Before disaster strikes, our pets should also be a part of our emergency evacuation plans. As chartered members of our family, they deserve to be treated well too. As responsible pet owners, you should know how to care for your pet during an emergency.

Don’t know how to? This article will help you on how to take care of your pet during emergency situations.

But, first, we need to know what happens to a pet during an emergency situation.

Your pets are your responsibility. If there’s a need to evacuate, take them with you. Leaving them behind could endanger both your pet and the rescuers as pets during disasters could get traumatized. This trauma could make them either be aggressive or withdrawn. Both results may cause more problems.

So how do you take care of your pets during an emergency situation? Here are some helpful tips that might help.

Put a Rescue Alert Sticker

Rescue stickers are easy to use. These are indicators that pets are inside your home. Put them where it’s visible to rescuers, so they’ll know that there are pets inside your home. The sticker includes the types and number of pets you have in your home. It also includes the name and contact number of your veterinarian.

Arrange a Safe Place for your Pets to Stay

During the event of an evacuation, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If it isn’t safe for you and it isn’t safe for your pets either. Your pets may trap themselves or escape the house and get exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards.

When you plan for an evacuation, make sure that the shelter you’re going to accepts pets. If you’re not too sure, then you may do the following:

  • Contact the local veterinarian for a list of boarding kennels and facilities where your pets can stay during emergencies.
  • You can ask the local animal shelter if they have an emergency shelter or foster care for pets during disasters.
  • Know which hotels or motels outside of your next area that accepts pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside of your nearest area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Prepare an Emergency Kit for your Pets

When you prepare a kit for your pets, you also need to think of the worst-case scenario. Here are the items you need to put in an emergency kit for your pets:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book. You can also ask your vet what to include.
  • 3-7 days worth of canned or dry food. Just be sure to rotate every two months.
  • Disposable litter trays. You may use aluminum roasting pans as an alternative.
  • Litter or paper towels.
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant.
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up.
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls.
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an additional leash.
  • Hard and soft copies of medical records and waterproof containers with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet may require.
  • Minimum of seven days worth of bottled water for each of your pet.
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet.
  • Flashlight.
  • Blanket.
  • Recent photos of your pets if ever they get separated, and you may need to make ‘Lost’ posters.
  • For cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoopable litter.
  • For dogs: Extra leashes, toys, and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liners.

Make Sure all of Your Pets Wear Collars and Tags with Up-to-date Identification and Information.

Your pet’s tag should either contain your name, your telephone number, and any urgent medical needs if he’s found. Be sure to also write the name of your pet, your name (as the owner) and contact information of your pet’s carrier.

During a Disaster, if Possible do these Things Immediately:

At the first sign of a disaster, bring pets indoors. Your pets may become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.

Separate your dogs from your cats. The anxiety and stress of an emergency situation can cause your pets to act irrationally even if they get along normally. Separating them is safe.

If you have to Leave Town after a Disaster, Take your Pets with you.

After a disaster has struck, everything changes. So the familiar scents and landmarks may change and may cause some confusion for your pet. So keep them at arm’s length and if you have to tie them on a leash, make sure that they are nearby.

There might be changes in your pet’s behavior after a disaster. Your quiet and friendly pets may become hostile or defensive. Watch your animals closely. Leash your dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

So those were the tips on how to take care of your pet during an emergency and how to prepare an emergency kit for your pets before disaster strikes. Remember, your pets are family and don’t leave them behind.

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