Responsible Pet Ownership: Preparing For Natural Disasters And Medical Emergencies

Posted on: 29 July 2016


Keeping your pet healthy and safe is your primary concern as a pet owner. Being prepared in the event of any type of emergency is essential for keeping your cat, dog, bird or other family pet safe. Use this guide to prepare for emergencies so you are ready to handle anything your pets, or life, throws at you.

Prepare An Emergency Escape Plan

Natural disasters can strike at any time, from fires and floods to earthquakes. Having an emergency escape plan for your pets is just as critical as having one for your family. Keep a collapsible pet carrier or crate ready in the hall closet near your home's front and rear exits. This will make it easy to secure your pet as you leave the home. For larger animals, keep a leash, harness and muzzle on a hook next to your keys. Make sure that all your pets are accounted for as you and your family exit the home. While you don't have to put the pets in the carriers or on leashes before you leave (especially if there is no time), grabbing these items can keep them from wondering back into the home once you are outside.

Store Emergency Contact Information In Your Phone

Talk to your veterinarian about which 24-hour pet hospital, like Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital, you should contact in the event of a medical emergency. Place the phone number and address in your phone as well as your primary vet's contact information. You may want to save this information in a file on your phone along with your pet's ID tag and microchip information. This will ensure you have all the information you need to take your pet in for emergency care so you can focus on taking care of your pet.

Stock Your Emergency Preparedness Kit For Your Pets

Many homeowners plan for disasters by creating an emergency preparedness kit, which typically includes food, water, blankets and other necessities for the humans of the house. Be sure to include items your pets will need, such as food, dishes for food and water, a warm blanket and any medication your pet takes. This will come in handy in the event of a blizzard or storm that prevents you from leaving your home. You can even purchase pre-packaged emergency kits for pets for your home, which include food bowls, water packets, chew toys and pet waste bags.

Learn Pet First Aid

In the event that you aren't able to get your pet to an emergency pet care facility right away, you may be able to perform first aid to save your pet's life. You can get CPR and first aid training for your pets at a local shelter or at an animal boarding facility. Your veterinarian may also be able to help you find classes for pet first aid. Be sure to post information about pet first aid in your home so your whole family can access it, and consider adding a list of foods your pets can't eat so everyone can avoid a potentially harmful reaction.

Work with your veterinarian to come up with an emergency plan for your pets so they stay healthy and safe, whether you face a medical emergency or a natural disaster.