Tips for Pet Owners: Preparing Fido And Fluffy for Disasters

In Canada, the first week of May is dedicated to Disaster Preparedness Week. This awareness event is targeted towards people, but it is also incredibly relevant to pets. It goes without saying that dealing with a major disaster is something we all hope to avoid. However, taking a few simple precautions can have a significant impact. It’s crucial for pet owners to take certain measures to prepare their furry companions for emergencies. Continue reading to discover valuable advice from a local veterinarian on how to effectively prepare for emergencies as a pet owner.

How Can You Best Prepare Pets For Disasters?

Occasionally, unforeseen catastrophes can occur without any prior indication. In Canada, we often experience blizzards, fires, and floods rather than tornadoes and earthquakes. As a result, we typically receive some advance notice of these natural disasters. Unfortunately, that isn’t a guarantee: disasters can happen unexpectedly. That’s why it’s important to be prepared!

Here are our top tips:

Keep Up With Your Furry Friend’s Preventative Care

We always recommend staying on top of your pet’s wellness and preventative care. This is essential for maintaining your furry friend’s overall health and wellness. It can also become very, very relevant in case of an emergency.

One factor to consider is that during disasters, there tends to be a significant number of animals that are lost and/or have been left unattended and run off. This includes both wild and domesticated animals. Some of them could be harboring diseases or parasites.

Additionally, many shelters and hotels may ask for documentation to ensure that your beloved pet is current on their vaccinations.

Consult your London, ON veterinarian for further details.

Keep Your Pet’s Identification Up To Date

Microchips and identification tags are incredibly important here! Disasters can be incredibly overwhelming and frightening. Even the most affectionate companion can still be influenced by their innate fight-or-flight response, potentially leading them to flee when scared. Make sure that your beloved pet has a microchip and is wearing identification tags. These things create an unspoken bond, linking you and your animal companion.

Although microchips are typically a one-time procedure, it is crucial to ensure the accuracy of your information. Make sure to keep this information up to date whenever you move or update your contact details. Feel free to check your records at the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup here.

It’s worth considering smart tags and GPS tags as well. These new(ish) inventions are truly remarkable!

Organize Necessary Paperwork

Have documentation that verifies your pet’s up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite control. Have this prepared ahead of time to avoid wasting precious moments during an emergency.

We have a couple of suggestions for this. One option is to store physical copies in your glove compartment. (This is also useful if you plan on bringing Fido to a park or going camping with him.) Or, photograph them and store the pictures in your phone’s gallery. You can also send scanned copies to your own email address or store copies on a cloud drive.

It is also important to have copies of your pet’s medical records and any necessary prescriptions.

Create a Pet Emergency Bag

Having a few essentials prepared in advance can be incredibly helpful in the event of an urgent evacuation. We highly recommend that pet owners keep bags readily available for their furry, scaly, or feathered companions. This can also serve as a travel bag for those who enjoy bringing their furry companions on their travels.

Some of the things you’d want to put in the bag are bottled water, food, treats, wipes and towels, a harness, a leash, blankets, toys, and calming products, like sprays or treats. You’d also need to add any medications your pet is currently taking. We’d also suggest including a first-aid Kit for Pets.

These are the fundamentals. The exact items needed may vary, depending on the type of pet you own. For instance, Fluffy will require a litterbox and litter, while Fido will need waste baggies and a tie-out line.  If you have a dog, pack a muzzle as well. Although you may not like it, some places may require them. This is a minor compromise to consider, both for you and your pet. If your furry friend has thin fur and needs some extra warmth during the winter, include a coat. Including a thermal blanket can be quite beneficial. Consult your London, ON veterinarian for personalized guidance.

Make A List Of Shelters

Printing out a comprehensive list of pet-friendly hotels and emergency shelters within a reasonable driving distance can be incredibly helpful. It’s always a good idea to have a map on hand in case you encounter any issues with cell service or GPS.

Get An Emergency Pet Travel Carrier

We always recommend that people travel with pets in crates for safety purposes. Without a doubt, this holds true in the event of an emergency. We would recommend getting a hard-shell carrier, as it provides greater protection than a cloth one.. Including your contact information on the carrier is highly recommended. A luggage tag would be perfect for this.

Consider Buying A Pet First-Aid Kit

Having a pet first-aid kit prepared is also highly recommended. Make sure to keep this in or near your pet’s carrier for easy access.

You can easily find a wide variety of first aid kits designed specifically for different types of pets. Another option is to start with a kit designed for individuals, and then incorporate a few items tailored for pets.

Here are some of the things you should consider including:

  • Round-Edged Scissors
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Pliers
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Flashlight
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Wire Cutters
  • styptic powder
  • Bandages (non-stick)
  • Gauze
  • Pet wipes
  • Cotton Swabs
  • First-Aid Tape
  • Syringes
  • Eye Droppers
  • Eye Wash Solution
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Iodine Towels
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Turkey Baster

No matter how well-stocked your first-aid kit is, it won’t be of much use if you don’t know what to do in an emergency situation. Buy or print a high-quality pet first-aid brochure and store it in your kit. Downloading a pet first-aid app can be quite helpful. The Red Cross has an excellent one. We still suggest having a physical copy in the kit, though, as cell towers may not be operational during a disaster. Put a muzzle in the first aid kit if you don’t have one in your emergency bag. Even the gentlest dog can become aggressive when they are in pain or frightened!

Ensuring the Safety of Your Pets in Case of Fire

House fires are also disasters. If you have children, it’s a good idea to place window stickers on your windows indicating the number of kids in your household. Additionally, you can apply this technique to pets by sharing information about the types of pets you own and their common hiding spots.

Additionally, it is advisable to establish an emergency plan with the members of your household. Factor your furry friend in during those conversations too.

Reach out to Your London, ON Animal Hospital

Do you have any questions about taking care of your beloved pet? Feel free to reach out to our London, ON pet clinic at any time!

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