Every year Australians must battle the elements. Bushfires and floods are just some of the ever-present threats impacting many communities across Australia. With climate change, these threats have become more prevalent and have resulted in greater devastation than ever before.
In times of emergency, a parent would never leave a child behind and by that regard, a pet owner should never leave a pet behind. As pet owners, it is our duty to protect our beloved pets who are virtually defenceless in the face of these natural disasters. As we prepare our family and property in times of emergency and natural disasters, we must also prepare our animals.
Here are some tips for pet owners preparing their pets for emergencies:
Microchip your pet
A microchip is a permanent form of electronic identification that is implanted just under your pet’s skin, below the back of their neck. Small in size, the microchip is advantageous as it allows vets, animal shelters, and local councils access to the unique chip number. Inputting that number into a specialised database provides access to the pet owner’s contact details. Microchipping your pet significantly increases the chances of your pet being found in the event that it becomes separated from you.
Accustom your pets to travel
Train your pets to become accustomed to car rides. When time is of the essence you can’t afford to waste time coaxing your pet into the car. Although many pets enjoy car rides there are a select few who experience anxiety when travelling. In many cases, this is caused by pets negatively associating car rides with trips to the vet. Pet owners can help their pet deal with anxiety by stocking their car with pet treats for your pet and familiar items (toys and blankets) that may assist in calming your pet. Take your pet for car rides of varying duration so you’re your pet begins to associate car rides with something offer than trips to the vet. It is also best to ensure that you have easy access to your pet’s travel harness, carrier, and crate so that you can safely travel with your pet.
Prepare an emergency kit for your pet
Prepare a pet emergency kit in advance and in a place where you can grab it in a hurry. Within the kit pet owners should include:
- At least two weeks supply of food and water for each pet
- For cats: bring a litter box and litter
- For dogs: bring plastic bogs
Registration and vaccination certificates
- Medications that your pet may require
- Familiar items like blankets and toys that will help calm your pet
- A recent photograph of your pet in the event that you are separated
It is important to remember that emergencies and natural disasters oftentimes occur without warning. The best thing you can do as a pet owner is to ensure that you have taken precautionary measures to ensure your pet’s safety.