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Are you and your pet prepared in an emergency?

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Just thinking about an emergency like those we have seen on the news lately puts my stomach in a knot.  The flooding in Louisiana is the first that comes to mind.  So many pets were being rescued from their homes.  A lot of things were said about the owners who left them there but who’s to say those owners were home at the time the water rose?  Could they get to their home to save their pets?  Maybe not.  It makes me think about what I would do if my life depended on it, how would I get my pets out of the house safely?  What would I take with me?  Am I prepared?  A lot of big questions that come to mind, I could write an entire blog on just those.  I can’t say that I’m prepared now but I’m getting my list together and doing my research and I wanted to share my process with great pet owners like yourself.  I found a lot of great resources to share. 

First, do I have a plan? Thinking about where you live and the roads that you could take to get out if there were a natural disaster like a flood or a tornado where trees were down is a good place to start.  Talk about this with your family members so that everyone knows the plan.  Next is a Pet First Aid Kit.  You would want a Human First Aid Kit also but I’m going to focus on the pets in this blog article.  I would love to know that all my clients that I pet sit for have one of these and I know the location in case an emergency were to happen while they were away.  Actually, I have been through a few tornado warnings that were pretty scary.  Ever try to get 5 cats into a bathroom during a warning?    Again, a plan is so important.  So, I’m thinking practice what you preach.  Some items to include in your pet’s first aid kit are:

·        Mesh muzzle for dogs – I know…most owners think…why?  After a lot of reading, it’s called stress.  When dogs are under a lot of stress, it can cause them to act out.  Be on the safe side and have one of these on hand just in case.  Remember, the point of this is to keep them and YOU safe.

·        A slip lead or other leash.  Slip leads are my choice especially if your dog doesn’t normally wear a collar – what if you have to grab and go?  You won’t have time to find that collar.

·        Disposable gloves – non-latex – make sure you have them to fit you and your significant other or anyone else in the household.

·        Quick read thermometer

·        Wound care – Bandages, gauze, Neosporin, tape (adhesive & non-adhesive), cohesive wrap (doesn’t stick to the fur), lubricant jelly (packets are best), scissors (with blunt end)

·        Sterile Eye wash

·        Food supply for several days including containers (collapsible containers are best).  Canned food might be better since it doesn’t expire as fast. And don’t forget the bottled water.

·        Bedding (could just be some old towels) along with toys & treats

·        For cats, you might want a disposable kitty box, a Ziploc bag of kitty litter

·        Fold up some paper towels and put in a Ziploc with some hand sanitizer & a garbage bag

·        A small flashlight

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Grab an old duffle bag that you might not be using right now and go through your house and put anything you have from this list in it.  Then, make a list of those items you need to pick up at the store to add to it.  Put this bag into a safe place and tell your pet sitter about it! 

 

A few other things you might want to think about to keep you and your pet safe during an emergency are:

·        Keep a photocopy of your pets most recent vet records & meds in your first aid kit.

·        Most people have photos of their pets on their phone.  But, if you don’t, print one and put it in your first aid kit.

·        Research your local area for info on disaster shelters.  Where would you go?  What hotels allow pets? I did a little local research on this and wanted to share I found that the Best Western  & the Ramada in Shelbyville are pet friendly. 

·        Keep the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Number close – better yet, put this in your phone NOW!  888-426-4435.  Here’s a tip when putting this in your phone…Type:  AA ASPCA Animal Poison Control.  It will put it first thing in your contact list.   They are open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

·        Speaking of the ASPCA, did you know that you can get a FREE Pet Safety Pack from them?  Just go to their website – aspca.org and search:  Free Pet Safety Pack.  You get a free window sticker AND a magnet with the poison control info for your refrigerator.   Takes 4-6 weeks but it’s FREE!  If you want to go for the gusto, check out Petrescuestickers.com  They have a full site of stickers and window clings to put on your doors & windows for safety.

·        Another great item to have that I found is a “My Pets are home alone” card.   If your pets would be home alone in a personal emergency, this is a MUST! You can purchase these on various sites but I found a great site that you can print them and put them in your wallet.  You could laminate them to keep them from falling apart also.  The site is dogsdonteatpizza.com  Ha!  Yes, I thought it was funny too!  Check it out.  It’s a cool site. Just don’t forget to put your favorite pet sitter Waggs 2 Whiskers on the back along with our contact info. 

 

Are you READY now to put YOUR Pet First Aid Kit together?  I sure hope so!  I am!  I will share pictures on Facebook and in the comments of this blog when I have mine done.  Time waits for no one!  PLEASE consider this now before the holidays grab your attention.  It’s the PERFECT gift for YOU and your pets!  Share pictures of your kit!  I would love to see it!  Thanks!  Kelly Catlett – Proud owner of Waggs 2 Whiskers, providing pet sitting & dog walking in and around Shelbyville & Shelby County, Kentucky!

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