June is National Pet Preparedness Month! At Black Dog & Company we take preparedness very seriously. Here are some helpful tips to help you and your pet prepare for the unexpected.
1. Identification - This is definitely the easiest and most important step to preparing for an unexpected situation. Microchip your pet, the average cost to microchip is $45 through your veterinarian. Microchipping takes seconds, is noninvasive, the chip itself is approximately the size of a grain of rice and lasts a lifetime. If your pet is ever lost a veterinarian can scan your pet for microchip and retrieve your contact information. However, it is also important to update your information with the microchip company if you ever move or obtain a new phone number. It is also important to check your pet’s ID tags on their collar every few months. This is to ensure the tags are still legible. If your cat or dog has any specific medical requirements or conditions it would also be helpful to include this on their tags - much like a medical alert bracelet for a human. Other methods of identification include carrying a photo of your pet in your vehicle, in a specific location on your smartphone, and stored away in your emergency kit.
2. Look for helpers - I am going to quote Mr.Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for helpers. You will always find people who are helping’.” In case of an evacuation, have a contact list of individuals that know your pet well or a list of pet friendly hotels in surrounding towns or cities.
3. Stay together - If you find yourself displaced from a natural disaster and unable to return home - keep your pet on a leash at all times. At Black Dog & Company we know that dogs can be easily allured by new scents in new spaces and cats can easily escape from small areas, which is why we have a strict leash policy when we attend events with your beloved pet.
4. Build an emergency kit - Easy to build and maintain, we check and restock our emergency kit after every event. Your pet’s emergency kit should include:
- Several days worth of food, stored water
- Collapsing bowls
- A roll of poop bags
- Extra leash and collar
- Favourite toy
- Extra large towel (for comfort and care but also doubles as a sling or a cot if your pet is unable to mobilize)
- First aid kit with extra 3M Vetrap
- Copies of vet records, pet’s photo, contact list as mentioned above
5. Establish a plan of action! - If you are away from your home during a natural disaster, who would be the point person to take care of your pet? Find your most responsible human and develop a plan so that if a disaster happens this individual can access your residence, obtain your pet and their emergency kit, all without too much difficulty. In our case, Morgan has a network of humans on standby in case anything comes up unexpectedly. We have also added pet safety stickers up on a door and window at our house. Pet safety stickers indicate that in case of emergency your residence contains X number of cats, dogs or other pets as well as your phone number. You can find pet safety stickers at such pet supply stores as Ren’s Pet Depot or Pet Valu. Some veterinary practices also carry these stickers. Average price for 2 stickers is $2.99.
Little steps go a long way and can mean the world of a difference if you and your pet ever experience an emergency. Black Dog & Company wishes you a safe and happy summer full of many adventures with your dog. If you have any helpful tips or suggestions we would love to hear from you!