets, and you don't want to reach your safe haven just to discover some family members aren't welcome. Look for pet friendly emergency shelters close to you. It's also a good idea to make a list of friends and relatives that can shelter your family and pets in case you need to leave the area. Make a list of pet boarding facilities in areas where you might go. Keep a list of all these phone numbers and addresses in your pet emergency kit.

If you stay at home during an emergency

Keep your pets with you in a safe room. The pet should be in a carrier or on a leash, so you have control if the situation changes and you have to leave. Remain calm - if you're anxious, your pet will be anxious.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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