Here in Florida, we’ve just moved into hurricane season. This year is predicted to be a very active one due to global weather patterns – oh my! Of course, hurricanes aren’t the only emergencies that require forethought. Flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes – it seems no region is immune to an unexpected disaster. As responsible pet parents, we need to consider a pet emergency plan well ahead of the threatening event.
We understand emergency preparedness isn’t the most enjoyable topic. Sadly, it’s amazing how many people don’t think about what might be needed in case of an emergency until the last minute. One particularly overlooked aspect of planning is how we will care for our pets. If you’re reading this blog, we know you love your pets as much as we do ours.
Here is a short “getting-started” list to encourage you to define your pet disaster plan.
What to do today, before the storm:
1. Be sure your pet’s tags are current. Make sure you have your phone number on them. A microchip is also recommended in cases where a dog is rescued by and agency.
2. Take a picture of your pet for identification. Create a folder with recent records along with any pertinent medication information. Be sure to add that to your easy-to grab pet disaster kit. It’s best to create a separate kit for each animal.
3. Add your pet’s food and any other necessary daily products to your pet disaster kit, along with a spare leash. Packing a collapsible water/food bowl isn’t a bad idea. If your pet eats wet food, pack that for an emergency, rather than dry. Wet food cuts down on how much water your pet will need.
4.. Purchase Calm from Vital Planet and add it to the disaster kit too. This product can be a savior in cases of unusual stress and anxiety on your pet.
5. Identify boarding options in your pet emergency plan. Examples could be:
- pet hospital
- pet-friendly hotel
- local shelter
6. Determine ahead of time who will transport your pet in case of a family evacuation.
The storm is coming! What to do:
1. Make sure your pets are inside with you to prevent them from running away. Don’t leave your pets behind in your house!
2. If possible, separate your animals, especially cats and dogs. Normally gentle and friendly pets can spook in unusual weather conditions. Be sure to dose the product Calm before the storm hits. Initially, dose according to instructions on the product. If your pet continues to show signs of anxiety, additional doses can safely be administered every 10 minutes or so until you notice a more relaxed behavior. Calm is non-toxic and you can’t overdose your dog.
3. Try to stay calm yourself. Our animals pick up on our worry, which can lead to upset and anxiety on their part.
4. It’s not a bad idea to place dogs, cats, and other pets in crates or cages. Not only does this offer them a feeling of security, but it also makes it easier to pick them up and exit in the face of imminent danger. It’s best to introduce them ahead of time to their crates so they feel more comfortable and familiar should a crisis arise.
5. If you’re planning to drop your pet off at a shelter in case of evacuation, verify the contact information as soon as possible and also discuss the procedure for picking up your pet after the event has passed.
Different species of animals have specific needs. You can find much more information below where we share some excellent websites that go into much greater detail into disaster planning. Our primary goal for this short blog is to motivate you to start your pet emergency plan today!
Please visit the links below: