Planning For Pet Emergencies and Disasters: Pet Safety Precautions

Chatoak_iStock_000009845116_LargeWe are lucky to live in such close proximity to the ocean, the foothills, and the amazing culture that southern California invariably provides. However, our Granada Hills paradise, which is less than an hour from downtown Los Angeles, is not without potential for disasters – natural and man-made.

Earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, and floods are viable threats we endure each year, but there are other types of possible public emergencies that require extra pet safety precautions. Let’s keep Fluffy and Fido safe, no matter what, with the following pet safety precautions.

Preparing For The Worst

Preparation is the best thing you can do for your pet when faced with a possible disaster or emergency. Each type of scenario will have different and specific protocols, but when you are prepared to meet them, you will know what to do. For example, if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, know what to do by reading up on an earthquake safety checklist.

The first order of business is to build your own emergency kit to help sustain you with numerous supplies. If you are able to or allowed to remain in or near your home, be sure to grab your kit that should have the following items for your pet:

  • One week’s worth of his or her preferred food (plus bowl)
  • At least a gallon of water and water bowls
  • Disposable litter trays and scoop
  • Scoopable litter
  • Trash bags for litter removal
  • Extra collar, harness, and leash
  • Travel kennel with your pet’s name, your name and contact info, and a picture of your pet glued to the outside of the crate
  • Blankets
  • Toys
  • Required medications
  • A recent photo of your pet
  • Medical and vaccination records

Make sure you have a can opener if you are stocking canned food that doesn’t have a pop-top and hand sanitizer for you to use after cleaning up litter. Rotate the food and water supply every two months to ensure freshness.

Birds, reptiles, or pocket pets may have additional needs that include different survival supplies or comforting items specific to them, please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have specific questions.

Extra Supplies

Your pet’s safety is entirely up to you. Make sure you are able to take care of them in an emergency and have the following stocked for yourself and other family members:

  • Bottled Water (one gallon per person, per day)
  • Non-perishable food and can opener
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Radio
  • Back-up medications
  • Copies of personal documents
  • Extra call phone and charger
  • Cash
  • Blanket(s)
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra car and house keys

Getting Out

At the first sign of disaster or emergency, pets can become agitated or disoriented, causing them to hide or run off. At the first hint of an emergency situation, bring your pet inside until you know what your next move should be. Likewise, take the time to check your pet’s collar and tags, and always keep microchip information current – especially if there has been changes in your address or contact number.

Federal or state recommendations may require you to leave your home and if you are evacuated, your pet should always accompany you. Not all evacuation shelters will allow pets, but a bit of prior research should reveal a place where you can take your pet, like an animal boarding facility or even a nearby motel. We can provide you with a list of recommended boarding sites or kennels to call in advance. Vaccination records will be required.

Important Pet Safety Precautions

Knowing basic pet first aid and pet CPR are definite assets in a natural disaster or emergency in which your pet gets hurt. If you are able to get to us, we are also available to assist your pet in the case of an emergency.

The ASPCA offers free pet safety stickers to display on your front door or nearby window that indicates how many pets reside in the home, and a space to declare if you have evacuated.

We are always available to discuss pet safety precautions and believe that preparation is the only way to protect and save a beloved pet.