How to create an emergency plan for your pets

Emergencies happen – that’s why they’re called emergencies. You never know what’s going to happen that will cause you to leave home for an extended period of time. Many people have emergency kits in their homes, but often forget to plan for their furry family members. Make sure your pet is prepared for an emergency by following these steps:

  • Ensure they have proper identification. Update their tags, get them microchipped and make sure the microchip is registered to your name if you adopt your pet from someone else. The tag is most important because the average person who will find your pet won’t check for a chip, but they can definitely read a plastic tag!
  • Put your information on the tags. Include your name, the pet’s name and your phone number so that you are easy to reach in case of an emergency. In case of evacuation, it’s also good to include someone’s phone number who lives outside of the area on the tag.
  • If you evacuate your home, take your pets if possible. If you aren’t safe there, they definitely aren’t either. You don’t know how long you’ll be gone, so don’t leave it to chance, especially since you probably won’t be able to go back to get them after the fact!
  • In case of evacuation, leave early. Too often, people who wait until the last minute to leave are asked to leave their pets because time is of the essence. High-stress situations could make getting your pet into a crate more difficult.
  • Plan lodging as quickly as you can. Get in touch with hotels or motels in a safe area that is pet-friendly.

Everyday emergencies can also happen. You might get stuck at work overnight or maybe a car accident lands you in the hospital. Prepare for these situations by:

  • Giving a friend or neighbour a spare key so they can go visit, feed or pick up your pet.
  • Ensure that person knows the feeding and medication schedule your pet requires, as well as any weird quirks it may have.

High temperatures can also be lethal to animals. Never leave them in a locked car when it’s hot out. The inside of a car will see temperatures rise too much higher than what is outside of the vehicle. Wherever you take your pets, be sure to provide plenty of shade and water. If your home gets extra warm, invest in a cooling mat for your pet to relax on. If you see signs of heatstroke in your pets, get them to shade and apply ice packs or cold towels to their heads. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes to cool down.

Needless to say, emergencies can pop up at any moment. It’s important to take care of your family members, humans and pets alike. Have a plan for your loved ones whether it’s a flood, blackout or if you’re simply not able to get home for the night. You’ll be glad that you did!