Pet Owners, Do You Have an Emergency Plan In Place For Your Pet?
Posted by Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency on
Having a pre-arranged arrangement for your pet(s) should be part of a household disaster plan, in the event you must evacuate your home. It is always wise and humane to take your pets with you, but unfortunately only trained service dogs are allowed in emergency shelters due to public health and safety reasons. You will need to have another plan specifically for your pet in case this situation arises. Advance planning is essential and could save your pet’s life.
If your pets will be traveling, make sure you have a pet carrier or a portable kennel or crate for each pet. Be sure all carriers are large enough so your pet can stand up and turn around. Take time ahead to familiarize your pet with a portable kennel by initially confining your pet for short periods and gradually lengthen the time.
Have all your pet’s vaccinations are up to date for this is especially important for pets that will be boarded for the facilities will require proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations.
Be sure your cat or dog wears a properly fitted collar with a current license and rabies tag at all times. Always take a leash with you when you travel, even for a cat.
Keep an ample supply of pet food and other essentials such as kitty litter with your other hurricane supplies. Don’t forget about newspapers, plastic bags, cleaner and disinfectant to properly handle the pet wastes.
Plan ahead and make some phone calls to determine what your options are for pet placement and care if you have to evacuate. You need to consider all the possibilities, such as:
Your home – This is the least favorable of the options, but it may be necessary for your pet to remain at home if you have to leave and there are no means to reach the destination that will take in animals. Survey your home carefully and determine the best location that is away from windows but are high enough from ground level in the event of a flood. Utility rooms, bathrooms are good options.
Kennels – Survey boarding kennels to determine which will take pets during an emergency. Find out who stays on the premises with the animals in the event of a storm and what provisions would be made if the kennel should have to evacuate from a hurricane or a flood. Check with veterinary clinics to locate those with boarding facilities.
Recruit a friend – Ask dependable friends or relatives who lives farther inland, away from the coast or river areas, for shelter during the storm emergency.
Motels – Call numerous motels to determine if they allow pets. Be sure to check on restrictions on the size and number of pets allowed.
If Your Pet Stays at Home…
Most pet owners I know will not even consider this option. But desperate situations create desperate measures and when you have the lives of other family members to consider, there may be no other option left. So, if the pet must be left behind during an evacuation, remember to do the following:
Prepare an area for the pet to use inside the house away from the windows, such as a utility room, garage, bathroom, or other tiled area.
Bring the pet indoors well ahead of the storm.
Do not leave any pet outside or tied up during a storm.
Leave only dry-type foods that are relatively unpalatable to prevent overeating and use sturdy food containers.
Do not leave any treat-type vitamins or minerals supplements. Your pet may get salt poisoning if it overindulges on them.
Birds must eat daily to survive, so use special food dispensers.
Water for pets should be left in a bathtub or in other sturdy containers that will not spill over.
If animals are on special diets and medications, consult a veterinarian.
Never leave a cat with a dog, even if the two are normally friendly.
Confine and keep small pets (birds, hamsters, etc.) away from cats and dogs.
Provide access to high places, such as countertops, in case flooding occurs.
If Your Pet Goes with You…
If the pet will be taken along during evacuation, prepare the following items:
License or identification and rabies tags
Steel or fiberglass crate, properly sized
Non-spill water and food bowls
Newspaper and/or paper towels, litter, scooper, plastic bags for waste
Leashes and collar
Water in sanitized nonbreakable containers
Dried and packaged semimoist foods
Toys, blankets, and special comfort items
After Your Pet Returns Home…
Be careful in allowing a pet outdoors after the storm has passed. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered, and a pet could easily be confused and become lost. Downed power lines can present a real danger to a pet.
Click here to download your free FEMA guide book on how to prepare for your pet during a disaster. This guidebook provides even more tips and helpful information in the event of an evacuation.
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for all insurance needs. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. So, we strongly advise to check with an insurance representative to address your specific needs. However, you can also contact us for any questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We are able to offer a complete line of personal & commercial insurance products for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.