Veterinarian - San Diego
1540 Morena Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92110

619-275-0888

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By Heather Beeson of Morena Pet Hospital
September 20, 2013
Category: Pet Safety
Tags: Untagged

 

Did you know that September is also National Preparedness Month and according to the American Red Cross only 7% of households in San Diego County are prepared for a disaster (RedCross.org).  Although San Diego is one of the nicest cities to live in, we are no strangers to natural disasters having experienced earthquakes, wildfires, household fires, floods, and tsunami warnings (USA.com). When preparing for a potential disaster or emergency situation, it is important not to forget about your furry, scaled, and feathered companions as you draw up your family’s plan.

At Morena Pet Hospital, we are passionate about helping you keep your pets happy, healthy, and safe.  That is why we have listed some tips on how to prepare a plan for both you and your pets. This preparedness guide also pertains to everyday emergencies, such as car accidents, missed flights, road closures, etc. in which you may not be able to get home to your pets.

  • Prepare before an emergency or disaster hits.  Remember, that emergencies come in many forms and it is best to take a few extra minutes NOW rather than LATER to make a plan of action and assemble an emergency kit for you and your pets.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with identification that has up-to-date registration and contact information.  You may also wish to consider micro-chipping your pet. This unique form of identification is an easy, yet permanent way to bring your pet home quickly should he/she become lost.
  • It is also beneficial to have your pet’s health records handy (best to store in a waterproof container) and include some current photos/descriptions of your pets in case you become separated.
  • Always keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier, especially when traveling (an unrestrained pet not only endangers itself, but everyone in the vehicle as well).
  • Put together a pet disaster kit.

A basic disaster kit should include food and water for at least five days for each pet, bowls, and a can opener if necessary.  Any dry food should be kept in an airtight container and refreshed typically every few months. Keep an extra gallon of water on hand if your pet has been exposed to chemicals, injured, or needs to be washed off and remember to never let your pet drink from other natural "doggie bowls," such as puddles, ponds, storm, or and bay water, as these may be contaminated with parasites and/or bacteria leading to upset stomachs and causing further dehydration.

For cats, remember to include a litter box, litter, and scooper; for dogs, don’t forget to pack some extra bags to collect your pet’s waste. Try to pack a pet bed and favorite toys if easily transportable to help calm your pets and reduce stress.  A pet first-aid kit should be assembled including any medications, information on feeding schedules, and details of any medical or behavioral issues.  Finally, include your veterinarian’s and local animal emergency hospital’s contact information.

  • Plan your evacuation route and arrange with a close neighbor or friend/family member to help you out with the pets if a temporary caregiver is needed.  In the event that you are not at home, the ASPCA has designed rescue alert stickers that let people know that pets are inside your home.  To obtain these free stickers, simply fill out the following order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery: https://www.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack.
  • Do not assume that you can bring your pet with you.  Find a pet-friendly safe place to stay ahead of time.  Consider contacting officials from your local office of emergency management to see if you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets or jot down a list of local hotels that accept pets (be sure to include their location and contact information).

 

Remember, spending a short amount of time preparing for the above situations now will greatly benefit you and your pets and ease your worries should a disaster come your way in the future.


References:

Pet Care: Disaster Preparedness. ASPCA. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness. 2013.

Make a Disaster Plan for Your Pets. The Humane Society of the United States. http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/pets-disaster.html. 2013.

Emergency & Disaster Preparedness For Your Pets. The Preventative Vet.com. http://www.thepreventivevet.com/. 2011-12.

Pets: Emergency Preparedness. American Red Cross. http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/pets. 2013

San Diego, CA Natural Disasters and Weather Extremes. USA.com. http://www.usa.com/san-diego-ca-natural-disasters-extremes.htm. 2013.

 

 

 

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