Hey, fellow pet caretakers — would you know what to do in case of an emergency?
Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Consider the following 6 emergency tips:
1. Basic Preparation
The most important tip is simply to be prepared for any type of emergency, at any time. You never know when disaster will strike, so preparing for the possibility of one ahead of time is crucial.
Your pet should always have a tag with identification on it as well as any health conditions — especially if there are heart problems or other life-threatening conditions or allergies to common foods.
2. Emergency Kit
You probably have a first aid kit in your home for people, and you should have one for your pets as well.
Your pet emergency kit will contain similar items, but any medications should be animal-friendly (and for sanitary reasons, you should keep it separate from the kit for humans). Basic supplies include gauze, bandages, rags, Q-tips, an instant cold pack, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers and a thermometer.
Of course, these tools are useless unless you know how to use them. So refresh your memory on the basics of pet health, including what your pet’s temperature should normally be.
3. Emergency Food and Water
If an emergency happens and you must evacuate the area, you need to be ready with a set of food and water as well as other important supplies such as any medication your pet is on. During an evacuation, food supplies will be limited. Keep the emergency food and water by your own emergency food supplies so you can grab both at once.
4. Pay Attention to Potential Problems
Reduce potential health problems by providing your pet with sufficient water at all times and buying only those toys that are appropriately sized.
5. Know the Vet’s Number
If an emergency occurs and your pet’s health is at risk, call the veterinarian right away. This is impossible if you do not have the phone number handy.
When you first visit your vet, ask not only for the office number but if there is a specific number for emergencies as well. They might direct you to an animal hospital or other emergency care facility.
Keep both your vet’s number and the emergency care number nearby at all times, both at home and when you go somewhere with your pet.
6. Plan for Disaster
Post a sign on your front door (or a window) indicating that you have pets (“Animals Inside”) in case a rescuer needs to enter. It’s a small step, but you never know when it could save a life.
Here are a few more tips from the American Red Cross:
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