With June being National Pet Preparedness Month, and July 15 being National Pet Fire Safety Day, now is the time to talk about being all things prepared with your pets! Of course, it’s no fun planning for things to go wrong, but as we like to say: we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Originally, National Pet Preparedness Month was set for June to mark the start of hurricane season as a reminder to families to include their pets in their emergency plans. Lucky for us in Edmonton, we don’t have to particularly worry about hurricanes, but we are in a city that is susceptible to natural disasters like extreme weather, storms, tornadoes, drought, and wildfires. Whether you are a pet owner or a Dog Walker in Edmonton, it’s important to know how to keep you and your pets safe during these events. Here are 3 crucial components to pet preparedness!
Identification is incredibly important for keeping your pets safe during emergencies. It is not uncommon for pets to bolt during frightening events like a large storm, so having proper identification is the best way to ensure your pet will make it back home. Microchipping is a very reliable source of identification. The process involves your veterinarian implanting a chip underneath your pet’s skin that has a unique ID number, encodes all of their information and is about the size of a grain of rice. This way your pet has a permanent form of ID and greatly increases the chances of your pet being safely returned to you.
An emergency kit is something you should have ready for everyone in your family, humans and animals alike. The idea is that in the event of an emergency, you can quickly grab a kit including the essentials for basic survival and get out of the area in danger as quickly as possible. Some families may prefer to have one kit, while others may prefer to have both a lightweight kit in the event you have to immediately evacuate and a larger kit if you are sheltering at home. These are some things you should consider including in your pet’s emergency kit:
- multiple days’ worth of food and water
- food and water bowls
- first aid kit (if you are interested in taking a pet first aid course or buying a kit click here)
- for dogs: a backup leash, harness, collar
- for cats: disposable litter trays
- familiar toys, blankets, or pillows
It is also important to regularly check and update these kits to ensure that food, water, and medication are fresh.
Planning ahead involves a number of things, including:
- Staying informed on the current conditions in your area. You can check here for current emergency alerts in Alberta.
- Having a list of contact information for emergency veterinarians and/or pet-friendly accommodations
- Having an evacuation plan that includes your animals
- Having a neighbour or other person who can check on your pets during a situation where you may not be home
With regards to Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, the best way to “plan ahead” for house fires is prevention! Here are a few tips for pet and house fire preparedness:
- Never leave pets unattended with open flames
- Protect stove knobs when you are away from home
- Hang a pet alert on a visible window stating the number and type of pets you have to help emergency responders help your fur-babies
- Know your pet’s favourite hiding spots. In the event of a house fire, you will not have time to do an extensive search of the house for your pets.
Being Dog Walkers in Edmonton means that we are no strangers to severe weather. At Dog Jogs we have our own set of emergency protocols in place to help keep your pets and our Dog Joggers safe. Pet preparedness is important to us all.
Stay safe and stay prepared this summer!