At dpeg Marketing, we love working with partners and clients dedicated to animals. From dog massage to horse trainers, we love furry friends of all sizes. And, as you know, Teona and I both have beloved pets, so we are committed to keeping Amira and Toast safe and happy.
Today, May 8th, is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, a time to consider what you would do with your pets in an emergency. The day was established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2010 to encourage people to keep their pets safe in disasters to eliminate abandonment rates, injuries, and deaths. Here are a few things you can do to protect your pets at home.
Get Your Pet Microchipped
The best thing you can do for your pet today is take advantage of technology and get them microchipped. A tiny chip inserted just under their skin can make all the difference in ensuring their safety. Lost pets are reconnected to their owners every day because they were scanned for a microchip. Update your pet’s microchip information whenever you move or change phone numbers.
Put an Emergency Alert Sticker on Your Window
Another simple thing you can do that costs almost nothing is to put an emergency alert sticker on your window. This small decal can alert emergency personnel that a pet is in the home. You can also include a card in your wallet or information on your phone so that someone knows to check on your pet at home if you are ever incapacitated.
In case of a natural disaster, when you need to evacuate, you need to arrange a place to stay that welcomes your pets. If friends and family are willing to take you in, that’s always a good bet. If you need to stay in a hotel, check with them to ensure the space is pet-friendly, or they are willing to make an exception for an emergency.
Here’s a hotel tip from someone who regularly travels with their cat: LaQuinta Inn and Hilton Garden Inn are always pet friendly.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Remember when we were all told to have “bug-out bags” ready for ourselves and our families in an emergency? The message is still pretty good, but include your pets in the planning. Have a small bag that includes some of their food, a travel bowl, pet-waste bags, and other essentials to last a few days.
Tip for cat owners: get your cats used to a carrier as early as possible. From the time they’re kittens, leave out a carrier with a soft blanket inside so it can become a comfortable place for them to sleep. We have a hard-sided carrier for the car and a soft-sided backpack for recreation, but we know we can always get Toast to safety if we have to because she doesn’t fight the carriers.
Designate a Caregiver
In the case of an emergency, you need to know who can take care of your pets. For short-term reasons, talk with friends and family about being able to care for your pets while you’re unable to. You should also consider a pet provision in your will, which can designate a long-term caregiver. While we don’t want to think about it, these things are critical for your pet’s safety and can keep them from living in a shelter when they’re already scared of the changes happening in their lives.
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