PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Whether it’s a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, a wildfire or a flood — natural disasters are frightening and often unexpected. Because June is National Pet Preparedness Month, veterinarians at PetSmart, the leading pet specialty retailer in North America, are providing safety tips to pet parents on how to help keep pets safe and calm in the event of a natural disaster.
“The best way to keep pets safe during an emergency is to prepare a disaster plan, especially with hurricane season around the corner,” said Nick Saint-Erne, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “It is common to overlook pets when preparing for an emergency, but taking a few simple steps to include your pets’ needs in your family preparedness plan will help ensure they are comfortable and safe in the event of an emergency.”
Dr. Saint-Erne suggests the following pet preparedness safety measures:
Ensure your pets are safely contained. When severe weather warnings go into effect, crate or kennel your animals. Consider getting a pet carrier if you don’t already have one, and practicing crate training in advance to avoid extra stress in the face of an emergency. These are easy solutions to keep your dog or cat contained and ready to travel at a moment’s notice. Also, have buckets or plastic bins with a lid on hand for fish and turtles in the event you need to evacuate them – this is a safer alternative than transporting these pets in glass bowls or aquariums.
Look for pet-friendly housing options for your pet should you need to evacuate your home. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations, which are often needed for boarding, and that you have a supply of your pet’s medication. Be sure to have your pet’s medical records on file and on-hand.
- Ask friends, relatives and others outside of your immediate area whether they could shelter your animals.
- Prepare a list of animal shelters, boarding facilities and veterinarian offices that could shelter animals during an emergency, and include 24-hour phone numbers.
Make sure your pet has identification. Countless pets go missing after storms. Proper ID on your pet is the best assurance you and your pet are reunited in the event you are separated. “Consider microchip identification for your pets, as this is a permanent way to identify them. All rescue groups and veterinarians can check lost pets for microchip identification,” Saint-Erne said. “After a disaster, if you have lost your pet, post you pet’s information on websites that are designed to help reunite lost pets with their owners. It’s also a good idea to check to see if your pet may have been dropped off at the local humane association.”
Be aware of “paw-level” hazards post-storm. Sharp debris, toxic spilled chemicals, fertilizers and other substances on the floor of the home or ground outside may pose less risk to upright humans, but can be dangerous to ground-level pets. Downed power lines from hurricanes and high water from floods can also pose a threat for animals after a disaster. Take the time to consider the dangers your pet will face before entering into an area, home, shelter or other building.
Provide comfort. Severe weather can be frightening to pets. Provide your dog or cat with a familiar toy or blanket or try aids like calming sprays, collars, chews, supplements or a ThunderShirt™ to help ease anxiety.
Assemble a pet disaster supply kit. Create a pet safety kit, including the following, in an easy-to-carry waterproof container that can be taken during storms, fires, earthquakes and evacuations.
- Portable food and water bowls, along with a one-week supply of food and fresh water
- Hard copies of each pet’s updated vaccination records
- An extra supply of medication (if refrigeration is necessary, have easy access to a small, insulated bag or cooler)
- First-aid items such as antiseptic spray, antibacterial ointment and liquid bandage products. These are easy solutions that can deliver quick first-aid care in the event of a pet injury
- A list of regional pet-friendly hotels
- A bed, carrier or leash and harness for each animal
- Pet waste bags
- Cat litter, litter box and scoop
- Current photos and descriptions of your pets, in case they get lost
For additional pet safety tips and resources, visit PetSmart’s Learning Center or speak with an in-store PetSmart associate.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 55,000 associates and operates more than 1,600 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.
Find PetSmart on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PetSmart
See PetSmart on Instagram: @PetSmart
Follow PetSmart on Twitter: @PetSmart
See PetSmart on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/PetSmart
PetSmart homepage: http://www.petsmart.com/
Turn your passion for pets into a career you’ll love! Visit careers.petsmart.com to learn more about corporate, retail store and Distribution Center opportunities.