Here we discuss ten easy steps to keep your pets (dogs, cats) safe during any disaster. If you’re looking for more information on emergency planning and preparation with your pet, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn about Disaster Preparation for Pets.
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Step 1: What To Do Before, During, And After An Emergency
We talk a lot about the significance of pet identification and the importance of preventing and recovering lost pets. It is also essential to consider your pets’ safety as a priority during any disaster or emergency.
National Preparedness Month is organized every September to encourage families to plan for natural disasters and emergencies in the US. Numerous resources are available with information on planning, preparing disaster kit, disaster preparedness, and educating young people about them.
Step 2: What Emergency Should I Plan For?
Many natural disasters and everyday emergencies need to be considered when planning for your pet. Emergencies are more frequent than we think and can happen anytime, anywhere (and without warning). Make sure your family is prepared for a variety of emergencies:
- Violent storm
It is essential to consider that you will protect your family and your pets in these situations. Keeping them away from your plan can endanger your pets and your family.
Step 3: Don’t Forget The Basics (Before The Emergency)
Disasters can happen without warning. It is essential to develop some standard lost pet prevention and recovery strategies:
- Pets should put on collars with proper ID tags at all times.
- Microchip your dog, cat, or beloved pets and make sure they are registered with current contact information.
- In addition to necessary gear in an emergency kit, keep some essential travel gear (such as a leash, pet first aid kit, harness, carriers, etc.) in an accessible location.
Step 4: Pets Disaster Kit
Use a pet disaster kit to get ready for next-level disaster preparation. In addition to food and medicine, you can pre-pack most of the necessary items in advance and keep them in the closet, so they are ready to use when you need them.
Your kit should include:
- Be sure to fasten an ID card to the pet carrier crate for each pet that identifies your name, your pet’s name, and contact information.
- Medication for at least two weeks.
- Water and food for each pet for at least two weeks.
- Strong leash and/or use and extra collars
- Medical records (vaccination, prescription medication, and medical history). Your specialist doctor will be able to provide you with all this information.
- With some modern digital devices, you can store a digital copy of all your pet’s information, including medical records, multiple emergency contacts, rabies and microchip numbers, behavioral data, and more.
For a more detailed list of items included in your kit, see the CDC Pet Disaster Kit checklist.
Step 5: Make A Plan And Act
Advance planning will help you respond more effectively in the event of an emergency/disaster. The CDC recommends doing all three things:
- If you must leave your home, consider options for where your pets can go. When you talk about shelters during an emergency, there are many resources available to you, but not all of them are allowed by animals. Research the following resources in your area and make a list of places you can take your pet during an emergency or disaster.
- Animal Hospital
- Animal shelters
- Boarding facilities
- Disaster evacuation centers
- Friends and relatives
Remember, it doesn’t hurt to look at the resources of neighboring owners, so you have many expanded options.
- Make friends with a trusted neighbor: If you are not at home when a disaster or emergency strikes, your neighbor can inspect your animals and take them out if necessary if he is your friend.
- Include all of this information in your pet disaster kit: Include any contact information for the resources you have identified.
Step 6: Practice With Your Pet (Perform Mock Activity In Free Time)
Planning will help you feel better prepared, but if you want to help reduce the evacuation stress and what might happen at the time of evacuation? Then practice with your pet in an uncertain situation.
- Your pet will be happier in their pet carrier if you make it a comfortable place for them.
- Practice transporting your pet for rides. Put them in their pet carrier as if you are evacuating. If your pets do not enjoy the experience, keep the passages short, you do not want the situation to become painful for your pet. Gradually increase the ride duration until your pet is comfortable traveling in his carrier.
- Find out where your pet wants to hide when frightened or stressed. When you need to evacuate, you do not want to be frustrated and spend more time searching.
