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Emergency Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Jan 9, 2020

Back to Veoci BlogEmergency Safety Tips for Pet Owners

We all love our furry friends, but it can be easy to overlook their safety in times of crisis. Sometimes we aren’t even prepared ourselves, let alone prepared for our pets. Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can follow to ensure your pet’s safety during an emergency.

Be Prepared

You may have read Veoci’s previous blog about building an emergency preparedness kit, but you might be surprised to learn that you can create a preparedness kit for your pet as well.  When a natural disaster strikes, having emergency kits already prepared helps you and your family make a quick exit, or provides you with the necessary supplies to bunker down at home. 

Here are some items, according to Trupanion, that you will want to pack for your pet in their emergency preparedness kit: 

  • Food and water – You want to have enough of your pet’s current food and clean water to last at least a few days 
  • Collar, leash, and ID – Pack extras of all of these items to ensure you are able to leash and identify your animals no matter where you’re headed
  • Medicine – Make sure you have at least a few days worth of any medications your pet is on; it’s a good idea to constantly cycle these medications out of the kit to ensure they aren’t expired in the event of an emergency
  • Important documents – Include copies of your pet’s license, registration, and any important medical documents; pack pictures of your pet in case you get separated 
  • Toys and comfort items – Emergencies can be anxiety inducing for pets as well; make sure you pack some of their favorite things, such as toys, blankets, and treats to help ease the stress of the incident

Preparation is key when it comes to staying safe! Setting these essentials aside in case an emergency arises will help keep your pet safe in times of crisis.

Travelling Safely With Your Pet

Sometimes during a disaster it is no longer safe to stay in your home. The Red Cross reminds us that “If it’s not safe for you to stay in your home during an emergency, it’s not safe for [your pets] either!” Therefore, times of crisis sometimes call for travelling to safety with your pets. 

When you leave your home, make sure you bring your pet’s emergency preparedness kit with you so you have all the necessary items for your animal. Microchip your pet for convenient tracking and make sure your pet always has an ID collar on with your updated contact information.  

You should invest in a travel crate to transport your animal, as well. The crate should be large enough to allow your animal to stand in it as well as turn around comfortably. Line it with an absorbent material in case your pet has an accident. It’s also a good idea to put your name, contact information, and a picture of your pet on the outside of the crate in case of separation (Veoci can make a pet reunification system that you should ask your municipality to implement!). You should also practice evacuation drills with your pet so they’re comfortable within their carriers. 

If you have some warning that a natural disaster is approaching, give your pet time to acclimate to their crate and to the car by taking them on short local drives. This helps minimize anxiety during the actual incident.

As we know, cars can quickly become dangerous in severe weather. Never leave your pet alone in a parked car because heat or cold can be magnified inside the vehicle and lead to disastrous effects. 

If you’re travelling on an airplane, try to book a direct flight to avoid your pet sitting out on the exposed tarmac. You might also want to tape a bag of food outside your pet’s cage so attendants can feed him/her. Another good tip is to freeze a bowl of water to put in the travel crate; your dog will be thirsty by the time it melts. 

As you’re travelling to safety, your destination should be a key point on your mind. However, with an animal in tow, finding a destination is no longer straightforward. Check hotels/motels and shelters in your area to see if they allow pets. Also, it’s important to note that some shelters will be solely for animals or will confine animals to another area of the building. 

Because your pet will likely come in contact with many other animals once you reach your destination, make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date and that their vaccination paperwork is in your emergency preparedness kit in case the shelter requests it. 

Just in Case – Pet First Aid Tips 

Although we don’t want to think about a situation in which we would have to administer first aid to our pets, it’s important to be prepared in case of emergency. Trupanion identifies essential items to include in your pet’s first aid kit, many of which would also come in handy for human first aid. This first aid kit is an excellent item to add to your pet emergency preparedness kit. 

Pet first aid is fairly intuitive and quite similar to the first aid you would administer on humans. Before beginning any form of first aid on your dog, it is important to fashion a muzzle for them out of gauze, as many dogs are prone to biting when they feel pain. 

Other tips include stopping bleeding with firm pressure, fashioning makeshift stretchers to transport your pet in the instance of broken bones, and seeking professional attention as soon as possible. 

You might also have to give your pet the Heimlich if they’re choking or administer CPR in the event that their heart stops. There are three basics to CPR, known as CAB, which were changed from ABC in 2010 by the American Heart Association: 

  • Compressions
  • Airway 
  • Breathing

To perform CPR correctly, start with compressions, as explained in the video, open the airway of your pet, then give them mouth-to-mouth. CPR can be a life-saving mechanism when performed accurately. 

Wagging Tails and Safe Returns

Animals are loyal and they stick by our sides through the best and the worst of times. We should prepare ourselves to protect them in case of emergency or disaster because they are often powerless to protect themselves. With just a few basic tips, you and your furry friends can make it through any incident and come out stronger in the end.

Image: insitedesigns via Pixabay.com

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