Sunday, September 4, 2011

September is Disaster Preparedness Month: Is your pet protected?

Did you know that September is  Disaster Preparedness Month?  Most of us may have prepared for our  own needs but does it also include our pet’s needs?  Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your own emergency plans:

1)      Identification:  Your pet should always be wearing an I.D tag or I.D. collar.  Micro-chipping is also essential as shelters and most veterinary clinics are equipped with scanners and collars can break or come off.  Recently a cat showed up in my neighborhood and through her microchip we found her owner who lived over 5 miles away and was searching for her cat for over a month!

2)      Water:  Make sure that you have enough water for each  of your pets.  Most agencies recommend 7 days’ worth of water and allocate a gallon/pet especially if your pet is large.

3)      Food and supplies:  Make sure that you have enough food and other supplies (litter, poop bags, clean up supplies, blankets, bedding) to last 7 days.  If your pet is on medication, make sure that you have enough current medication and that it is easily accessible.  Rotate food and water so that it is always fresh.

4)      Hang Leashes Near the Door:  I keep my leashes hanging near the door so that I can easily find them and secure my dogs quickly in case of an emergency.

5)      Important Documentation and information: just as you should keep copies of your important records, you should also keep copies of your pet’s documents sealed in a Ziploc bag.  Examples include:  veterinarian’s contact information, shot records, dog license information, prescription records, phone numbers and addresses of nearby shelters, boarding facilities and rescues. 

6)      First Aid Kit:  Make sure your first aid kit includes enough items for your pet. A blanket is helpful as well to wrap your pet.  Make sure this kit and your pet’s emergency kit are in easily accessible locations.  Below is a link to purchase the Red Cross’ Pet First Aid kit.  In addition, many agencies offer pet first aid classes (see below).

7)      Crates and carriers: should be easily accessible.  I like collapsible crates that are easily stored and transportable.

8)      Window or Door Sticker:  Posting a sticker on your door indicating the number and types of pets residing in your home will be helpful to rescue workers.  Frees stickers are provided by the ASPCA (see link below) and many pet stores sell these stickers as well.

More Tips and Brochures

Window Stickers and First Aid Kits
            ASPCA Pet Emergency Window Sticker

Pet First Aid Classes:

                American Red Cross Classes
                Petco Online Classes