Emergency Planning for Your Pet

Emergencies can come in many different forms and circumstances. While it is vital for any home to have an emergency plan for its family members, it’s just as important to make sure your furry friends are protected as well. Planning the best way to care for your pet during an emergency either at home or on vacation will show all of your loved ones just how much you care for them.

Emergencies can come in the form of household fires, floods, earthquakes or power outages. Although power outages can be the least damaging of the group, they can be extremely deadly especially during the winter season. Having an emergency kit prepared for your pets can save precious time when needing to evacuate your home. Include a warm blanket, bowls, canned dog or cat food, bottled water, disposable cat litter for cats and a spare leash for your dog. Don’t forget to include a toy your pet can take comfort with. Remember, just like everyone else in your family, pets will be just as scared to be in a strange place away from their home.

It’s possible that an emergency could strike when you are not home, even if it’s just away for the day at work. Speak with neighbors who would be willing to take in your pet if you are not able to get to them when an emergency strikes. They should have a spare key to your home and be somewhat familiar with your pet so that they will trust them. Also, contact local animal shelters in your area to find out where you could temporarily store your pet in an emergency since many emergency recovery sites do not allow owners to bring their pets with them. Pets should be tagged or wearing collars so that they can find their way back to their owner if they get lost or separated.

Remember to keep your pets in mind when you are away on long trips. If you choose to leave your pet at home, have a neighbor check on them frequently, at least twice a day to make sure they and the house are doing well. In the summertime, remember to leave out plenty of water and have a nice warm place for them to cuddle in the cold months. You should never leave your pet alone for too long a duration, as they need companionship just as much as the other necessities of life. If you take your pet with you on your trip, don’t forget to pack an emergency kit in your trunk, just in case.

Remember, preparation is the key to surviving any emergency situation. Practice evacuation drills at home with your family. Include bringing your pets as part of the drills so that it becomes routine. Safety is always top priority, so don’t risk your life to save your pet. But the more prepared you are in advance, the better you will be able to help all of the members of your family.

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