Fortunately for Ohio residents, our state is relatively removed from disasters such as hurricanes, forest fires, and earthquakes. However, unforeseen events, such as tornadoes, house fires, blizzards, and power outages do occasionally occur, and can still threaten your safety in Dayton. Be prepared for any situation, and ensure the safety of your entire family, including your pet, with the aid of our disaster preparedness tips.
#1: Check your pet’s microchip
A microchip is the only permanent pet identification form that has a searchable database. The chip is implanted under your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades, which she won’t notice any more than a vaccination, but will last for your best friend’s whole life. Although Check the Chip Day is August 15, we like to check your pet’s microchip at each appointment, to ensure it has not migrated, and is still working. If you want us to simply scan your pet’s microchip, drop by to see us.
#2: Ensure your pet’s ID tags are current and legible
If your pet is the rough and tumble sort, the engraving on her ID tags may fade away and become illegible. Periodically check, to ensure each number and letter is clear, and update the tags as needed with new phone numbers. Don’t forget to keep all your contact info updated by calling our team, and contacting the microchip company, to ensure your most current phone number is on file.
#3: Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention
If disaster strikes, and your pet needs to be boarded, you don’t want to be scrambling to update her vaccinations, and find proof of a negative fecal sample and heartworm test. Instead, keep your furry pal current on necessary vaccinations and preventives, including the bordetella (i.e., kennel cough) vaccine for your dog, to ensure her safety in a boarding facility. After your pet receives her latest vaccine boosters, keep a paper copy of her medical history and records with her emergency kit.
#4: Stock a two-week supply of your pet’s necessities
Whether a natural disaster strikes, your home burns, or you lose power for an extended time, ensure your pet has plenty of supplies. Stock a two-week supply of food, treats, litter, medications, and waste bags in your pet’s emergency kit. Rotate supplies monthly for continued freshness, and to avoid expired medication.
#5: Create a pet first aid kit that you keep with your pet emergency kit
You likely have your own first aid kit stashed in your bathroom, which will include most of the supplies needed for a pet first aid kit. However, ensure your kit also contains these items for a pet emergency:
- Bandage material, such as nonstick bandages, gauze, cling wrap, and tape
- Fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Activated charcoal
- Milk of magnesia
- Antibiotic ointment
- Benadryl, with appropriate dosing instructions
Over time, you may remove bandage materials or other items for yourself, so regularly check your stock of supplies. Also, don’t forget to swap out old hydrogen peroxide for fresh, to keep it potent and fizzy enough to induce vomiting.
#6: Learn basic first aid procedures
Before beginning any first aid procedure on your pet, keep in mind that first aid’s sole purpose is to stabilize your pet long enough to reach a veterinarian. First aid is not designed to take the place of emergency veterinary care, although it can save your pet’s life. Some conditions can be stabilized at home, while others require immediate transport to your nearest veterinary hospital. If your pet is experiencing one of the following problems, use the American Veterinary Medical Association’s guide to provide first aid care:
- Internal bleeding
- External bleeding
- Lack of respiration
- Lack of pulse
For more in-depth information, plus illustrations and pictures of first aid procedures, purchase a pet first aid book, such as the American Red Cross book.
#7: Design a pet-friendly evacuation plan
One of the most important elements of disaster preparedness for your pet is planning an evacuation route. Unfortunately, many hotels accept only service animals, so plan accordingly. Use a website like Petswelcome.com to keep an updated list of hotels that accept pets along a potential evacuation route, or to search for boarding facilities, or pet-sitters, along the way.
Be prepared for any emergency situation by ensuring your furry pal is current on vaccinations and has a clean bill of health. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s appointment and get copies of her updated vaccination records.