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Disaster Preparedness For Your Pet: Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
2) During a Disaster

-Make sure all your pets are inside immediately: Some animals can foresee severe weather changes, and may be spooked by an approaching storm, causing them to run away. The earlier you get them inside, the less likely this is to happen.

-Separate dogs and cats: though your dog and cat may be best friends, the anxiety caused by a disaster can cause them to act completely out of character. Animals that normally get along may show fear related aggression to one another.

-If you must leave your home: Take your pet with you. Often people have been told to leave their homes for a short time, only to be unable to return for days or weeks. Even a gas leak or minor flooding could leave your pet stranded for a considerable length of time. If you have to leave town you must take your pet with you or make appropriate arrangements for his/her care. Your pet is unlikely to survive on their own.

Make sure each pet has a secure collar and leash/harness. Take your Pet Survival Kit and Pet First Aid Kit (see above) along with your pet, in his/her secure and clearly labelled carrier. Ideally this carrier should be airline approved. For housing purposes cat carriers should be large enough to hold a small litter tray and two small dishes and still allow your cat enough room to lie down comfortably or stand to use the litter tray.

Dog kennels or collapsible cages should be large enough to hold two non-spill bowls and still allow enough room for your dog to stand and turn around.

Call your prearranged evacuation site to confirm availability of space. Make your way to your evacuation site. This might be a friend or relative, a pet-friendly hotel, a veterinary hospital, a boarding kennels or an animal shelter. In case your evacuation site does not have the space or facilities to board your pet, have a collapsible cage or carrier with living space beyond the requirements for short distance transportation, including proper bedding.

-If you must leave your pets at home alone: some useful suggestions.

1. Make sure they are all clearly identified with your contact details
2. Make sure they have access to the bathroom. Leave the toilet seat up, so they have a refilling supply of water
3. Leave out plenty of dry food, which will not go off quickly like wet food will
4. Close curtains or blinds if severe adverse weather expected, to minimise stress
5. Make sure there are high counters or areas where animals can climb to safety in case of flooding
6. Do not leave a dog with a chain link or choke collar on as it could become tangled up and trapped
7. Separate your dog and cat into separate areas if possible (see earlier)
8. Put a note securely on your front door when you leave indicating your pets name, what they are and where they are. This will be of great assistance to any rescue teams if the situation arose
About the Author
Dr Matthew Homfray is one of the experts at www.WhyDoesMyPet.com - Expert Answers for all your Pet Questions

Visit them today, you will be impressed by the quality of their pet experts and the speed with which your question is answered!
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