TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s Emergency Preparedness Week next week, and while many Canadians may believe they are at lower risk of emergency with the end of winter storms, spring and summer weather brings its own dose of potential dangers. Thunderstorms, flooding, wildfires and tornadoes are just some of the natural disasters that can displace Canadian families – and their pets – from their homes. That’s why Hill’s Pet Nutrition is joining its nation-wide network of animal shelter partners in a campaign to educate pet families on the ways they can stay safe and be better prepared to survive a disaster.
“Planning ahead is the best way for families to ensure that all members of their family, including pets, are ready to face an emergency,” said Frances Cheslo, who oversees Hill’s Pet Nutrition Food, Shelter & Love® program. “Creating a pet emergency go-kit beforehand can relieve some of the stress families experience and keep pets safe when disasters strike. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of cats and dogs that are hurt, displaced or abandoned when communities are impacted by disaster.”
Tips on how to prepare before disaster strikes
If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, many of the same items one sets aside for your family in case of emergency should also be considered for pets. Hill’s and its shelter partners encourage families to create a pet emergency go-kit to store alongside the rest of the family’s emergency supplies. The kit should include the following items:
- Basic first aid supplies
- A 3-day supply of bottled water and the pet’s preferred food, held in a waterproof container
- Safety harness and leash
- Waste clean-up supplies
- Medications and a copy of the pet’s medical records
- List of veterinarians and local pet care organizations
- List of the pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues
- Comfort items, such as a blanket or favorite toy, to help keep the pet calm and comfortable
What pet parents should do in an emergency
This May marks the two-year anniversary of the start of the Fort McMurray wildfires when more than 80,000 residents were ordered to flee, with many forced to leave without their pets as they were barred from re-entering the city due to the advancing wildfire. Sadly, when a natural disaster strikes, pets can face significant risk. Hill’s recommends the following Tips to Help Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency:
1. Ensure your pet’s identification by using a microchip or collar ID
tag, and make sure that all contact information is up-to-date. You can
update the microchip’s contact information at the manufacturer’s website
by locating the code from the barcode sticker or the confirmation form
provided by your veterinarian or animal shelter.
2. Display a pet rescue decal on the front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include the local veterinarian’s contact information.
3. Learn where your pets like to hide in the house when frightened. Finding a pet quickly will help to evacuate faster.
4. Identify a location to take a pet in case of evacuation. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
5. Carry a picture of the pet in the event of separation.
6. In case of evacuation, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.
When even the best laid plans are not enough and communities are hit hard by disaster, Hill’s Disaster Relief Network responds quickly to supply free pet food to families in need. This first-of-its-kind network was established in 2013 as an extension of the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program, which has provided more than $290 million worth of Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods to more than 1,000 shelters in North America over the last 16 years.
Families can view the entire Pet Emergency Go-Kit and learn more tips about disaster preparedness and safety at HillsPet.ca/PetPrepared. Shelters in need of assistance can contact DisasterRelief@hillspet.com.
About Hill's Pet Nutrition Canada
Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hill’s mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL'S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL'S® Science Diet® and HILL'S® Healthy Advantage™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.ca, HillsVet.ca or Facebook, keywords "Hill’s Pet Nutrition."