Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Pet
PETS & PEOPLE
Creating A Disaster Plan For Your Pet
(NAPSA)—When it comes to caring for a family pet in a disaster, a little bit of planning can make a big difference.
Here are some tips from a national association of veterinarians on how to create an effective pet disaster plan:
• When a disaster strikes, it’s best to evacuate with your pet. Leaving pets behind—even in a safe place—puts them in greater danger, but you must find a refuge or shelter that will accept animals. Emergency shelters don’t accept pets. Contact friends, hotels, boarding facilities and animal shelters in advance to find an emergency refuge for your pet.
• If possible, make sure your pet always wears current identification tags or has an implanted identification chip.
• If you know ahead of time that a disaster or extreme weather is coming, bring a pet inside long before the disaster strikes.
• Assemble a pet evacuation kit in advance, including the following: medications and food (including any required package openers) to last at least three days, leashes, harnesses, a sturdy pet carrier if necessary, portable water, cat litter, a current photo to help find a lost pet.
Plus, it’s wise to include newspapers or paper towels, care instructions for your pet in case you have to board the animal, and a list of emergency boarding facilities and veterinarians, along with 24-hour telephone numbers.
• If you absolutely must leave a pet at home during an evacuation, follow these steps: Keep dogs and cats separate; put pets in a secure room away from windows; keep any tanks and cages away from walls and windows; consider putting your pet in a room with tiled floors that can easily be cleaned in the case of floods.
Also, make sure that the animal is in a place or can get to a place that will be above floodwaters. Leave the pet some food to eat, but try to pick an unappetizing food to prevent overeating— and no treats or vitamin supplements. For birds, use an automatic feeder; and leave water for pets in a nonspill container or in a bathtub if it is accessible.
• After a disaster, be careful about letting your pet outside. The sights and smells of your neighborhood may have changed, so your pet could become disoriented.
For more information, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association Web site at www.AVMA.org.
Original Source: napsnet.com