Research shows that about half the households in the United States are prepared for human family needs in case of a natural disaster, but not for pet needs. In our family, Dante is definitely our third child and we need to be prepared for his needs as well as our own!
Since June is National Pet Preparedness Month, we had the chance to take part in a Google Hangout with Purina vet, Dr. Kurt Venator, to learn more about how to prepare for natural disasters with your pet and what should be in your emergency kit to keep your furry friend safe.
Some key tips from Dr. Kurt:
- Pets usually know disaster is coming first. Monitor your pet for anxiety and behavior changes (ie loud noises, wind picking up). Make sure the pet has a safe haven in your house, away from windows. Choose somewhere they are already acclimated to, don't wait for disaster to hit. A familiar spot can help lower anxiety.
- Prepare a disaster kit for your pet. Add items like an extra collar with identification, leash, bowls, blanket, bottled water, wet food, 7-14 days of dry food, flashlight, paw protectors, a first aid kit, and documents (current photo, medical records). Swap food every 6 months or according to expiry dates. Update everything once a year with your vet visit to make sure information is current and correct.
- Prepare based on where you live--what are your national disasters? What your pet requires depends on the type of natural disaster. For water based issues, consider life jackets for your pet. Storm waters are not swimming waters. For extreme cold temperatures, ensure weather protection. Paw protectors are good wherever you live--standing water has bacteria, broken glass might be present, keep their paws safe.
- Where should you go? Find out about if your shelter or vet clinic offers disaster plans. Make a list of pet friendly hotels in your area. Check with family and friends to see who might be able to host your pet if the need arises
- In case you do get separated from your pet, make sure he’s wearing collar with correct information. Microchips are also a good idea, but collars are important. Be sure to check shelters, multiple times if necessary. During disasters, the list of found pets changes frequently. Utilize community Facebook pages too. Many pets are found because concerned neighbors shelter them to protect them.
- After a disaster, reestablish routine with your pets--meals, walks, playtimes, etc. Monitor their behavior. Some pets may have mild anxiety afterwards, but be sure there is no aggression present. Consult your vet if you need assistance.
For more information, please visit purina.com and petcentric.com.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Purina. All opinions are my own.