Emergency Preparedness for Pets

Hurricane Irene left many without electricity and some without water, caused property damage, and uprooted trees. It also reminded us to make sure all of our patients are prepared in case of another big storm or another emergency like a fire, flood, or earthquake.

1.) If you have to evacuate, take your pet with you. Keep in mind that many shelters won’t accept pets, so keep a list of nearby hotels where you can stay that do accept pets. Some communities provide pet shelters during disasters, which is another suitable option.

2.) Have a pet buddy system. If you’re away and unable to care for your pet in an emergency, rely on a trusted neighbor to step in. Promise the same in return.

3.) Have an emergency kit for your pet. It should include bottled water, wet pet food so the animal can survive on less water, vet records, medications, litter and a litter pan, and a picture of your pet.

4.) Also have a leash and pet carrier on hand so you can keep your pet close if he panics.

5.) Always make sure your animal’s ID tags are up to date.

6.) Bring your pet inside well before an anticipated emergency situation strikes. Animals have good instincts about weather and tend to isolate themselves in an emergency, making it difficult for you to find them.

7.) If you have no other option but to leave your pet behind to evacuate, never leave him chained up outside. Leave him free inside the house with access to food and water. Take the lid off your toilet and prop the bathroom door open. Before evacuating, leave a prominently placed sign that says animals are in the house.

8.) After a disaster has passed, keep your pet close. The scents and landmarks to which she is accustomed might be missing, leaving her confused when she’s outside and more apt to become lost.

If you’d like help including your pet in your family emergency plan, talk to your vet.

For more than 20 years, Willard Veterinary Clinic has provided dedicated veterinary care for the communities of Quincy, Boston, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Canton, Randolph, Hingham, Abington, Hanover, and Rockland. Contact us to see why we’re different!

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