As the USA, and other parts of the world, are dealing with storms, flooding, and so much more, are you prepared for an emergency?
If you have seconds or minutes to seek shelter in a tornado or minutes to hours to seek higher ground in floods, do you have a plan?
Is your cat amenable to being grabbed and taken into a storm shelter? Can you get your cat into a carrier or on a harness and leash in under 60 seconds?
Is your dog acclimated to being in large groups? Is your dog reactive to the sight, smell, or sound of other dogs?
Do you have copies of your animal’s vaccine and medical history?
Being prepared is not just knowing where to meet in case of a fire or natural disaster.
What do you need to be prepared for your pets?
- Have copies of documents:
- vaccination history, including current rabies certificate
- medical and surgical history
- microchip number (make sure your information is up to date and have an out of the area contact number as well)
- veterinarian’s name, address, and phone number
- municipality or state license or other identification
- if your pet is a service animal, have your documentation for that as well
- Extra food and water in portable containers. Don’t forget the bowls, too!
- Heartworm and flea/tick prevention
- Prescription medication
- Over the counter medications that your veterinarian has recommended (such as for allergic reactions)
- Don’t forget toothbrush and pet toothpaste (You are brushing your pet’s teeth every day, right?)
- Easily accessible leashes, carriers/crates, collars or harnesses
- A plan for a location to go to that accepts pets, and know to locations of veterinarians near-by
What can you do to prepare your pets?
- Take the time to train your cat to wear a harness and leash and to load into a carrier, may mean the difference between life and death or having to leave your fuzzy friend behind.
- Train your dog to wear a basket muzzle. Some emergency shelters will not allow dogs without a muzzle due to the risk of injury to people and other animals. A basket muzzle, allows the dog to eat, drink, pant, and prevents the dog from biting or eating things that are not meant to be eaten. This is most important for dogs that are reactive to the sight, sound, or smell of other dogs. Remember that even the most mild-mannered dog may snap and bite when in a stressful and chaotic situation.
- Acclimate your pets to car rides, or be prepared for vocalization, vomiting, and general dislike of the trip for everyone.
- You may even want to consider getting a life vest flotation device for your dog, and get him or her used to wearing it, especially for short nosed breeds such as pugs, French bulldogs, bulldogs, boxers, etc.
These are just a few ways to help protect yourself and your furry family members in the case of an emergency. Do you have any tips or recommendations to share? A story about an emergency evacuation or natural disaster and how it effected your family?