Pet First Aid
Emergency, hurt, plan, kit, prepare, first aid, disaster
Pet First Aid
Preparing our families for disasters is something most of us are very aware of, and, hopefully, already have our kits and a plan prepared. But, what about our pets? Have you thought about what to prepare and how to plan for your pets in the event of a disaster
The first must is an emergency preparedness kit. One of the easiest ways to construct an emergency kit for your pets is to purchase an inexpensive, brightly colored back pack, and you can store everything you might need inside. Store it someplace where it will always be easy to find, so you can grab it and go if the need arises.
A pet emergency backpack should contain an extra leash and collar, enough dry food and water for at least 5 days, a food and water bowl, plastic bags for waste pickup. An updated copy of the vaccine record, a current photograph of each pet in case you get separated, and one of those space-age compact thermal blankets would be nice. For people with cats, include disposable litter boxes as well. Also, keep an extra pillow case in the backpack, so in case you can't get to your carrier, you can place your small dog or cat into the pillowcase. It is a quick and safe way to transport small critters. And always be sure to have a first aid kit in any pet's emergency backpack.
To help you administer basic first aid to your pets, I recommend you take a pet first aid course. Most American Red Cross chapters offer this class throughout the United States, so check with you local chapter to see if this course is available. If not, there are also pet first aid videos and books that you can purchase at many pet shops and book stores.
Make sure to keep your veterinarian's number very handy, as well as the number and address of the nearest animal emergency facility. Since many Red Cross shelters will probably not accept pets, make sure to check with your local animal shelter in advance to find out where pets should be brought in the event of an emergency. Also, I recommend having a large note or poster to leave on your door for firefighters or rescue personnel indicating the number and types of pets you have indoors in case you need to evacuate quickly.
Emergencies can happen at any time. Take a few minutes when you get home to construct backpacks and formulate a disaster preparedness plan for your entire family.
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