As our beloved dogs and cats are a part of our family, it's always best to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster so they do not get left behind. Here are a few tips to prepare for in case disaster strikes:
Upload all of your pet/vet records/identification records to a safe place (in the event that the paper copies get lost or destroyed) either to an email, phone, or hard drive. Also it's best to have a Rescue Alert Sticker that lets first responders know there are pets inside your home that need to be saved.
Since we are in the middle of this year's winter weather, we will start with tips on how to keep your pup safe during blizzards.
- Keep your pet indoors as much as possible and limit outdoor time to bathroom breaks. It's very important that you do not leave your pets outdoors during frigid temperatures. If you are cold, that's a good indication that they are cold as well.
- When they do go outside, make sure you are prepared. Keep them on a leash with their ID tags on them at all times. Use booties or paw pad wax to keep their paws safe during the storm.
- Once you bring them back inside, dry them off and don't forget to clean off their paw pads.
- Make sure to secure products like ice salts and antifreeze to keep your pet safe from them, as they can be toxic to dogs that lick it off their paws.
- If you see something, say something. If you see a pet left outdoors, call it in and save a life.
- Don't forget to stock up on dog food, any dog medications, and water for your pet (in the event power goes out or pipes freeze)
- Designate a hurricane-safe location that will accommodate your entire family, including pets. (Windowless room nearest to the ground is best)
- Prepare a pet emergency kit and keep enough crates to hold each pet in the event of a storm. Panic can give rise to out of the ordinary behaviors in pets and fast confinement will be required.
- If you can evacuate, do not leave your pets behind. Take proper pet identification and emergency kits for your pets as well as family.
- After the storm, don't allow your pet to go near water or other liquids on the ground, debris from the hurricane may have contaminated the area
- Designate a tornado-safe location that will accommodate your entire family, including pets
- Stock your tornado-safe area with pet emergency kits and identification
- Know where your pets hiding spots are so you can grab them and take them to safety as quickly as possible
- Move to the upper floors or in your attic
- Keep pets either on a leash or in a crate so they do not run off in a panic
- Stay indoors until water has receded
- Know where your pets hiding spots are so you can quickly grab them and take them to safety
- Prepare a pet emergency kit and have crate available for evacuation
- Have a "Rescue Alert" sticker somewhere visible at your home so first responders know they are inside and need to be saved
What to include in your pet emergency kit:
- A week's worth of fresh, clean water for your pet
- Stock up on dog food - even if your pet normally eats dry food, having wet food stored is usually best because canned pet food keeps better and your pet will be less thirsty if they get moisture from their meal (don't forget a can opener if they aren't pop top lids)
- Medications - Speak to your vet ahead of time to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines you may not have access to in the event of a disaster
- Proof of Ownership/Photos of your pet in case your family has to evacuate to a shelter and need to board your pet
- Proof of Recent Vaccinations
- An Emergency Help List - Have a list of helpful neighbors and/or emergency boarding facilities handy
- Leashes and Pet Carriers - In severe weather, your pet may panic and try to break loose to find a place to hide which can lead to your pet becoming lost, fatally trapped, or injured.
- ID Tags (make sure they are up to date)
- First Aid Kit with the telephone number of nearest emergency animal clinic (include gauze, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, and an oral dosing syringe for administering hydrogen peroxide)
- Comforts - Pet bed, blankets, towels, favorite toy, or anything you think you'll need to keep your pet calm