We talk a lot about being prepared as people, families, individuals but what about our pets? I have five birds and I know that if I had to pick up and leave in an emergency , there are some things to have on hand that would be good to have.
For animals across the board, a travel carrier is a good idea, especially if your pet is small. Practice putting them in the carrier and going for short trips in the car so they can get used to it. I have a couple small cages that are easy to carry for my birds. Dogs might be okay to just jump in the car on the back seat but cats, hampters, and fish for example, have you thought about how you might get them in the car so you can head out in a hurry?
Other things handy to have on hand are a familiar toy or object. If your dog or cat have some favorite toys, buy 2 that are the same and keep 1 in an emergency type of backpack for when you need to head out.
Some other items to include in the bag for your pet as you rush out the door are some food and treats. I know food especially can get heavy fast. You dont have to put a lot in but just enough for a few meals/ 72 hours if possible. Make sure you include some bottles of water in case you are not able to get any clean water where you are headed to escape the disaster.
Include some plastic bags so you can clean up any 'presents' that might happen along the way.
For dogs and cats especially, make sure they have a collar on in case they happen to wander away from you. For birds and smaller animals, make sure the cages are labeled well with your contact information.
A leash is handy because even if your pet is well trained to stay by you, in an emergency with a lot of people rushing around you just dont know what might happen. There are even stores and websites that sell leashes for pets other than dogs and cats. This is another thing I would suggest using at home so your pet is familiar. I have a leash for my birds and they do not like it much or get distracted by the shiny clip. But it's nice to know they are familiar with it and I feel comfortable using it on them if I needed to.
Since I have birds, here are some other tips. Be conscious of the weather. If its cold , have a blanket you can cover the cage with. If its not, a small spray bottle you can fill with water to cool the birds down can be a lifesaver. Have a catch net in case there is a chance the birds might get let out by accident. Keep the cage in as quiet of an area as you can. Have some extra papers or paper towels to line the bottom of the carrier with.
Being prepared for your pets can ease a lot of stress that would happen in an emergency for both you and your family pet.
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