Preparing for an emergency can be a challenge. When it comes to managing pet safety during an emergency, the unpredictable can make the preparation process even more difficult.
Regardless of a pet’s size or demeanor, a disaster can take a toll on a pet without proper planning. Keep in mind that all pets are different, particularly when the unexpected occurs. From accommodating their nervousness to tracking their food or medication requirements, understanding the needs of your pets can make a difference in the handling of an emergency.
Consider these tips from PetSmart Charities to help create a preparedness plan for you and your pets.
Pack in Advance
Arranging emergency supplies ahead of time can be a helpful first step when creating a pet preparedness plan. Essentials for packing include bowls for food and water, basic first aid items, lists of vaccinations and medications, and a spare leash and collar. Consider adding the pet’s name and your phone number to the collar to ensure you can be contacted if you become separated from your pet.
Keeping these items close will be essential if you’re able to stay in your home. But if there comes a time to leave your home, bring along a week’s supply of food and water, labeled pet medication and a crate to provide a safe space for pets that may feel nervous or frightened.
“Plastic or wire crates will not only safely contain and transport pets, but they also condition relaxed behavior,” said Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM, senior manager of veterinary outreach at PetSmart Charities. “Using a crate can provide a familiar reference point for pets during times of fear, uncertainty and anxiety.”
Knowing where to turn in the case of a crisis can be tricky when bringing pets along. Try locating an array of safe places that allow pets and keep the list on-hand in the event of an emergency. Locations range from the homes of friends and relatives to hotels and disaster shelters; however, be sure the accommodations are pet-friendly and do not have restrictions on specific animals or breeds.
If those locations won’t suffice, check with your local humane society or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to see if they offer facilities during disasters or can provide recommendations.
When disasters take place, try to maintain as much of a ready-to-go mindset as possible. With items packed in advance and locations in mind, it can be beneficial to have details and items sorted, like a toothbrush and other easily overlooked necessities. Although the needs of your family members, whether they are four-legged or two-legged, are at the forefront of your mind, it can put you at ease knowing your needs are in check.
For more tips to prepare you and your pets for an emergency, visit petsmartcharities.org.