At Muttz with Mannerz™ we are passionate about pups, and we know you as a pet owner are as well. Our pets are an important part of our families, and we need to have a plan for their care in times of emergency.
This past weekend we were hit with an unexpected storm, trees came down, hydro poles impacted and the power went out. We hope you and your pet weathered the storm and all are safe.
The types of emergencies to prepare your pet for include:
- Natural/environmental emergencies– tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes (know your area and what type typically occur).
- Home – fire, flood, power outage.
- Personal (to you or your family) – car accident, serious illness, or anything that keeps you from caring for your pet’s needs directly.
Often people highly underestimate how they’re going to feel in an emergency, and how their pet is going to feel. Having an emergency plan and building an emergency kit can ensure that you are ready no matter what situation arises.
Here are the things we suggest.
1) Make a plan.
If you need to evacuate or find shelter for you and your pet, do you know where you would go? Planning includes keeping a list of pet-friendly hotels/motels or arranging other accommodation with friends or family. This is especially important if you cannot be with your pet. Arranging for friends or family who can take in your pet in an emergency will lower the stress on you and your pet during the emergency.
Fill out our Pet Information Sheet and make it readily available to your friends and family as well as part of your emergency kit so those caring for your pet have all the information they need.
If for some reason your pet is home alone during an emergency or has to be left behind, make sure you have a notice on your home to inform emergency responders about your pet so they can reunite you as soon as possible. Consider also leaving information about the location of your emergency kit. This is also a key area where permanent identification of your pet is important, a collar with visible tags and micro chipping are recommended.
2) Build an emergency kit.
An emergency kit for your dog will ensure they have everything they need to be comfortable in a temporary location whether they are with you or not. This kit includes items such as proof of ownership, a photo of you and your pet(s), and vaccination history. Also include all the things you need to care for your dog – food, water, medications, toys, grooming items, bedding or crate, etc.
Here is a link to our checklist for creating an emergency kit >> Pet Emergency Kit
3) Stay informed.
Ensure you have ways such as radio, internet, or cell phone to communicate and keep informed and connected during an emergency. Know the emergency preparedness protocols for the area you live in to know what to expect under different situations, including where your pet would be taken if you were separated.
What can I do to prepare my pet?
During an emergency, your pet is also going to be stressed and by preparing them you can help them to adjust to the situation.
This preparation includes training them to be comfortable having a leash and collar put on, being comfortable in a car, and being socialized to having new people handle them. Crate training is a great way to prepare them as well, as a crate may be used to transport them or provide temporary shelter. In addition, consider taking some to acclimate them to loud emergency alarms and people in uniform. Doing this training and socialization will help them to remain calm when others are taking care of them in your absence.
We hope it never happens, but if it does, you now have some things to think about and be proactive to ensure you’re prepared for an upcoming emergency.
For more discussion on planning for an emergency check out our latest podcast Emergency Planning for your Pet at https://muttzwithmannerz.com/podcast/episode-12