Saturday, April 21, 2012

Making Emergency Preparations For Your Pet

Many times the pets in our lives become more than just animals – they become family!
Pets depend on us for their safety and well-being. The best way to protect them is to have a plan for their safety during an emergency. Here are some things you can do to create a plan to protect your pet in an emergency.

Prepare beforehand
Evacuation plans - Plan to take your pet with you in an evacuation. Know which hotels and motels along your evacuation route allow for pets. If you think an evacuation might be coming, call ahead to make reservations. Ask if no-pet policies can be overlooked during an evacuation.

Red Cross - Note that the Red Cross cannot accept pets. They only allow service animals that assist people to be in a Red Cross shelter.

Drills - Include your pets in evacuation drills. This will help your family realize what they can do to help your pet but it will also help your pet become accustomed to their carriers.

ID Information - Make sure that your pets are wearing collars with up-to-date information. Also consider including your pet’s vaccination information with your emergency documents. Many times, pet shelters will require proof of current vaccinations in an emergency to reduce the spread of disease.

Microchips - There are many tags that you can place on your pet too. These microchips allow you to track your pet’s location and could come in handy during an emergency.

During an emergency
Get your ducks in a row - Many times, before an emergency, warnings are issued hours beforehand. When a warning is issued, be sure to locate your pet at that time. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Survival kit - Store your pet’s emergency supply in an accessible location. It should include a sturdy transportation carrier, a high-quality leash, food and water, a manual can opener, copies of vaccination information, a first-aid kit, a current photo of your pet in case it gets lost and a small toy.
Many times a pet backpack will do the trick. It’s a great way to have a pet carry its own emergency supplies.

After an emergency
Behavior changes - Be sure to keep an eye on your pet after a disaster. Many times, pet’s behavior can change dramatically after a disaster. Sometimes they can become aggressive or defensive. Be sure to watch them to ensure that they do not hurt others.

Fences - When you’re allowed to return home, be sure to check all the fences and other areas of your home. Fences might have new holes in them that weren’t there before.

Sense of smell - Keep your pet close for the next couple days after an emergency, many times their sense of smell is thrown off after a disaster. This will cause them to become disoriented on where their home is at.
New hazards. Be aware that there might be some hazards that could affect your pet’s nose, paw or hoof. Things like fertilizers, spilled chemicals and other things can affect your pet but not affect you.

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