You have probably created an emergency plan for your family in the event of a fire, natural disaster, or other unforeseen occurrence. While many general emergency plans could keep the family pet safe, too, it’s important to be aware of the additional challenges faced by pet owners during an emergency, and to prepare accordingly. Consider the following ideas when coming up with your family’s pet emergency preparedness plan…
Coming Up with a Plan
Emergencies that can affect your pet come in many forms. Perhaps an illness or injury keeps you from returning home for several days, or you must evacuate your home, or your pet has been injured or suffers a health emergency. Regardless of the situation, it’s important to have a solid plan in place to care for and protect your pet.
Because it can be difficult to make quick decisions during a stressful, emergency situation, the first step in pet emergency preparedness is to consider the above scenarios (plus any others that you can think of) and begin to formulate a plan for each. Discuss the plan with your family members and with the person most likely to care for your pet in the event you are unable to.
Building a Pet Emergency Preparedness Kit
Being prepared in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death for a pet. We recommend creating a pet emergency kit that includes the following items:
- A list containing any important information pertaining to your pet, such as medications (plus a printed prescription in case you need to have it filled), our phone number and the numbers of area boarding facilities, and local hotels that accept pets
- Your pet’s medical records, including proof of vaccinations
- A pet first-aid kit (this essential item can be purchased pre-made or put together yourself)
- Extra food and bottled water (rotate every 6 months to ensure freshness)
- Extra collar with up-to-date ID tags and leash
- A recent photograph of you and your pet together
Once your kit is assembled, store it near your pet’s crate or carrier for easy access.
Let’s Stay Together
Do whatever you can to keep your pet with you during a natural disaster or other emergency. A pet left behind is at greater risk for accidents and injury, so if a situation necessitates an evacuation, make sure you evacuate your pet as well. If you have not had your pet microchipped, be sure you do so for further protection. Keep the chip registry information updated any time your contact information changes.
If you have any questions about pet emergency preparedness, please contact your team at Animal Medical & Surgical Center.