Did you get this gift for your pet?

What if a few dollars and an hour’s time could save the life of your pet? We have insurance in case of accidents, but we never believe we’ll need it, right? Pet first aid kits and emergency evacuation packs are a kind of insurance that can give you peace of mind.

A few weeks ago, we posted the elements of a pet first aid kit. In the busy-ness of shopping for the holidays, maybe you’ve had the opportunity to shop for whatever your kit was missing. If not, here are a few more items to add for an emergency preparedness kit.

When outside temperatures begin to fall, people use many sources of heat and might not have the heater checked or the fireplace flue cleaned. Plus lights are on longer and holiday decorations, such as candles, are added. Fires happen more frequently and are more dangerous in cooler months than in the summer. http://nfa.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v3i2.pdf

Other calamities can also cause emergencies, such as torrential rains, burst dams and ice on trees. Before we know it, we must vacate our homes. And we seldom know for how long. So it’s best to be prepared for that hectic possibility.

First, be sure you have a pet decals on your front door or window to show how many pets you have in the home. And if you evacuate with the pets, be sure to indicate that on the sticker! These emergency labels are available through many sources, such as https://www.aspca.org/form/free-pet-safety-pack and https://theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com/store/ars/item/41039/protect-my-pet-window-clings-set-of-2.

Keep an emergency kit prepared for your family and your pets in a place that you can easily pick it up. Ensure that all family members and care givers know where the kit is stored and clearly mark it “EMERGENCY EVAC”. Some items, such as food, can be added at the last minute, but keep this list in your pets’ emergency kit so you don’t overlook anything important.

Keep these items in your pets’ emergency pet kit.
Keep these items fresh by rotating every two months.
Water – one gallon per day for your pet. Pet MD says, “As a rule of thumb, dogs should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. There are many factors that can affect how much your dog will drink, however.” Be sure this water is in a sealed container and is rotated regularly.
Food in sealed container or moist food in pop-top cans – enough for at least a week
Medicine list, veterinarian contact – printed and stored in waterproof zip top bag or on a USB drive. PetTech offers an app that lets you keep all of that information on your phone. Search the Google Play store or itunes to find it.
Enough medicine for two weeks
Favorite toys
Flashlight – check batteries and have a few spares

These items can remain permanently in your emergency evacuation kit.
Bed or crate- put pet info and your name and telephone number on the pet’s crate and belongings, as well as its collar or harness.
Puppy pads or newspaper for pups to potty
Food and water bowls
Toys that can remain stored.
Scoopable cat litter, scoop, & disposable box, such as aluminum pan
Muzzle – Although your dog might not be aggressive, a muzzle is a necessity around unknown pets and humans in a tense environment. A muzzle is also necessary if a pet is injured because a pet in pain will bite, despite its good nature otherwise.
Consider ahead of time where pets will go in an emergency. Are you going to a family member’s home? Is the pet welcome? Is it practical to take the pet? For example, a couple of large dogs might not be feasible if you are staying with a friend who has an efficiency apartment. Or taking a cat might not be practical if your sister’s dog chases cats. If you plan to go to a shelter, ensure it will allow your pets.
Pet care items, such as a toothbrush, pet toothpaste, ear cleaner and cotton balls/gauze, and a brush. Brushing your dog –and some cats – can lower your blood pressure in ten minutes and can calm the pet if you do this regularly at home.
Bags for clean-up
Soap, disinfectant hand cleaner
Recent photo of your pet and yourself together
Pet First Aid Kit – See previous blog (https://fluffsofluv.com/packing-a-first-aid-kit-for-your-dog/) on what to include in the pet first aid kit, and add a few Band-Aids® for yourself!

Two excellent resources for planning for a disaster are http://www.ready.gov/animals  and https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness.

Take the time to pack a first aid kit and an emergency evacuation kit for your family and your pets before you plug in those lights! It could be the best gift you ever invest in!

By Beth Crosby