Do you remember back in 2011 when people starting prepping because the 'rapture' was coming? I definitely knew people with varying degrees of thought on the rapture. Some prepped like crazy while others didn't give it a second thought. I was the latter. One thing during the rapture craze that stood out to me were the endless advertisements from companies saying that they would take care of your pet should you be taken away by the rapture. The thing is, people were paying for those services because if you are a pet owner you know how much you love your pet. Whether it be a bird, cat, fish, dog, or lizard we want to make sure our pet is taken care of, right?!
Well, June is National Pet Preparedness Month. And while the rapture or apocalypse may not be occurring, many other possible emergency-esque situations are. One of the things I talk about on SMT is ensuring that you are prepared for different types of situations whether it be a power outage or a need for a get home plan. However, one thing that I haven't touched on is our pets. Chances are that you could get by without power for a little while but what if you needed to shelter in place for several days or needed to evacuate quickly with your pet? Have you thought about how your pet plays a role in your preparedness plan? Do you have a plan for your pet?
There can be so many different scenario’s to think through or different “what-ifs” but let’s just start with the basics you can do now. At a minimum, if your animal fits in a carrier you should know where your pet carrier is. Then take it a step further and keep a small to-go bag with your carrier that has an extra leash, collar with ID, food, some bottled water and a bowl. If you have a cat, perhaps you keep the to-go bag in a shallow plastic bin (foil roasting pans are a great option) with a small baggy of light-weight litter. Additionally, keeping a pet medical emergency kit is also a good option. Being prepared doesn’t have to be hard. These are simple ideas that are relatively cheap and won’t take up much room where ever they are stored. If you can’t be home to take care of your pet, having a pet preparedness plan in place and a pet to-go bag in one easy to find location will make it much easier to communicate to a family member or neighbor.
Some of other things to keep in mind when creating your pet emergency plan is to include list of caregivers that can watch your pets in your absence & also create a list of any special dietary requirements. Additionally, it's also a good idea to find out which hotels in your area are pet friendly & keep that list handy. Should your home be compromised and you need to stay in a hotel, you'll feel a lot more at ease knowing which hotels allows pets.
Pets provide so much to us and are a part of the family whether it’s a dog, cat, lizard or fish. If there is ever an emergency there will be one less thing to worry about.
The ASPCA website below is a good starting point to create a plan for your pet. Also keep in mind, that as your pets age, the pet preparedness plan will need to be revised.
Do you already have a pet preparedness plan in place or have any good tips on what you put in your pet to-go bag? Let me know in the comments below!