Are You and Your Pet Prepared for Emergencies?
Watching the news and seeing the recent devastation hurricanes have caused, we are reminded that disasters can strike at any time. In Ontario, natural disasters such as tornados, flooding, extreme heat, severe storms, and earthquakes can occur, as well as power outages, pandemics and more. Having an emergency preparedness plan ready for both you and pets can save lives. If you leave your pets at home, they may be lost or injured. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets, so don’t leave them behind!
Get Your Pet Ready
It is essential to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations. Your pet may face unsanitary conditions in the aftermath of a disaster, such as flood waters or a crowded shelter. Diseases can flourish such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and upper respiratory disease. Most boarding kennels and animal shelters will require proof that all vaccinations are current. Have extra veterinary approved flea, tick and heartworm prevention on hand, such as Bravecto and Interceptor. Make sure your pet is microchipped keep your contact information current. Include emergency contact person outside of your immediate area.
Make a Plan
Create a buddy system! Ask a trusted neighbour to check on your animals in case you may not be able to make it home. Know your emergency evacuation route and research pet-friendly hotels along the way. For public health rea
sons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Locate a veterinarian or animal shelter in the area where you may be seeking temporary housing, and keep the contact information in your emergency kit.
Determine the best ways to evacuate your home in case of an emergency such as a house fire. Know the location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical panel, gas valve and floor drain. Visit our hospital to pick up a free Emergency Pet Rescue decal that can be placed on a window to alert emergency personnel.
Build a Kit
Include basic survival items to keep your pet happy and comfortable. Have a sturdy, safe crate or carrier in case you need to evacuate. Keep kit materials inside the carrier for quick access.
- Food: At least a three day supply in an airtight, waterproof container. Include the expiration date, replace food regularly. Don’t forget bowls!
- Water: At least three days of water specifically for your pets.
- Medicines and medical records: At least three days, keep expiration date and dosage information on the container.
- First aid kit: Cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape, antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference page.
- Use a calming agent such as ZYLKENE, or FELIWAY for cats, or ADAPTIL for dogs. These products help calm, comfort and reassure pets under times of stress.
- Restraint Aids: Extra collar, harness, ID tag, rabies tag, leash, and a muzzle.
- Sanitation: Pet litter, litter box, litter scoop, poop bags, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach.
- A picture of you and your pet together! If you become separated, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you.
We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, even on Holidays for anything that you need! Please feel free to contact us anytime at 905-855-2100.
Written by Dr. Gibbon
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