Happy National Pet Preparedness Month!
Our pets have been there for us in times that we need them the most. They popcorn when we walk into a room because they know it’s treat time, they sit on our shoulder and cheer us on as we study for a big exam, and they snuggle up to us when we need it the most. But when a disaster comes our pets turn to us to keep them safe. So, in honor of National Pet Preparedness Month, we wanted to share some advice on how to be prepared and keep your pet safe in case of a disaster.
What should I be prepared for? It is always good to be prepared for any type of emergency. Depending on where you live it is a good idea to have a plan in place for any type of natural disaster that could happen in your area. This includes: floods, tornados, hurricanes, and fires. But natural disasters are not the only emergency your family could face while owning a pocket pet. Lacerations, bite wounds, and ingesting poison are all things that could happen anytime so being prepared is a good way to keep your pocket pet safe and happy.
Formulating a plan
One of the first things to do is formulate a plan. If there is a possibility that you may be relocated because of a natural disaster knowing where your pocket pet can go is a good way to start a plan. Find out if your pet will be able to go with you or, if you can’t bring them with, knowing who can take care of your pet while you are gone are crucial steps. It is always a good idea to be prepared for the possible worst-case scenario. You never know what could happen so always be prepared for anything.
Finding a safe location If you do need to leave your home, it is a good idea to have a plan in place on what you are going to do with your pocket pet. Never leave your pet behind. There are many people that believe that if you let your pet go or keep it home their natural instincts will take into effect and they will figure out how to survive. This is farthest from the truth. After years of domesticating our pets they do not know how to survive without us. Some shelters like the Red Cross do not allow pets to stay there so doing your research before disaster strikes is essential. Considering a family or friend that can care for your pet while your family finds a new home is always a great way to insure your pocket pet is safe.
Discovering a safe room in your home Depending on where you live there may be some natural disasters that you cannot relocate quick enough. Here in Minnesota we are all too familiar with this scenario with having flooding and tornadoes. Finding a safe room in your home before a disaster strikes is a great way to keep your pocket pets and your family safe. A good room is one that has no windows, is easy to clean, and has access to fresh water. Bathrooms are usually the most common room in the household to be the safe room. When a disaster strikes having a designated person that will bring your pocket pet to the safe room is a good way to make sure they make it there. Always make sure that it is safe to do this. Your family’s safety should always come first. When you have your pet in the safe room filling a sink or bath tub with water is a way to make sure you have fresh water for at least a few days. If you do not think you will have time to fill a sink or bathtub you can always try to store a few gallons of fresh water along with some bedding and food in your safe room. If there is ever a chance of your house getting destroyed in a natural disaster or a fire there are great stickers that you can put on your front door and windows that alerts first responders that you have pets in your household that needs saving!
What to have on hand No matter if a natural disaster or an emergency happens it is always a good idea to have some supplies on hand for your pocket pet. A First Aid Kit for your pet is a good way to get a start on your supplies, they sell them at Petco and Petsmart. Otherwise, you can always make your own that is directed specifically towards your pet. Having supplies for a laceration or bite wound is a good start since these tend to be some of the more common emergencies with pocket pets. First, you should have the numbers for your local veterinarian and emergency clinic along with Pet Poison Hotline in case your pet ingests something they are not supposed to. Then having supplies like: Vetrap, Elastikon, gauze, antibiotic cream, bandage scissors, tweezers, and medical tape are good to have on hand. If your pet does have an emergency you should always call your local vet or emergency clinic and have a veterinarian examine them.
If a natural disaster does strike you should have at least two weeks of supplies on hand. This includes: bedding, food, water, and any meds your pet may be on. Having their medical information and a picture of your pet is always a good idea as well in case you have to relocate or they get lost. If you do need to relocate having a cage to transport your pocket pet in is a great way to keep your pet safe during transport.
Natural disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. Although it may not be something fun to plan for it is always good to have one in place in case something does happen. Your little pocket pets will thank you one day just like how we thank them everyday for being in our lives.