29 June 2011

June is National Pet Preparedness Month

Being self-reliant means being prepared for a a reasonable range of disasters or emergency situations. But, that preparedness involves more than just taking care of yourself — it means looking out for your family too. Of course, it's important to remember the furry members of your family in your planning.

Although it's very late in the month, it's still worth noting that June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Correspondingly, the American Humane Association has a great little post on creating a Pet Preparedness Kit. It's a short list, with some items that are fairly obvious (food, water, leash, and collar) and some that aren't (a photo of your pet with their ID and a photo of you with your pet).

While the above list is very helpful, it's also a good idea to check out this article from Pet Sitters International about creating a Disaster Plan for your pet. This article expands on what to consider for your Pet Preparedness Kit, and it also walks you through some things and situations to consider before an emergency occurs.

One final note: most people setting up a preparedness kit will have first aid supplies. However, it's a good idea to have one geared toward your pet too. If space is an issue, adding things like styptic powder and/or the appropriate nail clippers to your regular first aid kit can make it do double duty.

Don't forget to have a good first aid reference manual for your specific type of pet. There are many pet first aid books available on Amazon.com; I've used the American Red Cross' Pet First Aid: Cats & Dogs since it first came out, and it's a very useful book. It doesn't replace a qualified veterinarian, of course, but it will definitely help in an emergency.

Have you had any experience with pets and disasters? How did you prepare?

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