LA Living

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

This is a sponsored post. 

Recently on the MomsLA Podcast, we talked about how to prepare your home and family for an earthquake or other disaster. We went over what needs to be in an earthquake kit and how to make a family escape plan. What did not occur to me was that it’s not just the people in our family that we need to think about, but our dog, Chuy, too. I was part of a google hang out (a live chat) last week with Purina Veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Venator, where he answered questions about what pet owners need to do to prepare for a natural disaster.

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  1. Have enough canned food and bottled water to last a couple of weeks. I finally went out and bought water for our family, but I forgot to get extra for Chuy. We don’t buy canned food for him and don’t have a stash of extra food, but need to have a two week supply of food and water. And it needs to be replaced every six months, Venator said.
  2. Make sure you have proper identification on your pet. Our dog is well behaved, doesn’t bark too much, and is good with kids. But he’s a runner and has been known to dash out the door. It’s important to have proper tags on your pet in case they run away during a disaster.
  3. Keep an emergency bag for your pet. If there’s an emergency, you want your pet to be healthy and be safe so keep any medication in a bag with other things your pet will need. Also include their food, water, collapsable bowl, comforting toy, leash and collar, and copies of your pet’s medical records and important paperwork.
  4. Include your pets in your disaster plan. My previous disaster plan was basically just hoping that the “big one” happens when we’re all home together, but after talking to experts I realized that we need something more. And we need to include Chuy in our plans. Talk to families members about where you will meet if there is an earthquake (tsunami, flash flood or whatever disaster you’re preparing for) and what to do if you can’t get home. Venator said that for anyone who may need to evacuate, it’s important to know what shelters, clinics, or pet-friendly hotels can take your pets.
  5. Recruit friends and neighbors. Friends and I have talked about what we would do if there’s an earthquake and we can’t get home, but only in relation to our kids. We’ve never talked about what to do if our pets are home alone during a disaster. Venator suggests creating a buddy system with friends or neighbors if you’re not home when disaster strikes. Add your friend/neighbor to your veterinarian’s emergency contact list of people who have authority to approve emergency treatments if you can’t be reached.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

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