Step 7: Last-Minute Resources (During An Emergency)
We hope you’ve done the preparation we’ve outlined above, but if you don’t have a plan, the CDC recommends that you use these resources for immediate information during an emergency:
- Local Government: Contact local animal control or service agencies who can guide you on keeping your pets safe during an emergency.
- Local Shelters of Animals: If you need to evacuate your home, local shelters can advise what to do with your pets.
- Relief organizations: These organizations help animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises.
Shelter during an emergency:
Leaving your pet at home during any disaster increases the probability that he or she will be lost or injured. If you are not going out but taking refuge on the spot, here are some tips for sheltering your pet at home:
- Use a safe room with no (or some) windows
- Close small areas where frightened pets may get trapped (heavy furniture, vents, etc.)
- Remove toxic chemicals and plants
Step 8: Keeping Your Family And Your Pets Healthy
During a natural disaster, precautions must be taken to keep everyone healthy. The wildlife, stagnant water, or unknown animals and overcrowding could transmit harmful diseases.
There are some common catastrophic diseases that pets can transmit to humans:
- Disease transmitted by mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks can be a problem immediately after a disaster. Conditions such as the West Nile virus and Lyme disease are harmful to both humans and animals. To protect your family and pets, you keep your pets away from wildlife and stray animals and use regular preventative treatment for your dog or cat.
- Rabies is spread by biting animals or by contact with their saliva. To protect your family and pets, you must keep your pet in a carrier, avoid interacting with other animals, and report any bite injuries immediately to the medical personnel.
- Leptospirosis is a deadly disease that spreads through contact with infected urine or contaminated water, soil, and food. To protect your family and pets, you should wash your hands with some antibacterial soap after coming in contact with contaminated urine.
Step 9: Returning Home (Preparation Of A Home After An Emergency)
There are many vital things to consider when protecting your pet after an emergency or disaster. After an emergency, the landmarks often change, confusing your pet, and it may get lost. Be sure to keep lovely pets on a leash or carrier and be extra careful about hazards such as flooding and falling power lines.
When you return home, experts recommend that you take the following precautions:
- Pay attention to your pet’s behavior. After natural disasters such as floods, thunderstorms, and hurricanes, a pet’s behavior can change dramatically. Generally, a calm and friendly dog can be irritable.
- Check your home for spilled chemicals, exposed wiring, and sharp objects.
- Contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pet.
- Allow pets to rest and sleep without interruption to help them recover from trauma and stress.
- If there is no animal food for a long time, reintroduce food in small servings.
- Re-establish a normal lifestyle as soon as possible. Interruptions to normal activities can be a significant cause of stress for your pet.
- Give lots of hugs and snuggles. Comforting your pet can reduce stress for both people and pets.
- Consider purchasing pet insurance before an emergency so you can cover emergency vet visits after a disaster.
Step 10: Pet First Aid And Handling Of Injured Pets
If possible, always take your pet to a veterinarian. Unfortunately, sometimes any disaster, you need to act fast.
Here are some tips for dealing with injured pets:
- Don’t assume that a gentle pet will never bite when injured; pain and fear can make animals unexpected or dangerous.
- Approach your pet slowly and calmly.
- Keep your mouth/face away from the pet’s mouth.
- If the animal becomes more stressed, stop immediately.
- Try to see a veterinarian as soon as possible without putting yourself or your family at risk of injury or illness.
How To Recover Your Lost Pets?
There are many resources accessible to help you find your lost pet and what to do if you find a lost pet. There are some practical strategies for creating an intersection alert, tagging your car, and communicating with the community that you are looking for your pet.
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Natural disasters are not good for anyone. Everyone is affected by them, including wildlife and pets. In case of any emergency or disaster, you must want to keep your pet safe and secure. To do that, you must prepare for that in advance so that when disaster hits, you must secure your pet with you.
For that purpose, you have to make a plan and strategy before, during, and after disaster preparation. You must ensure your pet’s tag id/microchip, along with a pet emergency kit and food plus water.