National Animal Safety Month

October is National Animal Safety Month.  With all of the natural disasters that have been happening around the globe, now is a good time to refresh yourself on how to keep your furry friends safe.  Cats and dogs are important members of your family and including them in your safety plan now will help prevent future loss.    

1. Micro-chipping.   Having your pets micro-chipped, and making sure that information associated with the microchip is up to date is one of the best ways to ensure that your pet is returned to you if they ever get separated from you.  You can use the AAHA tool (www.petmircochiplookup.org) to find which company your pet's chip is through. From there, you can contact the company and update any information.  If you are unsure of your pet's number or if your pet has a microchip, come to our hospital and we can scan them for you to double check.  

2. Window stickers.  No one wants to think about needing emergency help at their own house. Window stickers will let an emergency crew know about other family members that may need to be rescued as well.  The ASPCA has a free emergency kit that you can order online (https://secure.aspca.org/ take-action/order-your-pet- safety-pack).  This pack includes window clings and a fridge magnet.

3.  Wallet Cards.  There are a lot of pet emergency wallet cards that you can buy or download.  These cards are kept in your wallet for occasions where you may have an emergency away from your pets.   We like ones that give the basic information such as a person to contact to care for your pets while you are unable to, but you must make sure to let the person that you put on the card know that they are in charge of your pets if something happens to you. Here is a link for a free basic download that you can add to your safety plan for your pet: http://www.thepugdiary.com/my- pet-is-home-alone-card/

A lot of families already have emergency kits in their home that are packed with items that would help the family during an emergency.  We've put together a checklist of items that would be helpful to add for your pets.  It's not a complete list, but it's a good starting point.  

1. Leashes and collars with I.D. tags.  Carriers that are tagged with your information are also helpful.

2. Daily medications your pet needs.  The CDC recommends a two week supply.

3. Proof of ownership (laminated in case of water damage).

4. Proof of current vaccines (laminate this one too).

5. Food and Feeding Instructions. Again,  a two week supply is recommended for each animal.  We also suggest a manual can opener if your pet is on a canned diet.

6. Water for everyone, including pets. You can never have too much water.

7.  One or two comfort items like nylabones, toys, or blankets.

8. Veterinary contact information.

We all hope that we are never in a situation where these items are necessary, but life takes unexpected turns, and it doesn't hurt to be over prepared for your pets.  

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