Preparing for Emergencies - The Hardest Part of Owning A Pet
by Amber Polo
How can you insure your dog or cat is prepared for an emergency?
Consider what you can do now to enjoy your pet more and ensure he or she (or they) will stay safe and happy even when you can’t provide all the caregiving.
|Watch your pet's weight|
If you and your dog attended obedience classes, from time to time review what you learned. Even if a dog has not been formally trained, consider having your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen, a test administered by an AKC Evaluator, to help prove to rental agents, etc. that your dog is exactly that.
|Canine Good Citizenship Certification|
Outside the home, socialize your dog to a variety of people and situations: busy streets, outdoor cafes, dog parks, unusual noises. A confident dog rides well in a car, takes new places and people in stride, and shows neither fear nor aggression towards strangers, other dogs, cats, etc.
Test runs - Leave your dog for a short time with your pet caregiver. Get your dog accustomed to the new place first for a visit, then for a short time. Feed the dog in the caregiver’s home. Try a sleepover.
Formal and informal long term arrangements for pet care may include a Pet Trust or Letter of Instruction. Talk to friends and family about your wishes. Carefully choose a “godmother,” foster pet parent, or guardian who will love your pet for a short time or forever, if needed.
Disaster Preparedness – If you live in an area at risk for fire or flooding prepare a pet evacuation plan and have a kit of pet food and supplies handy.
Emergency Information - Create or find a form for each pet and write out instructions, veterinary and caregiver contact numbers, feeding, medical information, medication schedule, routines, and all the information needed to care for your pet. Add a photo of yourself with your pet in case an ID is needed. Post in your home in an easy-to-find place along with the location of food, collar, leash and supplies. Carry veterinary contact information and authorization for treatment in your car in case you are in an accident with your pet. Also consider carrying a card in your wallet stating you have pet/s at home and who to notify to for him them.
Hopefully, there won’t be an emergency, but thoughtful preparation will let you rest easy.
Previously published in the August-September issue of Flagstaff-Sedona Dog magazine.