SO given the current circumstances around our beautiful nation I thought it would be a good idea to give some practical emergency tips. Especially with all this lovely free time most of us have! I will cover some basic information on what I have in place in my own home as well as tips I have seen other pet owners use quite effectively. We all know the tips you see on the news for “things to prepare” for a natural disaster type scenario. No one could predict this pandemic scenario, but what about your everyday emergency? That’s what I would like to discuss today.
In my household we have three poodles, two cats, eight chickens and one duck. Three of my animals receive medications daily. So as you can imagine, if something were to happen to me and/or my husband we would need someone to know how to care for our herd! In my wallet I keep a “Pet Emergency'' ID card behind my license. This was especially important to me when I was single, on this card it states that I have pets at home that require medical care. Their names (any major health issues such as diabetes, epileptic listed next to it), species, and 3 contact numbers are listed. One of which should always be your trusted veterinarian in case your immediate family is unable to care for them. Now, let’s say you had a medical emergency and you are in the hospital, maybe unable to communicate. You have a friend who agreed to go over and tend to your pets but maybe they aren’t very familiar with your animals? A close friend of mine used this template and explained to me her reasoning. “I want to know that if something happens to me, my animals will still receive the care they need. I want to leave such clear instructions that a stranger could come and tend to them and know exactly what to do, who was who, and where to find what they need.” That statement has stuck with me through the years.
So my template includes the following: Name, age, color, gender, special needs, any known behavioral issues (for example my female cannot be fed with my other two dogs or a fight will occur). Then I go on to list out the feeding routine, who is fed where, the amounts of food, and any medications. I also put where they can find the food/medication. Is this a bit much? Maybe, but when you have several senior pets skipping one or two doses of medication can have severe health repercussions. I update this document as needed and keep it hung on the fridge at all times. I also keep a list of friends/pet sitters who are familiar with my animals as well as the contact info for the vet on the bottom of the paper.
Now the last thing I will go over is vehicle accidents that INCLUDE your pet. Hopefully we never have to worry about any of this. However, we need to be prepared for your pet’s sake. First, if your pet is in a carrier is it secured? Even if your pet is secured in a carrier and strapped into a seatbelt carriers can break and leashes can be cut. They do make crash proof kennels for those who travel frequently. They can be pricey but oh so worth the piece of mind. Let’s say you don’t have that (as most of us don’t). I HIGHLY recommend having your pet mircochipped. This is such a valuable thing especially if your pet loses its collar.
Now, be mindful that even if you have microchipped your pet some companies require annual fees to remain active, while others are simply a one time initial fee when the chip is inserted. Check to make sure which type of chip you have! Next, have a collar on your pet in case they do get loose if you have an accident! My pet’s typically do not wear any collars when inside (that’s for another article) but when we go for walks or do any kind of travel they wear them at all times. Make sure your tag includes a rabies tag AND your CURRENT contact info. Don’t know if your dog even has an up to date tag? Now is the perfect time to update that info! I include the pets name, 1-2 contact numbers, and if the pet has medical issues you can add a handicap symbol or the term “Med Alert ''. I believe this is crucial information. If the pet is still with you hopefully they will see your pet ID card in your wallet with the specifics of your pets needs.
So often pets are not chipped nor have tags on their collar so we can’t contact their owners. Or perhaps nothing but an old rabies tag? Well if the vet office is closed for the weekend your pet may go to the pound until they officials can contact the vet office to get your information. Then your diabetic pet may have gone a full two days without insulin, you guys see where I’m going. This is a really “negative nancy” type article but something we should all think about once or twice a year. Why not print up a “How to Care '' template while your on Covid-19 shutdown and watching Netflix? That’s what I’m doing this afternoon myself ;) . We hope this article has helped you feel more secure for any situation that comes your way.
Your Furry Godmother
Real Fur. Real Talk
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