June is National Pet Preparedness Month

June 7, 2017

This month, timed for the first month of hurricane season, urges people with pets to make preparations in case they should be hit by a disaster…and that includes making plans for what you would do with your dog in case of a hurricane, tornado, flood or other natural disaster.

Is Your Dog Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

By Jamie Simmerman
Reprinted with permission by Trudog.com · Updated May 31, 2016

June is national pet preparedness month and we’d like to talk about keeping your pet safe and healthy in the event of a natural disaster. What would you do if your home was struck by a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, or tornado?

Residents in Texas found themselves in a nightmare situation when massive flooding struck, driving many from their homes. Many pets became lost or separated from their families during the storms and subsequent flooding, and animal shelters in the area were unable to care for the dogs and cats they already had, let alone take in more. We’ve prepared a few tips to help you keep your beloved pet safe in a natural or manmade disaster.

Pet Preparedness Month Tips

  1. Microchip your pet. Microchipping is by far one of the best things you can do to help your pet should he or she become separated from your family. It costs around $50 and can be done in just a few minutes. Call your veterinarian for an appointment today if your pet is not already microchipped.
  2. Pack a go-bag for your pets. Include essentials like fresh water, food and water bowls, a supply of food, treats, and a few comfort items. You can also include copies of your pets’ immunization records and veterinarian information. Keeping current picture of your pets in the bag can also help you locate them more quickly if you are separated from your pet. Keep this bag packed and easy to access at all times. Include an extra collar, leash, and ID tags- just in case.The ASPCA recommends including the following:

The ASPCA recommends including the following:

  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include, or visit the ASPCA Store to buy one online)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
  • Bottled water, at least 7 days’ worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
  • Recent photos of your pets WITH YOU IN IT (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters) and to prove the pet is yours
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner.
  1. Keep a pet first aid kit handy at all times. If you don’t already have a pet first aid kit, you can purchase one from amazon or your local pet supply store.

Here’s a handy list from the AVMA of what to include if you make your own:

  • Phone numbers and your pet’s medical record (including medications and vaccination history)
  • Veterinarian:
  • Emergency veterinary clinic:
  • Animal Poison Control Center:
  • Know these numbers before you need them. If you do not know the number of the emergency clinic in your area, ask your veterinarian or go to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Web site for a searchable list of emergency clinics by state or visit MyVeterinarian.com, enter the zip code, and check the “emergency” box to get a listing of emergency providers in the area.
  • Gauze For wrapping wounds or muzzling the injured animal
  • Nonstick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth To control bleeding or protect wounds
  • Adhesive tape for bandages*do NOT use human adhesive bandages (eg, Band-Aids®) on pets for securing the gauze wrap or bandage
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Activated charcoal to absorb poison
  • Always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%) To induce vomiting
  • Always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison
  • Digital Thermometer
  • —you will need a “fever” thermometer because the temperature scale of regular thermometers doesn’t go high enough for pets To check your pet’s temperature. Do not insert a thermometer in your pet’s mouth—the temperature must be taken rectally.
  • Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle) To give oral treatments or flush wounds
  • Muzzle (in an emergency a rope, necktie, soft cloth, nylon stocking, small towel may be used) To cover your pet’s head.
  • If your pet is vomiting, do not muzzle it!
  • Leash to transport your pet (if your pet is capable of walking without further injury)
  • Stretcher (in an emergency a door, board, blanket or floor mat may be used) To stabilize the injured animal and prevent further injury during transport
  1. Practice fire drills with your pet and have an evacuation plan in place before a disaster strikes.

The ASPCA Recommends:

  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number, and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
  • Consider your evacuation route and call ahead to make arrangements for boarding your pet outside of the danger zone at the first sign of disaster.
  1. Trade contact information and house keys with a close neighbor or friend so you can have someone else pick up your dog if a disaster strikes while you’re at work or away from home. Choose someone who is familiar with your pets and someone your dog trusts.
  2. Pet rescue alert stickers on your windows so emergency responders know there are pets in the home.
  3. Have a prepared list of emergency boarding places for your pets. Your veterinarian can assist in finding local kennels and shelter that take pets in an emergency. (We recommend Quinebaug Kennels!)

Disasters can strike at any time. Being prepared can help save a life.
Take the time today to prepare your pets for an unforeseen disaster.

The ASPCA has a special app for pet parents designed specifically for disaster preparedness. You can get more information about their app here>>