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Protect your pets from natural disasters with tips for disaster preparedness

Protect your pets from natural disasters with help from Dr. Rand Spongberg of All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa, CA.

A disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. It is important to prepare yourself, your family, and your pets in case the unexpected occurs. Dr. Rand Spongberg and the team at All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa, CA offers tips and education on how to protect your pets from natural disasters. Pets are part of your family. Take the time to prepare now to keep your loved ones safe during an emergency.

Disaster preparedness tips

It is never too early to plan for the worst. Embrace the motto to always be prepared. You do not want to find yourself in an emergency situation without the tools you, your family, and your pets need to survive.

  • ID your pet. Cats and dogs should be wearing collars with up-to-date identification tags. The tags should include a phone number or possibly a relative’s phone number in case you have to evacuate. You may want to consider having your pet microchipped. If you and your pet are separated, you increase the chances of a successful reunion.
  • Put together a disaster preparedness kit. Assemble an emergency kit for yourself, your family members, and all of your pets. Even a plan for outdoor pets is helpful. A disaster kit for pets should include clean drinking water, food in an airtight container, medical records, pet carriers, collars and tags, first aid, toys and treats, and plastic bags for waste disposal.
  • Find a place to stay ahead of time. Check with family or friends outside your immediate area to see you and your pets could stay there if necessary. Before a disaster hits, contact the office of emergency management to determine which shelters allow people and pets. Contact hotels to ask about their pet policy and how it applies during an emergency. If the time arrives that you have to evacuate, contact the hotel right away for a reservation.
  • Make plans for your pet in case you are not home when an evacuation order is given. Contact someone you trust to get your pets and meet you at a designated location. Be sure that individual knows where your pets may hide if they are nervous and where your disaster preparedness kits are located.
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During a disaster

Image of a puppy waiting friends

If you do have to evacuate, rule number one is to take your pet or pets with you. If the area is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pet. When an evacuation order is given, you have no way of knowing how long you will be away. Pets left behind are easily injured, lost, or killed. Make sure your disaster plans include arrangements for all of your indoor and outdoor pets. Evacuate early rather than waiting for a mandatory order. Waiting increases the chances of your pet getting anxiety, being difficult to load into a crate, and being left behind. By leaving early before conditions become severe, the process is less stressful and safer for all involved.

If your family chooses to ride out a storm or disaster at home, do so safely. Choose a safe area in your home where you can all stay together. Bring pets indoors and make sure they are wearing their ID tags. Close off nooks and crannies where pets may try to hide. Keep pet leashes, medications, food for your family and your pets, water, and emergency supplies in this designated safe area. Ride out the storm in this area where everyone can safely stay together.

After the disaster

Whether you evacuate or choose to ride out a storm, remember that your home may be very different after the emergency is over. It may take time for your pets to adjust. Do not allow your pets to roam around on their own for a while. Familiar sights and smells may be gone making your pet disoriented. Pets are easily lost in these situations. Keep your pets on leashes or in carriers so they do not escape or run off. Remain calm and patient with your pets after a natural disaster. Stick to their normal routine when possible. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet’s behavior or health.

For more information on how to protect your pet from natural or everyday emergencies, contact Dr. Rand Spongberg and the team at All Creatures Care Cottage. Call (949) 430-7576.

 

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