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Pets Need Help During And After A Disaster

Pets need help during and after a disaster

A disaster or emergency can have just as much impact on our pets as they do on us. Pets can become injured or ill as a result of the upset conditions, and as they are generally considered to be members of the family, they must be cared for, too. If you have pets, you should have an emergency supply of food and any other supplies they might need during a crisis. Extra, non-perishable food should be stored and any accessories that the pet might need, such as litter, should also be kept in your emergency stores.

Keep Them Close

Regardless of how you might let your dog or cat run loose during normal times, this should definitely not be done during a disaster. Earthquakes and other natural disasters can change the appearance of even your own back yard, and a pet can become confused and frightened at the alterations and run off. Never let a dog off the leash when outside during times such as these.Besides possibly losing your dog, there is also the chance that the dog can find questionable items outside that could make him sick. Do not let your dog drink any standing water in your yard, either, it can contain any number of pathogens that could cause illness.

Cats should be confined to a crate during an emergency or disaster. Cats tend to be rather skittish under the best of circumstances and if let outside could easily bolt away. The cat can even be fed in the crate, and only allowed out to use the litter box. It would probably be a good idea to fit the cat with a harness so that you will have better control when the cat is out of the crate. Stock up on emergency cat food supply today.

Exotic Pets

Many people keep more exotic pets such as tropical birds, monkeys, and tortoises. Besides food and water, these animals will usually need to be kept warm. You should definitely have an alternative means of heating your home if you have any of these pets. It should go without saying that these pets should also be confined during a disaster, as much to keep them warm as to prevent them rushing off (especially in the case of the birds and monkeys).

First Aid

Although it is possible to simply use items from your family’s first aid kit to treat your pets, many people prefer to keep a separate kit for their pets.This should contain approximately what the ‘ human kit’ does – gauze pads and rolls, antibiotic cream, tape, thermometer, sanitary wipes, and pain reliever among other items. If your pet is taking any prescription medications, be sure to have these in the kit, too, along with a copy of the prescription. Make sure you have a muzzle or some other means of protecting against bites if you need to treat your dog or cat for an injury.


At times the situation will become serious enough to require evacuation. If you must leave your home, take your pets with you. They should not be turned out to ‘fend for themselves’ because they will be unable to do so. Make sure any dogs are kept on leash at all times and that cats are confined to their crates. Larger pets, such as horses, will usually have to be left, and you will have to make a decision about whether to turn them loose or keep them confined to their stalls.