Disasters and accidents can take place at the least expected moment. The best way to protect your household in times like these is to have an emergency preparedness plan. And if you have furry babies, your plan should include them too.
Below are some important pet emergency preparedness tips that should help keep your pets safe:
Identify the natural disasters common in your area
Is your region prone to flooding? Hurricane? How about wildfire? Knowing the natural disasters common in your area is one of the most important things that you should know before creating an emergency preparedness plan. Take note that each type of disaster may require different measures to keep your pets safe.
Prepare your pet emergency kit
Just as you would pack an emergency kit for your family, you should also do the same for your pets. Items to consider putting in the kit are pet first-aid supplies, canned (pop-top) or dry food that’s enough for 3 days to several weeks, disposable litter trays, extra collar or harness and extra leash, some toys, pet feeding dishes and water bowls, grooming items like pet dryers, shampoo and hairbrush, bottled water, medications, and blanket. Don’t forget to include your pet book as well as recent photos of your pet (in case you get separated).
Learn some first aid treatments
Learn everything you can about emergency preparedness. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are with your pets, they can get hurt during a disaster. Most pet injuries require immediate veterinary care but you can perform basic first aid procedures while waiting for help to arrive. For example, if your pet is suffering from severe bleeding, try elevating her as you apply pressure to the wound until the blood starts clotting (this should take several minutes). If the bleeding is severe on the legs, apply a tourniquet and then bandage the wound. For burns, muzzle your pet and flash burn immediately with a large amount of water. Call your vet immediately when you notice any severe symptom in your pet, such as a shock or trauma.
Microchip your pets
There’s always a possibility of pets getting separated from their owners during a disaster. Ensure that your microchip registration is up to date. In your pet’s collar, include your name and contact numbers so you can be reached easily. When animals become lost during a disaster, they often end up in shelters. Keep a note of all animal shelters in your area and their phone numbers.
Don’t leave your pets behind
If you are advised to evacuate your home, never leave your pets. Remember that if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for them either. Take note, however, that not all shelters accept pets. Ask your veterinarian for boarding kennels and facilities in your area. Prepare a list with phone numbers. You can also ask friends or relatives if they can take care of them until you are able to go home with your pets. If you’re taking your pets to a pet shelter, make sure that their vaccinations are up to date because most shelters require this to avoid the spread of diseases. Purchase a sturdy pet carrier and practice transporting your pets by taking them for rides every now and then so they don’t feel anxious when the need to evacuate homes.
Comfort your pets
Your pets may not understand what’s happening around them. The entire thing can be so stressful for them, especially if you have to evacuate. If you’re putting them in a cage when transporting them, give them their favorite toy and some treats. Some hugging and touching will also make your pets feel comforted.
Identify signs your pet may need emergency care
Natural disasters can be traumatizing for pets as it is for humans. Accidents such as chocking, burn, or poisoning can be life-threatening. And sometimes, unless you are looking after your pet 24/7, your pet may have gone through an emergency and you didn’t know. That is why it pays to identify signs that your pet may need emergency care. Symptoms include excessive bleeding, rapid or difficulty in breathing, loss of consciousness, pale gums, and seizures. Take note as well that pets who are severely hurt and injured may turn aggressively toward their parents so always protect yourself.
The best way to protect your pets during emergencies is to have a disaster plan. Hopefully, these tips will help ensure that you and your pet make it through any disaster.