Emergency Planning for your Pets
Bringing a pet into your home is like welcoming a new person to your family. In case of an emergency, our pets will rely on us and we need to be prepared to include them in our emergency plans.
We are fortunate here in Long Beach, CA because we don’t face many of the natural disasters that plague other areas of the country. We do however live under the threat of major earthquakes, coastal flooding, and even household emergencies like fire or flood, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
1. Make sure your pet can be identified.
Your pet should always wear an ID tag and should be microchipped.
If your pet gets separated from you during an emergency proper ID can improve the chances of your pet finding his or her way home.
Tip: Stop right now and look at your cat or dog's i.d. tag; can it still be read, is the number current? If you’ve moved, did you update the microchip registry with your new contact information? Stop into your vet’s office and have them scan your pet. They can tell you what information comes up on the scan.
2. Prepare for the unexpected.
Create an evacuation plan. Your plan should include a safe place that you and your pet can go together to ensure you are not separated.
Make a grab bag. This grab bag should have water, snacks, and food for you and your pets. Sample size dog or cat food from pet stores is a great thing to pack in your bag until you are able to get to a store to get your pet's normal food.
Keep a list of medications, the dose and health conditions they treat in your kit along with at least a three day supply of medications.
Include a flashlight, batteries, can opener and utensils.
Have extra collars, leash and harness in your grab bag to be prepared for your pet
Store emergency supplies in portable containers in case you need to evacuate
Keep a copy of important records you may have on your pets in your emergency supply kit.
Most important have a first aid kit!
Your first aid kit should include gauze, hydrogen peroxide, bandage tape, and small scissors.
Tip: If your pet is cut during an emergency be sure to wrap his cut to prevent them from licking their wounds.
3. Tips for maintaining your kit:
Rotate food and water regularly (about every 2 months) to keep supplies fresh. Tip: Add a reminder on your phone’s calendar to remember to do this.
Keep food, medication and papers in waterproof containers
Store your kit in a cool, dry place.
Tip: Remember that electricity may be out in an emergency so if you need electricity to open your garage door, the garage may not be the best place to store your kit.
4. In case of evacuation
If you are ever in a situation where you may have to evacuate, leave early. Leaving early allows you to find a place that will take you and your pets. If you wait places that allow pets may be full.
Contact hotels and motels when planning for an evacuation to find out if they allow pets. It is important to find out if they have weight restrictions or number restrictions.
During an emergency, if you are moved to a shelter update your pet's microchip information so they can be returned to shelter you may be in.
5. If an emergency happens when you’re away from home:
Always hire a professional pet sitter to care for your pets when you travel. This will ensure that your pets are in the hands of a professional who will already know all the details of your pet’s care and your pet will be with someone they are familiar and comfortable with.
Let your pet sitter know the details about your travels plans so they are aware of where you are traveling and how to reach you.
Leave your pet sitter with emergency contacts so they know who to contact if they are unable to contact you.
Let your vet know who is caring for your pet and that they can authorize any medical treatment needed.
Pet Waggin’ has been serving Long Beach, CA since 2006; we have a long list of positive reviews on Yelp. We have a business license with the City of Long Beach, carry liability insurance, and are bonded. If you would like a list of references, we are happy to provide those as well.
The most important part about using a professional pet sitter is that your pets will be loved and kept on their normal routines in the comfort of their own home and this means less stress for them and you.