Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets: Part 4

Step 4
Choose a Caregiver – Even if you are not prepared for a natural disaster, you should always have someone you can count on to care for your dog in your absence.  If you don’t already have that designated person, you should find a person you trust (like a neighbor, pet sitter, local friend, or family member) who is willing and able to take care of your dog on a moment’s notice during a personal emergency.  This person should be trustworthy enough to have a key to your home so they can get to your dog with no delay.  When choosing this person you might think of them as your dog’s “God Parent”, which makes it a very personal and emotional decision.  You should consider questions like, Have they met your dog before? And do they have experience caring for animals? Be sure you both fully understand the responsibilities of a designated “God parent” and what you expect from them in your absence.

Items your care giver will need from you:
1.       Someway to get into your house or get your pets in your absence.  Be it a key, a code, or perhaps they can get a key from the neighbor, you need to have some kind of plan for your caregiver to get to our pets. 
2.       An emergency contact is very important if your designated contact is also unavailable.  Who do they turn to for further instructions or help with the dog if there is a state of emergency?
3.       All veterinary information including shot records, allergies, dietary restrictions, and medications are very important for anyone to be able to properly care for your dog in your absence.
4.       Someway to contact you while you are away.  If it is a serious emergency and both you and your care giver are moving around you will need to communicate at some point.  In case you are not available for an emergency decision for your pet, it is your responsibility to relay your wishes concerning vet care for your dog in your absence.

Carla of Riverside had a 2 year old Bulldog, Bruno, whom she lost while she was out of town for business training.  “My cousin was watching my dog while I was out of town.  Just a couple of days after picking Bruno up I missed a call while I was in training that Bruno wasn’t acting right. He was panting and foaming at the mouth and his belly was all swollen.  I got another call later that day to say that Bruno had died from bloat.  No one knew the symptoms so when he started acting weird they didn’t know what to do and didn’t get him to the vet in time.  It broke my heart.”

No comments:

Post a Comment