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Tips To Prepare Your Pet For Storm And Fire Evacuations

PetSmart Dr. Robyn Jaynes / PetSmart

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During the chaos of a hurricane or an evacuation pets are at great risk of running away or being left behind. According to Dr. Robyn Jaynes, PetSmart Inc.’s vet in residence,  "the best way to keep your pets safe is simply to prepare, just as you would for the rest of your family."

Dr. Robyn recommends the following tips to Pet Parents:

Have a plan and know where to go: Not all emergency shelters accept pets – and animal shelters and boarding kennels often have limited space. Contact local humane societies or local chapters of the American Red Cross in advance.

If at home, bring pets indoors: All pets should be brought indoors. And if the pet seems afraid or anxious while indoors, consider housing them in an appropriate-sized pet kennel to help them feel more secure.

Create a "Pet Preparedness Kit": The kit should contain bottles of water, extra food, extra blankets, a soft muzzle, collars, leashes, a first-aid kit and a week’s supply of any special medication and dosage instructions.

Keep medical records on hand: Many kennels and shelters will not take pets without proof of vaccinations, and if a pet is injured or becomes ill, access to medical records will help vets provide better care. Always make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations to avoid them from expiring during an emergency.

Make sure pets wear ID tags or have Microchips: During the chaos of a hurricane or an evacuation, pets are at great risk of running away or being left behind. If a pet does become lost, proper identification can increase the chances of a safe return home.

If traveling, get a pet carrier: An individual carrier for each pet in the family can make transporting pets safe and gives them a feeling of security. Make sure the pets ID tag or carrier are labeled with information where you can be reached during an emergency.

Make sure fresh water and food are on hand: Stock up on drinking water for the whole family– try storing fresh tap water in jugs or buy bottled water.

Have an escape route and plan: Know who is responsible for making sure everyone is safe.

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