Many people have stocked up for unforeseen crisis or disaster. While you have dotted all your I’s and crossed the T’s it’s important not to forget about what your furry friend may need during such an unsettling event.
Your pet, regardless if it’s a dog, cat, bird, hamster, etc., is depending on you to provide safe and dry quarters while being fed. As you know, most pets have a routine each day. A break in their routine can produce anxiety leading to unpredictable and undesirable behavior.
Plan now and get your kit together to prevent stress for both of you. Start with a check list of items they will need:
- Crate or cage
- Clean water
- Sanitation bags for fecal matter
- Leash (dogs)
- Tags on their collars identifying them and their owner
- Bowls for food and water
- Any medications your pet takes
Let’s start with the crate. You will need to label the crate with your contact information. You can write it directly on the crate or if you have a wire crate attach a luggage tag with all your information. Be sure to make it waterproof and include their vet information as well.
If your pet uses dry food, place food in a waterproof container. Wet food that comes in cans can be stored easily. Be sure you label your pet food with your animal’s name. Treats can also be very comforting in a time of uncertainty. Having bowls for their food and water will keep most everything contained. It is always good to have too much and then not enough.
Bottled water is a necessity to have on hand for everyone. In the event of a major storm, many times the public water systems are shut down to prevent contamination from being spread.
Keeping a collar on your pet at all times and tags stating their name, your phone number, their medical condition and their current rabies vaccination tag is crucial. If you are placed in an emergency shelter having a leash close by will enable you to have control over your dog. There may also be a situation where you will not be able to take your animal with you and they will have to go to a local shelter temporarily. This makes labeling even that much more important.
Medications are sometimes a lifeline for people and their pets. Ask your veterinarian for an additional bottle of your pets’ medicine to keep in their disaster kit. If you ever have to use the medication from their kit, replace it as soon as possible.
Now is the time to purchase a bag of potty training pads to keep on hand. They are wonderful to have in the event your pet gets car sick or to clean up because they have gotten nervous and had an accident. Newspapers work well also.
Knowing your pets’ reaction to strange people or places helps you to know how to get prepared ahead of time. Does your dog get nippy when stressed or with people he doesn’t know? You should also keep a muzzle in their kit. This protects others and themselves from a potential bad situation.
Another way to help protect your pet is to have them micro-chipped or tattooed. Animal Shelters and FEMA shelters for animals will most likely check animals for identification so they can reunite pets with their owners.Preparing ahead of time by finding where resources are available during a disaster will make it less stressful for you and your fur babies. Don’t wish you had taken action but it’s too late after a situation rears its ugly head.