Are you and your pet prepared for an emergency or natural disaster? Having a pet safety plan could make a stressful situation a bit easier…
From epic flooding in the Midwest to flash flooding and an increase in tornado damage in the Northeast, the need to be prepared for an emergency is real. Even if you’re going for a hike, it’s a good idea to be prepared for an unexpected injury, a wrong turn or an abrupt change in weather conditions. Dogs are family, so whether you are camping together or experience an emergency at home, it’s a great idea to have an emergency preparedness kit and plan that includes provisions for your pet!
For Your Pet
The ASPCA offers great information on creating an emergency preparedness plan and kit. Here’s an overview (click on ASPCA Tips for Disaster Preparedness to see the full article):
- Designated Caregiver
Whether you are identifying a temporary or permanent caregiver for your pet, you need to select a pet care facility or person that is equipped to provide for your pet in an emergency. It’s a good idea to have care instructions prepared in advance.
Start by creating a basic pet first aid kit, including an extra harness and leash, and then add essential items for travel and time away from home:
- pet carrier and blanket
- portable food/water dish
- wet/dry food and bottled water for at least a week (watch expiration dates and refresh supplies as needed)
- disposable litter, tray, and garbage bags
- photo of pet(s) and care instructions including contact info for veterinarian
- names of any supplements and prescriptions for any medications your pet takes
- Create an Evacuation Plan & Choose a Safe Haven
Whatever the emergency, you should prepare a detailed plan for safely leaving your home or evacuating an area quickly before the emergency happens. Choose a meeting place—like a designated shelter, personal home or landmark—and a form of communication with family, friends or neighbors including a phone number and social media platform. If pets are not allowed where you must go, call ahead to make arrangements with a pet lodging facility, such as Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center, located in a safe area.
“Be sure your pet is current with a wellness visit and essential vaccinations as part of your pet safety plan. This will ensure your pet, and the pets of others, are protected from highly infectious diseases in the event that staying at a pet facility or in a caregiver home is necessary,” added Dr. Laura Weis, co-owner of Doylestown Veterinary Hospital & Holistic Pet Care and Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center in Doylestown, PA.
Now that you’ve taken care of your pet’s emergency kit, time to focus on what you’ll need! Not sure where to start? Gear Disciple offers good tips for preparing the necessary supplies in the event of any emergency. Consider these items listed to create a complete emergency kit and bug out bag designed to cover you (and your pet) for 3 days!
Finally, practice makes perfect—hold fire and emergency drills to rehearse your action plan. Call your veterinarian to schedule a wellness visit and review your pet’s vaccination schedule. Does your pet have a microchip? If yes, be sure the contact information on the registry site is up-to-date. Have a fun and safe summer.