Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

How Can Your Loved One Prepare Their Pet for a Disaster

By Erin Carll

Home Care in Wexford PA

Disasters can happen any time, and often come with little warning. Hopefully you have discussed with the loved one for whom you’re providing home care a plan for when emergencies strike. But what about their pets or service animals? Here’s how to prepare them for a disaster.

  • Take pets or service animals with you if you must evacuate. But keep in mind that more public shelters than not do not allow pets in them unless they are service animals.
  • Help your loved one prepare a list of family, friends, boarding facilities, veterinarians, or pet-friendly hotels/motels that could shelter their pets in an emergency. If the home is not safe for your loved one to stay in, it’s not safe for their pet to stay in either. So plan accordingly. Keep “pet friendly” places and their phone numbers in a disaster supply kit for quick access.
  • Place rescue stickers on a prominent window or door to alert emergency workers to the pets’ presence. Keep a list of family, friends and neighbors who can help evacuate pets if your loved one is not home when something happens. Make arrangements in advance for someone they trust to take their pets and meet them at a specified location. Be sure the person is comfortable with the pets and that the pets are familiar with them. Give the emergency caretaker a key to the home and show them where the pets are likely to be (especially if they hide when nervous) and where the disaster supplies are kept.
  • Make sure pets are wearing current ID tags and are microchipped in case they become separated from their owner. Put your loved one’s contact information on all pet carriers, including a cell phone number.
  • Prepare an emergency kit in advance containing pet food and water for at least five days, sturdy leashes and collars, litter boxes, pet crates or carriers, medications and other basics. Include copies of your pets’ medical records, a list of housing alternatives, current photos and descriptions of your pets, and contact information for your vet, family and friends. In case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care, prepare a list that includes feeding schedules, any medications and dosages, any other medical or behavioral issues. Store all papers in a waterproof bag.
  • A pet first aid book is also a wise idea. Blankets and towels for bedding and warmth are also important. Include toys and treats to help reduce stress on your pet. Put everything in a covered container that can easily be carried, yet protected from the elements.
  • Evacuate early. Don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation order. Some people who have waited to be evacuated by emergency officials have been told to leave their pets behind. Plus, the smell of smoke or the sound of high winds or thunder may make your pet more fearful and difficult to load into a crate. Evacuating early will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.
  • Keep cats in carriers and dogs on leashes. Don’t let them roam free. Familiar sights and sounds may disappear during emergencies, causing them to easily become disoriented or lost.

Source: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/animal_rescue/tips/pet_disaster_preparedness_kit.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.​