With the recent natural disasters and acts of terror around the world, are you prepared to respond to an emergency with your pets? If you were asked to evacuate, would you be ready to grab what you need for you and your pets on a moment’s notice? Most of us consider our pets to be family members, but we may not have thought to prepare specifically for our pets before disaster strikes. In any type of emergency, having pet-specific supplies and plans on how you are going to respond are essential to having a positive outcome for you and your pet. First and foremost, having a pet first aid kit is essential in an emergency. It can be purchased or made at home to your liking. Some things you should include are: bandage material (such as gauze), medical tape, antibiotic ointment, a blanket, latex gloves, certain medications, a muzzle, scissors, a thermometer, etc. While this is not an exhaustive list, it will give you a start for your own first aid kit. If your pet has special needs, you can ask Community Animal Hospital veterinarians what medications you should include in your kit. Make sure to check it periodically to replace expired supplies and medicine. Keep your kit in a place that is easy to access and consider keeping a smaller kit in your car.
Because a disaster can strike anytime, it is important for your pet to have current identification at all times. Whether this is a collar with a tag or a microchip, having this may reunite you with your pet if he/she is lost in a disaster or picked up by someone else. Most importantly, make sure your phone numbers and address are current, and carry photos of you and your pet to prove ownership.
Even if you don’t live in an area with potential for natural disasters, understand that other emergencies can occur and may require a quick response. Do you already have a plan for your family? Include your pet in this plan, and be familiar with the area around you so that you know where to go once you hear from emergency personnel. If you are at home during a disaster and need to stay there make sure you have a safe room in the house for family and pets. If you are not at home and cannot get there, be sure to have arrangements with a neighbor or friend to pick up your pet and meet you at a safe location. Prepare an emergency supply kit for your family, and include supplies for your pets. Your kit should be easy to carry and should include essentials such as pet food, water, bedding, medical records, food bowls, leashes, towels, garbage bags, pet identification etc.
Finally, make sure that you are completely prepared for a disaster or emergency with your pet by having important phone numbers, contact information, veterinarian phone numbers, boarding facility information and animal shelter information in an easy-to-find location. Be informed and be ready for anything at anytime. Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate; be prepared and get to safety quickly.
If you want to learn more about first aid, medical emergencies with pets and CPR for pets please join us on October 22. You can find out more information on the Community Animal Hospital website.