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In the event of an emergency are you pet-prepared? If suddenly tonight a natural disaster hit that had you finding shelter for your family, would you know what to do with your pets? In a recent survey of over 5,000 pet owners, 46% are not prepared. I was given some data from Pet360, Inc that I felt was important to share with my readers. I spent several years as a Veterinary Assistant and in one vet clinic I worked at in Oregon, we had bad forest fire nearby and at one point our clinic was at capacity sheltering animals. There were so many families running to local vets confused and panicked on what the plan was for pets. We could only hold so many. The plan is the owners responsibility especially if that disaster were to happen after hours of a clinic.
What does being pet-prepared for an emergency mean?
Essentially, being pet-prepared in an emergency means having a plan. That plan should consist of access to crates, list of family/friends who approved helping out who live nearby, easy access and always enough pet medications on hand. Having plenty of food and portable water on hand. Vaccine/ownership records on hand. Leashes/harnesses to keep them confined as well as waste bags. Just as they teach for family safety, you should have enough supplies, food and liquid accessible to last a minimum of 3 days if stranded.
Is your pet ID’d. A microchip is the best investment you can make for your pet. If you have no family or friends that can help you, do you know what hotels in your area are pet-friendly? Having a list you keep with emergency supplies can save you that headache in the middle of an evacuation.
The 4 P’s of Pet Preparedness
Brought to you by Pet360 and Red Paw Emergency Relief Team
- Plan Ahead: There are many shelters that do not accept pets. Asking family and friends ahead of time to be accessible or to have a list of pet-friendly hotels will save you stress
- Practice with your pets: Pets and stress bring out odd behaviors. Like children, if you practice at quiet moments, it will be more familiar to them if a disaster struck. Make sure your dog is practiced entering and exiting a vehicle and has a ‘come; command. Make sure you put your cat in and out of a carrier and know their ‘come’ calls (opening canned food, calling their name, etc..)
- Pack and Emergency Kit: For a great checklist, I recommend Pet360’s top 10 pet emergency kit items
- Protect your Pets when they are home alone: Display a pet alert sticker near an open front area of your home showing types and number of pets, note if they are indoor only animals or both and list your Veterinarians number on that sticker.
Having a plan and doing some research now will allow you to get the pets taken care of so you can focus on larger issues when a disaster strikes.
For more useful information, visit the below sites