Many of us here at Scottsdale Moms Blog are not only moms to human children, but to some pretty cute fur babies, as well.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month and pet parents across the land are encouraged to consider their precious fur babies when putting together their household emergency preparations.
While we are not living in an area of the country that is often afflicted with natural disasters, we should also consider things like power outages, A/C problems, house fire, damage from strong monsoons, floods, accidents on road trips, etc. Obviously, Heaven forbid any of these things would happen, but it’s a smart idea to be prepared and have a plan in place. Here are some ideas to take care of our furry family members.
Identification – One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to have a way to identify them. Whether they get lost when you open the door and they take off running (I speak from experience on this one), or you get separated from them during an evacuation, it’s important to have your pet properly identified. Get them a tag to wear on their collar, or make sure the one they’re wearing is up-to-date. The tag should include the pet’s name and your phone number, at the very least. If you can manage to fit it all on there, include your name and any known medical conditions your pet may have. Because collars can come off easily, please make sure your pet is microchipped. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, do not delay and make an appointment with your vet ASAP to have this done. It doesn’t cost very much to have the rice-sized chip placed in them, and there’s even low-cost mobile vets who can do this for even less than at the full service veterinary clinic. The micro-chip can be scanned at a veterinary office or animal shelter and will contain vital, life-saving information that will help your furry family member to be reunited with you. Remember that if you move or change numbers to also let your microchip company know so that they can update their records! It is also a good idea to have a current photo of you and your pet together tucked away in their emergency kit, as well as in digital form where it could be accessed from any device. It could come in handy if you have to show a shelter employee or emergency worker in order to identify your pet.
Safe Haven – If you have to evacuate your home in an emergency, having a place lined up in advance can take some of the stress out of the situation. Know what hotels will take pets or ask a family member or friend who will take your pet for you until you can be reunited. Here in Arizona, this would apply to a broken A/C unit in the summer months. If it’s too hot for you to stay in the house, it’s also too hot for your pet. Do your research this month and ask those friends and family members if they would be willing to help out by letting your furry family member(s) have a sleep over. Keep a list of pet friendly hotels nearby but also outside of your area in the event of a natural disaster. Since many hotels that allow pets also require a pet deposit, it’s a good idea to stash some money aside to help cover the pet deposit costs as they can make an expensive situation ever more costly.
Stay Together! – Keep your pet on a leash at all times if you are away from home. There could be strange smells and scary noises that might cause your pet to run. Not to mention they can feel your emotions and that makes them feel more nervous and out of sorts. Your otherwise calm and well-mannered dog could totally freak out and take off running. If you have cats, please keep them in a cat carrier and only let them out to use a litter box in a confined space that they can’t escape from. Cats can surprise us with how small of a space they can fit into. If you are summer road tripping and bringing dogs along for the fun, have provisions and supplies packed for them in case you find yourself stranded on the road.
Prepare an Emergency Kit – Think of all the things that your pet needs on a daily basis and pack enough of those supplies in your kit for at least 3 days for each animal. This would include food, fresh water, bowls, medications, a leash (not their everyday leash, but a backup one), their favorite treats, a favorite type of toy (think balls, stuffed animal, chewy, tug-o-war toy, etc.), a blanket, poop bags, kitty litter and a litter box, etc. Don’t forget first aide! If you have cats, call your vet and ask about ways to sedate the cat if traveling by car. If the vet prescribes a sedative, have it filled and keep in the kit. A copy of your pet’s health records and a list of pet friendly hotels, family & friends should go in your kit. If your pet has a crate, practice how to disassemble it and don’t forget to take it with you! You can never be too prepared!
What If You’re Not Home – If an emergency arises and you are at work or away from home, have a plan with a family member, friend, or a trusted neighbor who can help get your pets out safely, along with the emergency kit and crates if needed. Make an agreement where to meet if you cannot make it back to the house. Have an updated sticker visible on a window or door that will inform emergency first responders that there are pets in the home, how many, and their names. Perhaps keep an additional copy of the list of contacts at your place of work, in the car, with a family member, friend, or neighbor, and also a digital copy that can be accessed from any device.
Nobody wants to think about an emergency or a disaster, but having strategies in place for our fur babies just in case will help to keep the mind at ease knowing that we are prepared. Then we can go about our summer and enjoy ourselves knowing that all of our family members are well cared for.
For tips on how to prepare for emergency situations for large animals, such as livestock, visit https://www.ready.gov/animals
For more information, including FEMA brochure, visit ASPCA’s website.
On a related note, all of us at Scottsdale Moms Blog send our love and prayers to those around the county who were affected by recent tornadoes and other extreme weather patterns.