Thursday, October 13, 2011

Emergency Preparedness for Your Pets: Part 5

Step 5
Evacuation Plan and Preparedness – There are a few simple things you can do to be prepared for an emergency.    
1.       Bring your dog inside at the first sign of danger. If it is a wildfire you will notice the smell, thick red/ brown smoke in the air, or falling ash.  You shouldn’t breathe it in and neither should your dog.  If you have an outside dog and you can’t get home, call your chosen caregiver and see if they can reach your dog to let them inside the house or the garage.
2.       Make sure correct contact information is on your dogs I.D. tags and pet carrier.  Your dog should always be wearing his collar with proper identification showing his name, your phone number, and any urgent medical requirements on it.  Your pet carrier should have your name and contact information on it.
3.       Consider getting your dog microchipped. A microchip is a small chip (placed in the dog’s shoulder) that is registered with the owners contact information.  If your dog should get lost he could be taken to the pound (or certain veterinarian offices) and scanned for a microchip which would allow the owners to be contacted immediately. If you adopted a dog that already has a microchip, be sure to update the owner information registered to the chip, because if your dog is lost it won’t help anyone if they call the previous owners.
4.        Store an emergency kit and leash in a place that is easy to get to and as close to an exit as possible. 
5.       Have all emergency numbers on hand so you can call the veterinarian or boarding facility right away or while you are on your way.  And map an evacuation route if you need to ensure time efficiency.
No one wants to image having to deal with an emergency, but that doesn’t stop them from happening.  In the case of an emergency our dogs are counting on us, as their pack leader, to tell them what to do and how to react.  Just like people, you never know how a dog will react to a disaster or a stressful event that they don’t understand.  It is up to you to ensure they are calm, safe, and cared for. So start your emergency plan today!

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