Are you and your pets prepared for an emergency?
Here are a few steps you can take to protect your furry family members.
1) Have a plan! Think through all the things you may need to do in case of an emergency. Make a list and review your list every year. Run a mock fire drill without your pet, so they are not stressed out. Where are the fire extinguishers located? Where are your carriers?
In case of a fire, only grab what you can safely. Items like medications and records can be replaced – pets cannot.
2) Every small pet (cats, small dogs, avian and exotics) should have their own carrier in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. Each dog in your home should have a collar or harness with the appropriate tags, and a leash. Tags and microchips are crucial in the instance your pets get separated from you. All carriers need to be easily accessible. You won't have time to hunt down a carrier if there is a fire in your home. Improvise if necessary, even a pillowcase will do in a true emergency.
3) Back up all of your pets’ medical records including vaccinations on an email or cloud server in case you ever lose the paper copies or they are not accessible.
4) Medications should be stored in a handy location where you can grab the bag and go. Take a picture on your cell phone of all medications in case you have to refill with a different veterinarian. Pro tip: You can always email the picture to yourself and access your email anywhere that you have internet access.
5) Adhere an "emergency sticker" near your front door that notifies emergency personal how many pets you have in the home. You can get a free one from websites like ASPCA.