You never know when a natural disaster or weather emergency may occur. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of action to keep ourselves and our families safe—and that includes our pets! Read on for some preparedness tips that will keep you and your four-legged friends ready in case of an emergency.
ID Your Pets - Make sure your dog or cat has a tag that includes their name, your name, and your phone number on it. It can also be helpful to include an email and physical address. The more information available to a stranger that has found your lost pet, the better chance they have to reunite you with your companion.
Have a Photo of You and Your Pet - We all love snapping photos of every cute moment our pets have throughout the day, but it’s also important to have a clear identification photo of you with your four-legged friend. Not only is it a way to identify your pet, but it’s also verification that you’re the owner in case your companion ends up in a shelter or neighboring location.
Microchip Your Pet - Having your pets microchipped is an easy way to identify a lost pet, whether it’s during an emergency or if they happen to wander out the front door. Most veterinarians can administer a microchip in a matter of minutes—just be sure to register with a national pet recovery database to ensure you and your companion can have the best chance of being reunited if you find yourselves separated.
HAVE A GO-BAG FOR YOUR PET
In the event of an emergency evacuation, you may not have a lot of time to pack up the things your pet might need, and you could accidentally leave behind something important in the chaos. Prepare essentials ahead of time and place them in an easy-to-grab bag in case you’re forced to leave in a hurry.
Items to include in your pack are:
- Leash, and harness
- Food and water for up to 5 days
- Treats to help keep pets calm or engaged
- A favorite toy or two
- Vaccination records (if possible)
- Any medications your dog or cat may need
- Pet first-aid kit
DURING AN EMERGENCY
The most important step you can take during an emergency is keeping your pet close. Dogs and cats are extremely intuitive and can sense your stress, which may make them more nervous as well. Keeping them on a leash and indoors when possible can help you avoid any anxiety-induced escape attempts. It’s also important to have a list of pet-friendly areas you may be able to go to. Hotels, shelters, or friends and family nearby will give you comfortable options in case you are forced to leave the comfort of home.
WHEN IT’S ALL OVER
Natural disasters and emergencies take their toll on us and our pets. When you return home, remember to take your time with readjustment, as your pet may be experiencing lingering stress. Being caught off guard during a crisis can be disastrous for you and your four-legged friends, but we hope these tips will help keep you prepared to support one another in the event of an emergency.