June Is National Pet Preparedness Month

Dr. Larry Mangum

Veterinarian

Appalachian Animal Hospital

We are in the midst of severe weather season and it is the perfect time to make sure that you’ve included your family’s pets in your emergency plans.

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and just as you plan with your family for what to do in an emergency, so should you plan for your pets.

Emergencies can take many forms: severe weather, fires, and floods. Emergency kits with first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, a weather radio and other necessary items should be part of any family’s preparedness plan.

You should also have a separate emergency kit for your pet.

A pet emergency kit should include:

• Several days’ supply of food in an airtight, waterproof container

• Several days’ supply of water and a clean bowl

• Extra supply of any medicines your pet takes regularly – stored in a waterproof container

• Collar ID tag with a harness and leash

• Travel bag, crate, or sturdy carrier

• Necessary grooming items

• Sanitation needs: For cats this could be litter and litter box

• A picture of you and your pet together. Important to document ownership if you and your pet become separated.

In East Tennessee, we aren’t often called on to evacuate but it’s not impossible. People still talk about the train wreck and gas leak in the 1970s that nearly caused the town to be evacuated. Your emergency plan should include the following in case you and your family are called on to evacuate.

• An evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets. Make arrangements in advance at a safe place where you can take a pet in case of evacuation.

• Work with friends and neighbors who can provide backup in case the call to evacuate comes and you – or they – are unable to evacuate your pets. Having someone who can be backup is important.

• You should have your pet micro chipped.

In the wake of a disaster, pets can become separated from their owners. A microchip with the correct emergency contact information can make all the difference.

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