With the recent wild fires in Colorado, the tornadoes in the Midwest and East, and hurricanes due later in the spring and summer, I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog about how to best prepare your pets in case of emergencies.
First and foremost, please DO NOT LEAVE your animals behind. Remember that Red Cross shelters typically do not allow pets so you will need to prepare for where to go that is pet-friendly if you must leave your home. Do research ahead of time; find hotels and lodging that are pet-friendly and make a list of boarding facilities. Simple internet searches can yield many options; compile them into a list that you can keep in a safe place or even on your mobile devices so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute when emergencies do arise.
Don’t be afraid to ask your vet, pet sitter or other pet professional for referrals for these services, either; you can also designate your pet sitter or a friend/family member as a caregiver in times of emergency so talk with them to ensure they can be prepared to take in your furry ones.
Prepare an emergency supply kit for your pets. Here are some items to include in the kit:
- Up to a week’s worth of food and lots of water; dishes for the pets
- Pet first aid guide (you can get these via the Red Cross or the ASPCA Store)
- Crates/carriers or travel bags that are marked with your pet’s information
- Extra leashes, harnesses, collars
- Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Make sure to rotate your medicines in and out of the kit so they don’t expire on you.
- Gauze and gauze tape, Neosporin and styptic pencil/powder in case of cuts, torn nails or other similar injuries
- Recent photos of your pets along with your contact information and anything someone would need to know about your pet in case you get separated (also keep recent photos of your pet on you). *The best photos would be of you and your pet together so you can prove they are yours.
- Paper towels and garbage bags for cleanup
- Toys and familiar items that will lessen their stress
- For the kitty folk: disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans will also work), scoopable litter and scoop
Prepare yourself for evacuation by making sure your kits/materials are in an accessible place so you can quickly evacuate. Have a plan for how to evacuate and monitor news casts when the weather starts looking a bit scary. Being informed will make you more prepared and able to do what you need to do safely and quickly. Bring your pets in when the weather starts turning bad and make sure they have proper identification on.
Microchipping is SO important these days. If you haven’t microchipped your pets, then I highly encourage you to do so! It can mean the difference between life and death, literally. The Humane Society of the South Platte Valley offers very affordable microchipping at just $35! Little price to pay for peace of mind. 🙂
Last but not least, another good tip in case of fires or emergencies that are in your home: you can obtain emergency decals that you can put on doors/windows letting emergency personnel know about your pets inside, so they can be rescued if the need arises. Many of the large pet store chains carry these anymore. Here’s an example of one Petco has available on their website.
Questions? I am happy to help! Feel free to contact me if you have any.
Thank you so much and may you and your pets stay safe!
Owner, Delightful Doggies