Monday, March 8, 2010

In the Eye of the Storm - How to Protect Your Pet During Natural Disasters

Our family pets depend on us for food, shelter & safety, especially in the midst of a storm or natural disaster. Remember if the house is unsafe for you, it's unsafe for your pet as well. Leaving your pet behind during a natural disaster would break any pet lovers heart and should not be an option.

For this reason pet owner preparedness is key, so you and your pet can safely evacuate and flee from the impending storm.
Knowing what to do and making evacuation plans ahead of time is the key to you and your pet's survival. Here are some tips on how to prepare Fido or Felix for any natural disasters and stay united.

Tag Your Pet: Keep a collar with current ID tags on your pet at all times during a natural disaster. If you and your pet is separated because you have to evacuate or pet runs away, the good news is....with the proper pet identification the chances of being reunited dramatically increase. Consider getting your pet micro chipped as well. Microchips provide extra assurance in case the tag falls off. Most shelters and veterinarians have a device for scanning microchips. Id tags & micro-chips will make it easy to reunite you with your long lost furry family member.

2. Emergency Kit: Have the necessary emergency pet supplies on hand. If you will need to evacuate, your pet will need to go with you. Supplies should include: doggy pick-up bags (preferably eco-friendly ones that biodegrade), a good pet carrier, about a one-month supply of water, pet food & treats, pet's regular medications, paper towel for clean up, a sturdy leash, harness, collar, towel for drying off, blankets and favorite toy. For cats, make sure there is extra kitty litter. Make sure to have your pet's medical & vaccinations records within paws. For added protection from flood waters place the records in a waterproof container. Remember that proof of vaccinations are necessary in case your pet needs to be boarded. Keep a photo of your pet in your wallet in case your pet gets lost.

3. Never leave your pet alone during a hurricane or natural disaster. It is a big no no to leave your dog tied in the back yard. It is important to understand that locking your dog in a room with food and water while you evacuate does not equal safety. Leaving your pet unattended can lead to injury, fear, homelessness or worst death. Plan to leave and evacuate early. Waiting till the last minute can make it harder to bring a pet along. Determine where you & your pet will stay in the event of an evacuation by compiling a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels outside of your immediate area. If you are unable to tend to your pet make sure you seek out animal shelters, veterinarians and boarding facilities that will temporarily board pets during an earthquake or other disaster. The Internet is a good place to search these facilities. Also check with friends and relatives who may be able to care for your pet. Staying with family or friends is much less stressful on both you and your pet than a shelter.

4. Prepare a pet first aid kit which should include the basics such as antibiotic ointment, antiseptic, Q-tips, bandages, gauze pads, roll of cloth, thermometer, tweezers, instant cold pack, rags/rubber tubing for a tourniquet and a first aid book. There are also portable pet emergency kits that you can purchase.

Stay Calm: Pets may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented in and after a disaster: keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash/harness is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal. There are some wonderful & effective products that will help during any disaster situation. Animals have the ability to sense earthquakes and storms in advance. During and after any natural disaster your pet may be extremely nervous and sensitive to sounds. You can reassure your pet by speaking and acting calmly which can be a challenging task. If that does not work try Spot Organics Chill Essential Oil , an all natural remedy to an sooth any anxious, nervous or restless dog. Dogs can will often panic, get confused, frightened and experience separation anxiety during stressful situations. This is great to use if your dog is being boarded or left in the care of family & friends.

Home bound. If you are staying at home, make a safe place for your pet during the hurricane or natural disaster. Prepare an area in yourbsafe room for you & your pet complete with emergency supply kit, pet carrier and bedding. For safety your pet should be placed securely in their safe haven, covered, den like carrier or crate. Make sure to secure lock doors, windows, doggy doors, potential exits and known escape routes. Pets can become easily frightened and a pets natural instinct is to be tempted to flee from the storm alone.

7. Keep your pet healthy. It important to keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and make annual vet visits & your pets wellness a priority.

8. Alert friendly neighbor for evacuation assistance. If you are able to get home to evacuate your pet make sure to alert your neighbor for assistance. Give your neighbor or friend a spare key and give them easy access to the pet emergency kit & supplies. To ease your pets anxiety & fears make sure your neighbor is pals with your pet.

9. Plan to leave and evacuate early so you evacuate you and your pet with ease. It is crucial to never leave your pet behind, but often times with chaos comes forgetfulness. In the event that your pet is left behind during an eminent natural disaster, place a sticker or sign on the front door. This will alert rescue teams and help them easily identify that a pet resides inside the home in need of rescue.

10. Train your pet to come on command. It is so important to train your pet to come on first command no matter the situation. During any natural disaster time is of the essence and can mean the difference between life or death. So it is crucial you train your pet to come to you as quickly as possible out of harms way.

Share you & your pets natural disaster survival story by leaving a comment on this blog post below. We would love to hear your story of courage.

Shop for eco-friendly, all natural, organic goodies for your furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !

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