Pet Health Issues – How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster

Pet Health Issues – When Katrina hit the Gulf coast, thousands of companion pets were killed.  For those that were lost, most of them were never found by their human families. 

The loss of human life and property during this disaster was devastating.  But losing all of those pets was heart-breaking.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fire are disasters that we read about every year.  We are not affected by them in most situations.

When a disaster does strike, many pets must be left behind in a house which is unsafe to live in.  Many storm shelters do not allow pets.  So many pets are left behind in their homes.  They are left to fend for themselves.  Unfortunately, most of these animals will not make it through the disaster. 

Some will slowly bleed to death from injuries sustained during the storm.  Others will die of starvation as they are locked up in a vacant home. 

I look at my little dog.  He is completely dependent on me.  He relies on me to give him his food and water.  He depends on me to provide him a safe, dry place to sleep.  He counts on me to keep him completely safe from danger.

There is absolutely no way that he could fend for himself if we were separated.

But when a disaster does strike us, the key thing is to be prepared.

I read an article that discusses this topic.  It’s called “Preparing for disaster when you have a pet” by William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers.

There are things you can do to help protect your pet.  Mr. Hageman lists several of them.

Here is a quote:

Warning signs: Post “Pets Inside” stickers on your front and back doors. If a disaster strikes and you are not home, this sticker will let rescuers know there are animals in the house. They’re available at various retail outlets, Amazon.com or petalertdecal.com.

A haven: Not all emergency evacuation shelters allow pets. The website petfriendlytravel.com suggests calling your county emergency management office (there’s a list at petfriendlytravel.com/pet_shelters), or check with a local animal shelter.

Identification: Make sure your cat or dog has a properly fitted collar with identification tag attached. Having your animal microchipped is a good idea as well. And make sure the information is up to date.

There are also devices such as Tagg — The Pet Tracker, a tracking system that uses GPS and lets a pet owner locate a lost pet via a tracking device in the animal’s collar (go to tagg.com).

Emergency kit: Just as you have one for yourself and other family members, have one for your animal.

Pet records, medication, food and water should be included. Go to petfinder.com/pet-care (click on the link “Disaster Preparedness”) for a thorough list of items to pack.

The entire article can be read here

This is a good article.  I recommend that your read it.

Obviously, the best approach is to locate a pet friendly shelter before the disaster strikes.  Make sure you get there in time to get your family and pet inside. 

Please let me know of other ways of protecting your pets.  You may never be forced to deal with these terrifying pet health issues.  But it is certainly best to be prepared.  This is one of  the  very critical pet health issues today.

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