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Existing Patients Please Call: (949) 642-7151
601 W 19th St., Suite 200, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 |
601 W 19th St., Suite 200, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
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Veterinarian in Costa Mesa gives tips on creating a disaster preparedness plan for your pet

Beautiful couple relaxing at home and loving their pet

When a disaster or emergency strikes, your pet will be dependent on you for their safety. A disaster plan for your family should include how to safely care for your pets as well. Preparing ahead of time will help things move smoothly during unexpected events. In Costa Mesa, CA, Dr. Rand Spongberg of All Creatures Care Cottage can help you develop a disaster preparedness plan for your pet.

Owning a pet is a big responsibility. The moment your pet comes into your home, it becomes family. When creating a disaster preparedness plan for your family, include a plan for your pet. A few of the top tips to remember include:

  • If an emergency hits and your home is unsafe for you, it is not safe for your pets either.
  • Include supplies for your pet in your own emergency kit or prepare a separate kit for your pet.
  • Make an evacuation plan ahead of time.
  • Once the disaster passes, your pet may not bounce back immediately. Give him/her time to adjust to the changes.

Disaster preparedness kit

An emergency kit for your pet should contain the necessary items to keep your pet safe, calm, and comfortable not only during the event but in the aftermath as well. Your kits should be in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers. Keep your kit and your pet’s in an accessible place so it is easy to find during a stressful situation. A well-stocked kit for your pet should contain the following items:

  • Pet carriers and leashes
  • Food
  • A can opener for canned food
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cat litter and pan
  • Pet medications
  • First aid kit
  • Paperwork such as medical records, veterinarian’s phone number, and current photos stored in a waterproof container
  • Pet beds, blankets, and toys
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Some of the items in the emergency kit such as food and leashes make logical sense. However, be sure to follow the list as items are easily overlooked. Current photos of your pet help if your pet runs away. Many pets look alike, but the photos may show distinguishable markings that make your pet stand out. If your pet is on specific medication, it is necessary to have that on hand to keep him/her healthy.

Make an emergency plan

Tender smiling young woman hugging her dog on the beach

Once you have prepared your emergency kits, complete an emergency plan that includes your pets. You can help protect your family members from the effects of a disaster by having a plan in place. Being prepared helps save lives of people and animals.

A good disaster plan includes knowing what to do during an evacuation. If your home is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets. Have a planned evacuation route that includes hotels. Some shelters do not accept pets other than service animals. Make a list of hotels that accept pets in an emergency. If an evacuation is possible, call the hotel ahead of time for reservations.

If you may need to board your pet, keep a list of names and phone numbers of friends, relatives, or boarding facilities that may be able to care for your animals. If you have more than one pet, they may have to be boarded separately. In order to board pets, their vaccinations must be up-to-date. Keep current records to show proof of vaccination.

Evacuating your home is a stressful situation. Your pet may be nervous and will be able to feel your anxieties too. Practice putting your pets into carriers periodically or during evacuation drills to get them used to entering and traveling in the carriers calmly. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped by your veterinarian. This helps improve the likelihood of a successful reunion if your pet escapes amid the stress or even during day-to-day routines.

Once the disaster is over and you can return home, assess the area for potential dangers to your pet. Keep in mind, your pet’s behavior may change. Give him/her time to adjust to the surroundings. Contact your veterinarian if you have concerns.

Disasters and emergencies never occur on a schedule. However, you can help alleviate the stress and prevent potential problems by creating a disaster preparedness plan for your family and your pets ahead of time. For help in establishing a plan, contact the team at All Creatures Care Cottage. Call  (949) 430-7576.


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Dr. Rand Spongberg, BSc, BVMS

Dr. Rand Spongberg image
A graduate from the University of California, Irvine, and Murdoch University, Dr. Rand Spongberg brings with him a plethora of skills and expertise. He is a very well established veterinarian who has a passion for animal welfare and is a firm believer in taking care of both the pet and its owner.

Dr. Spongberg prioritizes his relationships with the owners of the pets that are brought to him for help as maintaining a bond of trust and respect allows for him to better diagnose, treat and help the animals that come to him. Quality of work has always been a part of his repertoire and giving animals the best possible care whilst under his control is something Dr. Spongberg is happy to be responsible for.

In addition to being a service oriented person with a genuine compassion for animals, Dr. Spongberg maintains active memberships at the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and is the proud new owner of All Creatures Care Cottage Veterinary Hospital.