Be Prepared for the Worst and Save Your Pet’s Life With These Tips
Summertime is one of the most enjoyable times of the year to spend time with your pet. Swimming in lakes, going on scenic hikes, and taking long walks are all fun activities that you can do in the summer with your pet by your side. Unfortunately, summer is also a season where weather conditions can be unpredictable.
Hurricanes, thunderstorms, and extreme heat all pose a threat to your pet in the summertime. While we don’t recommend that you spend your whole summer worrying about all of the things that can go wrong in the season, it’s useful to know what to do and how to care for your pet in emergency situations.
June is National Pet Preparedness month, which means that now is a great time to create an pet emergency plan. A little preparation can save a life if disaster were to ever strike.
1) Proper Registration and Identification
One of the best ways to ensure your pet’s safety during an emergency is to have proper identification for your pet. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, make an appointment with your vet to get one put in place. This way, a veterinarian will be able to scan the chip and access information like your name and address if you ever become separated from your pet.
Be sure that any identification tags that your pet wears on her collar are current and legible. If your pet requires regular medication or other special care, you may want to include this information on his tag.
2) Build an Emergency Kit
Have an emergency kit assembled and ready for if things go wrong. You should have at least six days of food and bottled water stored for your pet. It’s also a good idea to have extra medication and copies of veterinary records.
A first aid kit is another useful item to have ready for both you and your pet. Extra treats, toys, and any comfort items are good to have—especially if you think you may need to evacuate and bring your pet to an unfamiliar location.
3) Arrange a Safe Haven
Have a list of pet friendly hotels ready. If for some reason you won’t be able to bring your pet with you when you evacuate, make sure you have a plan for where to bring your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about boarding kennels, and other pet friendly facilities.
Talk to extended family members or friends that would be willing to take in your pet for a few days. Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet behind at home. Dangerous conditions for humans are also dangerous for pets. For larger pets like horses, talk to stable owners nearby, and arrange to bring your horse to higher ground in case of flooding.
4) Stay Together
Extreme weather conditions and storms can be scary and disorienting for your pet, especially if you have to evacuate your home and stay overnight in a new location. Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier at all times to avoid accidentally letting them run away.
Flooding and strong winds can cause buildup of dangerous debris that your pet could accidentally be injured by. Likewise, storms can stir up the habitats and interrupt the behavior of other creatures that may carry rabies or other diseases.
5) Have a Pet Carrier Ready
If your pet is large, like a horse, make sure they are used to being transported by trailer. Keep your trailer clean and properly rigged in case of evacuation. For smaller animals like birds, cats, and dogs, you’ll also want to have carriers ready to go in case of emergency.
Ideally, your pet carrying case should be able to fit in your car so that you can bring it with you in case of evacuation. You may want to consider having a pet carrier or crate in your car so that you can be prepared at all times.
6) Get the Whole Family in on the Plan
Make sure everyone in the family is on the same page about what to do in case of emergency. If evacuation is necessary, who’s in charge of gathering the pet’s carrier and emergency kit? When disaster hits, things can move quickly, so make sure everyone is on the same page.
If you plan on bringing your pet to a family member near by, be sure that everyone knows all of the details. From transportation to how to care for your pet’s individual needs and possibly even medication, everyone will feel safer and more comfortable with more preparation and planning.
Author: Giano Panzarella