The kids are in school, the storms have begun to churn. September is here and it is National Disaster Preparedness Month! Are you and your pet prepared for the storms that will roll in and around our region this month? Here are 5 great tips to make sure you have a plan for your pet and their care needs.
-Tags, Chips, and Tracking devices attached.
There are many reasons to have identification on your pet when the storms hit. First and foremost simple identification to mark the pet as belonging to you. This is important no matter if the pet remains by your sided, or you get separated due to a frightened pet escaping, or evacuation to a shelter. Tags should contain contact information for the owners. Rabies tag contain a number, and can help to link the pet back to the owner. Micro chips are a great way to connect lost pets back with their owners, as they are much harder to lose. Tracking devices are becoming popular choice as well. Air tags, or other GPS device that is made for wear by a pet can be a good option for helping to track down lost pets.
– Extra food, meds, and water on hand.
If the power goes out, your pet needs to eat, drink, and still have their medications. Animals can be persnickety about the water they drink. Pets can be even more taste selective than a human toddler, and may not drink water they are not familiar with. Even a change in the bowl you offer the food or water in can put a pet off from drinking. So having familiar water, food, and bowls on hand, in case the availability of it becomes limited is a good call. If you have to evacuate you will want to take these with you, to help offer comfort, and familiarity to the pets.
– Vaccinations, and records.
Keeping a file for your pets health records in a safe, but easy to grab place in the event you need to evacuate or relocate is imperative. You may need to show proof of Vaccinations for shelter entry, hotel stays, boarding, and technically crossing state lines. Included within this file should be up to date pictures of you with your pet. This will be another layer to your proof of ownership. Reduce your stress, purchase a fire box or other file protection item to keep those documents safe.
– Extra supplies, toys, and beds.
One way to help reduce pet stress is to bring along items that offer comfort. Pet beds, toys, and bowls are a given when your transporting pets with food and water. But what about those pets that require a little more? Our “pocket pets”, and other more unique pets we might have. Will you evacuate your fish tanks? If the power goes out, how are you powering those fish tanks, and heat lamps for our other caged critters? Extra supplies can be battery powered items, generators, towels, small animal bedding, leashes and collars to trash bags. All the things you need to care for your pets from the furry, to the scaled, to the feathered.
– Training and your relationship with your pet.
Training is important as it will help lower the pet’s stress if you can easily communicate with your pet, give training commands to keep the pet safe, and the pet is comfortable with handling and interactions with others. The time you spend with your pet can build trust, reduce stress, and provide your pet with enriched lives. This leads to the ability to handle stressful situations, or the recovery from stress easier.
As it is National Disaster Preparedness Month, we want to remind our followers the importance of being ready, and provide a few reminders of how they can better prepare themselves. We at Stable Hands Pet Care are here to help. In Hampton Roads, “Know Your Zone” will connect you with the city’s prepared plan. There you will find information on the evacuation shelter they set up for pets. Are your pets prepared if a storm hits while you are out of town and your pet is home with a pet sitter? Having a to-go bag prepared for your pet is always a good idea, and share its location with your pet sitters. Have your contact information, and your emergency contact’s information up to date. You can also take a pet Disaster Preparedness class, like Lara, owner of Stable Hands Pet Care has done. Being certified to provide Pet First Aid is also a great idea, as is having a pet specific first aid kit on hand. Both of these classes can help you be prepared for most situations.