While you and your four-legged best friend are busy enjoying sunny days at the dog park, cooking out on the grill, or splashing around in their favorite lake, it can be easy to forget that, while summer weather can be gorgeous. it can also be a time for flooding, tornados, and wildfires. Luckily for us pet parents, June is National Pet Preparedness Month, giving us all a helpful reminder of what to do in case of an emergency or natural disaster. It only takes a short time to create an emergency plan for yourself and your pets and it can prove to be life saving. The following are some basic tips that will help ensure you and your pets are prepared in the face of an emergency:
A simple way to ensure that your pet is prepared is to make sure they’re able to be properly identified. Through a microchip, a vet or animal shelter can scan a small device and ensure that your pet’s information is there. With that information, they can find your address an phone numbers.
Make sure identification tags are current and easy to read. Another helpful tip is to include information such as whether they need medication, or if they do not like other animals, on their tag to help emergency personnel know what type of care they need while they work on reconnecting you.
It is also a good idea to have an up-to-date photo of you and your pet stored in your emergency kit. It can come in handy when identifying your pet, but also can be a calming agent when you’re overwhelmed!
2. Know where to go!
If you live in Charleston like us, you know that we’re a city surrounded by water and are prone to flooding in various places. In the event of a natural disaster, you should have a place outside of your home to stay safe in.
Whether you bring them to a friend or family member’s home, or to one of many pet friendly hotels, it is a good idea to have a list of options and contact numbers for where you might go.
And remember – if you need to leave your home because the electricity is out and it too hot or too cold for you to stay, it is the same for your pets, don’t leave them behind!
3. Stay together!
Natural disasters can be frightening for us and even more chaotic for our pets. When transporting them, and for a few days after a disaster, it is important to have them on leash at all times while you are outside. Often times your area may have different smells that may lure pets away, or dangerous debris that they can get into. If your home has been damaged, remember to keep cats in a carrier or confined to an undamaged area of your home, they can surprise you with how small of an area they can squeeze through.
4. Make a kit!
Having a premade kit is one of the most essential items to have in the case of an emergency.
In your kit you should include these items for your pet:
a few days worth of food
bottles of water
copies of veterinary records
cat litter and pan
sturdy leashes and collars
first aid kit (comes in handy for people too!)
list of pet friendly hotels
if they have a favorite type of treat or toy it never hurts to have an extra packed away for emergencies!
There are many other items that are good to have; create your kit for your pet’s individual need and remember you can never be too prepared!
5. Know who to contact!
If a disaster hits while you are at work or away from your home, it is a great idea to discuss a plan of action in advance with a neighbor or nearby friend or family member.
Agreeing that if one of you cannot make it back home that the other will bring your pets and their emergency kit will make the situation much less hectic.
. Keep your veterinary clinic, pet friendly hotels, and the Pet Poison Helpline numbers handy so you are prepared for any situation you may encounter.
No one likes to think a natural disaster will happen in their area but having these strategies in place will help ensure that you and your pets are prepared and able to enjoy all the wonderful activities that summer offers us!
For more information, read on Fluent Woof to see their take on proper first aid protocols for your dogs and how to be prepared for an emergency with your pet.