Emergency Planning for your Pet's Care
Whether your Pet is traveling with you....
Or waiting patiently for you at home.....
You should also have always have plans to ensure that someone will be able to care for your pets in case of an emergency.
Emergency Preparedness for Pets
Although evacuation is more likely for natural disasters like hurricanes, emergencies can take many forms from minor emergencies like your car breaking down to major natural disasters like hurricanes, fire and floods. Whatever the emergency, and whether your pet is with you or waiting at home, your pet depends on you and it is important that you are ready to provide for them in any type of emergency situation.
When you are in the middle of a crisis, it is not the time to try to come up with a plan for your pets. Now, when there is no crisis, is the best time to put your plan into place.
Pets at Home
Emergency Contacts: If your pet is at home when disaster strikes, and you can’t get to them, have arrangements with at least two different people outside of your immediate family who can go to your home to care for them. Keep those contacts in your cellphone and carry a pet emergency alert card in your wallet.
Window Sticker: For emergencies that occur in your home, such as fire or flood, place a window sticker in the front window that lets rescuers know you have pets inside.
Microchip: Microchipping your pet is a simple and low cost option that could make the difference between getting your pet back or not. It is helpful for rescuers if you add the microchip ID tag to their collar so that they know your pet has a microchip.
Collar and ID Tag: Keep a collar and ID tag with your phone # on your pet at all times. In your preparedness kit, you may want to keep a reflective collar on your pet, especially if they have a dark colored coat.
Photo ID: Keep a photo of you with your pet in your wallet or on your cellphone. It can serve as identification of your pet and your ownership if case your pet is lost.
Records: Keep your pet’s vaccinations current and keep the medical record in a folder or binder that can easily be pulled and taken with you.
Medications: Keep pet medication instructions in a plastic bag in your emergency supply kit. If you need to evacuate, you can simply put the medications in the plastic bag with the instructions and you are ready to go. Keep those instructions updated as they change. This is also handy in case someone needs to care for your pets when you can’t get home.
Crate Train: This is one that people do not think about. Rescuers and emergency service providers usually require pets to be crated at least for short a period of time if they are rescued during a natural disaster. If your pet is not used to being in a crate, they will be distressed, and may make it difficult for rescuers to help them. It will make it easier for your pet and rescuers if they are already used to being in a crate.
Contact Information: Keep contact information on your cell phone for your veterinarian. Make arrangements ahead of time for a place with family or friends where you can stay with your pets. Have contact information for someone who can pick up or care for your pets in an emergency.
Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency supply kit and checklist ready to pack into your car on a moment’s notice. The kit itself can be a duffle bag, an overnight bag or a plastic bin depending upon how many pets and supplies are needed.
Crate Training Your Pet
Why is it important to crate train your pet? Even if you don't have a need now to crate your pet in the home or when you travel, there may come a time when they need to be transported in a crate, and that is not the time to put them into a crate for the first time.
Some people think that putting a pet in a crate is cruel, but a crate can actually be a comfort zone for them, especially if they are used to being in and out of a crate in the home or when you transport them in the car. Dogs naturally tend to like cave-like environments, or burrowing and nesting. The key with a crate is to make sure it is not too small for them and they should not be in the crate for extremely long periods of time.
As you see from the photo above, when animals are rescued by animal welfare workers, they are always placed and transported in crates. You can avoid adding to the trauma of an emergency situation if your pet is already trained to go into a crate.
Click on the button to download instructions on how to crate train your pet: