Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tips to Help Prepare Your Pet for Disasters

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan reminds us that its more than just people and buildings impacted by natural disasters. Pets and wildlife too, are affected in many ways. It always breaks my heart to see animals scared, lost, injured- or worse after any disaster. They don't understand what happened, and can't communicate with people. In the case of Japan, the added problem of nuclear exposure to people and pets is another complication. I was happy to see that the rescue teams in Japan were even scanning pets; this Shiba Inu is held as they scanned him for possible exposure to radiation. Hopefully this poor Shiba is OK. (I had a Shiba Inu a few years ago and still miss little Koshimi.)

All this got me thinking about the need to remind folks of basic things you can do to prepare your pet to help them survive should a disaster strike your area. Check out these simple steps:

  • Be sure your pet always wears identification tags, even if it is an indoor pet. 
  • Keep recent photos of your pet online where you can access them if your home were destroyed and your pet is lost. 
  • Keep a supply of pet food & treats stored safely at all times. 
  • Have a pet carrier and pet first aid kit available.
  • If your pet is prone to stress (while away from home, etc) buy some stress-relief supplements and have them stored.
  •  Keep a "to-go" bag somewhere in the house with non-perishable supplies (brushes, chew toys, bottled water, canned food, etc) that you can grab in a hurry if needed.
I remember a few years ago when the fires in Southern California forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Many went to a shelter or hotel but didn't have a pet carrier. They sat with their pets for days on end with nothing to help the pet remain calm- some didn't even have a leash. The Petco Foundation distributed chew toys, beds, food, and all sorts of supplies to help people keep care for their pets.

The current situation in Japan is of course, much more tragic than the San Diego fires a few years ago, but it still underscores the need to be prepared. Having a pet is a big responsibility even when times are good. Being a good pet parent also means being responsible to consider the pets needs as well as your own in the event a disaster strikes. Aside from the peace of mind that you helped save your pet, they can also provide enormous comfort if you still have each other when everything else is lost.


© Karelian Blonde said...

Excellent advice and very good/sensible to have where ever you are in the world with your pets.

Knowledge is power and you never know when there is a situation when a little knowledge helps to make it safer.

Thank you for an excellent post Mr Rockhill :)

A Lewis said...

We are on the 3rd floor of a condo building -- and I always have in my mind the many things necessary to take if a fire breaks out -- and the pooch and his needs are at the top of the list along with keys, wallet, and all of that......

KathyA said...

Great advice, Rick.

Desert Songbird said...

Excellent advice. I'm sure many people don't think about doing this for their pets. What a great reminder.


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