Believe it or not, June is right around the corner! You may not know that this month is actually Pet Preparedness Month, an opportunity to prepare for the unexpected by staying informed and creating a plan in case disaster strikes. Such events often happen out of nowhere and have an impact on not only our lives, but also those of our pets. While these situations are nearly impossible to predict, here are a few tips to make sure you and your furry family are ready:
- Include your pets in your emergency plans. Typically, what is best for you in an emergency is also what’s best for your pets. Whether you decide to stay or evacuate, plan for your pet’s needs and safety as well. Plan with those nearby to make sure that someone can care for your pets if you aren’t able to.
- Build a separate emergency kit for your pets. Also known as a “go bag”. A go bag includes food, water, medicine that your pet may be prescribed, a first aid kit, a backup leash, collar, and ID tag, a travel carrier that fits your pet comfortably, grooming items, and a few familiar items like toys and bedding that can reduce your pet’s stress.
- Make sure and keep digital records and/or pictures to identify your pet after a disaster in case you become separated. This can include a photo of you and your pet together, showing that you are family and what your furry friend looks like. A copy of adoption papers, medical records, and other documents can also be useful in emergency situations. Having physical and digital copies of these documents is best for adapting to any disaster situation.
- Update your pet’s microchip information. It should include your latest address, phone number, and an emergency contact if you cannot reached. This is done by logging into the online registry where you registered your pet’s microchip, calling the registry, or contacting the microchip manufacturer. Learn how to update the microchip or talk with your veterinarian’s office.
- Create a list of places that accept pets if an emergency happens. Find pet friendly hotels and other facilities if you must evacuate. Helpful websites include Booking.com, PetFriendlyTravel.com, or www.TravelPets.com. Read more about our recommendations when choosing a hotel that accepts pets.
- Stay informed. Pay attention to local and state-wide emergency alerts, especially when you have the possibility of evacuation or sheltering in place. Always bring pets indoors when you notice signs of storms or disasters. Stay attuned to your pet’s physical and emotional needs. Stay calm to help the emergency experience go as smoothly as possible.
Imagining emergency scenarios can be stressful. While the stress is for good reason, remember that you have a community at your back to navigate preparedness with your pet. Bring up questions or concerns at your next veterinarian appointment with your furry friend, or reach out to local emergency management and animal shelter offices to find additional resources. Don’t be afraid to ask your community for help and support. Your pet deserves happiness and safety, and we are here to help.