June is National Pet Preparedness Month, the perfect time to make preparation that may be life-saving for your pet in the event of an emergency or disaster. The best way to protect your fur family against flooding, tornadoes, wildfire, and hurricanes is to plan ahead. The American Humane Association offers this list of essential items to pack for your pet in the event of an emergency:
- Your preparedness kit should contain a 3 – 10-day supply of your pet’s regular food in addition to plenty of water and pet dishes.
- Store your pets medications, your pet’s current immunization records and a First Aid Kit together for quick access during a crisis.
- A photo of your pet and a snapshot of yourself can enhance efforts to reunite you with your pets if they become separated from your family.
- A leash and collar are essential to keep your dog by your side, and a pet carrier can act as a safe sanctuary for your pet as you travel to safety. It’s a good idea to train your dog or cat to be loaded into a carrier quickly, and pets should be allowed to get comfortable with crates prior to an emergency.
- Keep a stock of sanitary supplies, such as poop bags and baby wipes handy with your preparedness gear.
- Make a list of family/friends who live away from the affected area, veterinarians you can contact in an emergency, the American Red Cross, the American Humane Society, and hotels that accept pets. (Note: If your dog is not a small breed, you will want to check with hotels in advance to ensure that they do not have size restrictions.)
- Although they are not be must-haves, your pet’s favorite toys will give him or her a sense of security in the days following a crisis.
Keeping a pack that contains the things your pet will need in a crisis can be especially useful if you have to put your pet in the care of a stranger or relative. Put the above items along with your contact information and your veterinarian’s information in that pack so that whoever is caring for your pet can get in touch with you easily. This simple step can make saving your pet easier when there is a lot going on.
Planning ahead can be the difference between life and death in a disaster. Celebrate Pet Preparedness Month by taking a few moments to make a plan to save your pet!