Dog with a blanket

Is Your Pet Prepared for American Red Cross Month?

March is American Red Cross Month, and as we all need to be aware and ready if disaster strikes, we also need to remember our fur-babies need an emergency plan too. And since they are part of the family and don’t have thumbs to help themselves, we need to help them prepare also.

In an emergency, our pets will be more dependent on us than usual. So we need to make sure that our furry friends are included in our emergency plans. We are going to give you some tips on how you and your pets can stay safe in a disaster.

Keep Your Pets Safe During Disaster

Face mask dog

  • It is essential to remember, if it is not safe for you to stay in your home, it is not safe for them either!
  • Be sure to include supplies for your pets in your emergency kit, or make them their own emergency kit. They will also need food and water. And you want to make sure you grab their medications too if they are on any!
  • When you are making your evacuation plans, you’ll need to make sure that the hotel or shelter accepts pets. Many hotels and shelters don’t allow pets unless they are service animals, so you need to be prepared for this.

What to Include in Your Pet’s Emergency Kit

Emergency kit for pets

Your pet’s emergency kit should include the following:

  • Leash or harness so you can keep them close to you at all times. They are just as scared and confused as you are.
  • Food and water bowls. You can now buy collapsable bowls so that they are easier to store and carry in a bag.
  • Litter box for your purring friends.
  • Medications and copies of their medical records and shots.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Current photos of your fur-babies, just in case you get separated in all the commotion.
  • Name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board, or foster, your pet.
  • Pet beds and toys, if they are easily transported so that your pet has it’s “safe haven.”

Your Fur-Babies Emergency Plan

Emergency plan

Just like us, they will need a warm, dry place to stay. Reach out to your friends and family and see if they would be able to help you foster and take care of your pets until it is safe for you to come and get them and take them home. You would much rather your fur-baby stay with someone you know and love, and trust that they will take care of your pet just like you would.

Be sure to include your pets when you are practicing your evacuation drill. They will need to be prepared and comfortable going into their carriers.

If you do need to go into a hotel or shelter and they don’t accept pets, call ahead and see if they will make an exception due to the emergency at hand.

Recovery after the Emergency

Dog survives an emergency

Just like us, they are still going to be distraught and confused. They have no idea what or why just happened, and this may change your pet’s behavior. Be sure to give them some extra love and attention to let them know that things are okay now. 

Other things you need to keep an eye on:

  • Is your yard still enclosed, are the fences still up, there are no holes for them to escape out of, and is the gate still in working order?
  • Remember, our pets use their noses to find their “scent markers.” Depending on the emergency, the emergency crew may have had to use something that could take away their scent markers, and they could become disoriented and not able to find their way home.
  • If you have debris in your yard, or where ever you let your pet run, you’ll need to be vigilant that you are keeping an eye on where they are walking and running. You don’t want them to step on something that could be very harmful to their paws.
  • If after things have settled down and you are back home, and you still see behavior problems, it would be best to reach out to your veterinarian.

First Aid Cat & Dog Training Online

Sick dog and first aid

We love our pets, and we want to keep providing them a happy and healthy lifestyle after an emergency, but what happens if your pet gets hurt?  There is a 35-minute online course, put out by The Red Cross that you can take to help your fur-baby until they can get to a vet.

What you will learn in this online course is:

  • Checking your pets vital signs
  • How to conduct preventative care
  • How to recognize and provide first aid for your fur-baby

Once you have completed the course, you will receive a Red Cross digital certificate. You will now be certified to give first aid to pets in need.

Always be prepared

We have shared with you many ways to keep your pets safe during an emergency. Are you ready in case of an emergency? Share with us some of the steps you are taking to make sure your pets will be safe during an emergency. Be sure to tag us @vitalpetlife and use the hashtags #RedCrossPetSafety #emergencyprepared #PetFirstAid #staysafe