Most pet owners spring into action to prevent, recognize, and treat a pet emergency, but what’s the right approach when it comes to disaster preparation? There are similarities, of course, but to truly tackle emergency preparedness for pets, you have to widen the scope quite a bit. Between hurricanes, floods, fires, and more, pets can quickly become separated from their owners, and suffer from injury or illness.
If You Gotta Go
Evacuation is one of the most common results of a natural or man-made disaster. The rule of thumb for owners of all types of pets is that, in the case of evacuation, pets must go, too. In other words, if it’s unsafe enough for people, it’s certainly no place for animals.
A major part of your emergency preparedness for your pet must include a list of alternative places to safely stay in the case of evacuation. Have an evacuation route all mapped out, and mark places along the way that you know are pet-friendly. Hotels, motels, friends, and family members are all excellent, safe choices, but if there’s a lack of availability, you may not be able to keep all your pets together.
Depending on the type of emergency, there could be temporary Red Cross shelters positioned around the area. Designed to help people, these shelters cannot accept pets except for service animals. Check with us about pet boarding.
Tips and Tricks
In the spirit of preparation, cover your emergency bases in these ways:
- Train your pet to leave the house. This will help them move quickly when it really counts.
- Have your pet microchipped and always update your contact information if it changes.
- Ensure that their vaccinations are all up to date.
- Print up your pet’s medical records just in case.
- Have a picture of your pet printed and placed on their travel kennel or crate.
- Keep a backup collar, ID tags, and leash in your car.
- Store a few days worth of food, water, waste disposal bags, toys, and bedding.
- Keep some first aid items on hand.
- Affix a sticker to the door or window near the entrance to alarm rescue workers that a pet lives there (be sure to remove them or write “evacuated” across them before you leave).
- Before moving back into your home, be sure to carefully inspect your property for any potential hazards to your pet’s health and wellness.
Emergency Preparedness Pets
No matter the type of destruction your home or block experienced, it’s an uphill battle to get back into the normal swing of things. You may notice subtle to major shifts in your pet’s behavior. Aggressiveness, resource guarding, or anxiety are typical results of trauma or stress. Please let us know if we can help you address certain behavioral problems.
Also, if we can answer further questions about emergency preparedness pets, we encourage you to reach out to us at Godspeed Animal Care.