In line with National Pet Preparedness Month, the Michigan State Police (MSP), Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is encouraging pet owners to familiarize themselves with current best practices for disaster preparedness. They particularly advise that owners put together emergency kits specifically for addressing pet needs during a crisis.
In a story posted by CBS News, MSP recommended that the following items be included in an emergency kit for pets:
- Pet first aid kit
- Pet food, water, and eating and drinking receptacles
- Pet identification, which can include official papers and photos of the owner and their pet
- Immunization and veterinary records
- Pet medications
- Sanitation bags
- A list of important contacts such as veterinarians, pet-friendly hotels, and nearby friends and family members
In the event of a crisis, MSP advises owners to bring pets inside their homes. Dogs and cats should be separated from each other even if they’re already familiar and comfortable with each other, as fear and anxiety may make their behavior unpredictable. Feeding pets moist canned food is also best when water is limited, as this will help them combat dehydration.
Creating an Emergency Plan for Your Pet
Many people forget to take their pets into account when developing a disaster preparedness plan, but it’s crucial to do so. Emergency situations are highly stressful and emotional, and the last thing you want is to have to make hard decisions about your pet’s welfare while in a state of panic.
Besides putting together an emergency kit, make sure your dog is microchipped and outfitted with a collar and identification tags at all times. Customizable dog collars, martingale collars, and harnesses are all good investments that can help keep your dog safe and secure. In the unfortunate event that you and your dog are ever separated during an emergency, proper identification will make it easier for anyone who finds them to return them to you.
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