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Emergency Preparedness: Plan for your Pets

By Ike Pigott

Pet First AidA Family Disaster Plan needs to take your pets into account. Many of the same guidelines for people apply to pets, but there are a few differences you need to consider in your plans. Your pet needs its own supplies, its own food, its own first-aid kit, and maybe an alternate shelter.

Here are some suggested items for a Pet First Aid kit:
   • large and small bandages
   • scissors
   • tweezers
   • cotton swabs
   • antibiotic ointment
   • hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting or clean deep wounds)
   • elastic tape
   • eye wash (saline)
   • ear-cleaning solutions
   • K-Y Jelly (water soluble)
   • any special medications prescribed by your veterinarian

Also, if you are forced to evacuate to a shelter for any reason, be aware that not all shelters accept family pets. Service animals are generally allowed, but local health guidelines and restrictions may be in effect.

The best advice is to ask questions today and find out where the nearest pet shelter facility would be. Your veterinarian, local Humane Society, or ASPCA would be an excellent resource for starters.

Find out which motels and hotels in your area allow pets — well in advance of needing
them.

Bonus: Check with your local Red Cross chapter to see if a Pet First Aid course is available. In many disasters, you may be your pet's own "first responder!"

Posted September 25, 2007, filed in Emergency Preparedness

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2 Comments

From John Trosko, September 25 2007

I might highly suggest that your kid "essentials" be expanded to include a bottle of water and and extra leash and collar. That way, you won't fumble for them if an emergency happens. Who doesn't have an extra leash sitting around? Toss it into your emergency kit. Also, in the kit, you might think about a busines card for the vet.

- John

From Mary Wehrle, September 18 2009

John,
That is a great idea about the vet and leash thanks. I had not thought about this at all but having a dog that was injured and we had to rush to the emergency vet, this would have come in handy.

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