How to Prepare for Pet Emergencies
Accidents can happen, even to your pet. You need to prepare for a pet accident in much the same way you prepare for a human mishap.The accident may be illness or it may be a natural disaster. In either case, the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” applies to your pet as well.
The first step in preparing for a pet emergency is to have a plan ready all the time. Periodically, review your plan on what to do if your pet suddenly becomes ill or has an accident. Go through the plan step by step and change it if necessary. Having a plan means having all your information ready and updated. This includes your vet’s emergency phone numbers, your pet’s medical records, and everything else that may be needed when an accident occurs. You should discuss your plan with your vet and follow any suggestions he or she may have.
If you’re in a bind and can’t get your pet to a vet immediately, knowing some first aid may be helpful. Read up on and familiarize yourself with first aid procedures for pet ailments such as bite wounds, bleeding and diarrhea, choking and vomiting, heat stroke, seizures and shock, poisoning and fractures. Consult your vet about these first aid procedures and seek his advice. If you have to administer first aid to your pet, always inform your vet as soon as possible.
To prepare your pet for a natural disaster, the ASPCA recommends that you get a Rescue Alert Sticker and stick it on your house where it is visible to rescue workers. The organization provides a free sticker online as part of a Free Pet Safety Pack which includes an Animal Poison Control Center magnet.
Identify a safe haven for your pet in the event of an evacuation. Check out boarding kennels and facilities as well as your local animal shelter for emergency pet care services. Know which hotels or lodges accept pets that you bring with you during an evacuation.
Just as you do for your family members, keep emergency supplies and traveling kits ready and handy. The kit should have food and water, paper towels, soap, disinfectants and clean-up bags good for at least seven days in case you and your pet can’t return home immediately. Other items such as feeding dishes, an extra leash and a blanket for the pet should form part of the kit.
If you live in an area where natural catastrophes regularly occur, identify the safest rooms for pets when a tornado, earthquake or flood occurs. Choose the highest point in your home as a safety haven during floods, or utility rooms, bathrooms and basements for other catastrophes. Move your emergency supplies into the safety zone as soon you are advised of an impending catastrophe. Fill up enough water containers in case of a power outage.
Getting ready for pet emergencies long before an emergency happens is the best way of ensuring that you and your pet get through safe and sound.