10 Tips to Get You Through Pet Preparedness Month (And Beyond)

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This month-long holiday is a great excuse to make a plan.

June is National Pet Preparedness Month. Whether you’re a seasoned pet parent or a first-timer, unexpected disasters can leave anyone feeling helpless. That's why it's important to have a plan ahead of time for your furry friends when faced with an event like severe weather, a wildfire, and more.

Here are our top ten tips to make you a pet preparedness pro in the face of any disaster.

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Microchip Your Pet

If you adopted your canine or feline from an animal shelter, chances are they have already been microchipped. If your pet hasn't been microchipped, it's highly recommended, as it can make a huge difference if you and your pet get separated during an emergency. Plus, microchipping is relatively inexpensive, usually costing under $50 per pet.

Already microchipped your pets? Make sure your contact information is up to date so a veterinarian or shelter group knows who to contact if someone brings in your pet.

RELATEDWhy Microchipping is Something Every Dog Owner Should Do

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Talk To Your Vet About Prescriptions

In case you and your pets are stuck inside and can't go to the pharmacy or have to evacuate before your next autoship arrives, it's a good idea to have a reserve supply of any prescriptions your pet is currently taking. Talk to your veterinarian about what options you may have to get an advanced refill in case of an emergency,

Additionally, if your pet exhibits reactive or destructive behaviors in stressful situations, ask your veterinarian about any calming aids they recommend. Not all calming aids are prescription, but if your dog is new to medication, you'll want to speak with your vet before purchasing anything.

RELATED: Metoclopramide for Dogs: Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage for Your Queasy Pup

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Create a Pet First Aid Kit

Medications are a great foundation for a pet first aid kit. Other items to add to a pet first aid kit include:

  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Dishwasher detergent, for bathing
  • Stypic powder, to stop bleeding from minor wounds or cuts
  • Towels

If you already have a first aid kit equipped for humans, many items can do double-duty for pets. Just make sure to check with your veterinarian about any topical treatments for pets that were intended for humans.

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Protect Your Pet's Medical Records

Depending on the emergency, you may need to take a few precautions to keep your pet's medical records stay safe and dry. Laminating—or to save a buck, using a Ziploc bag—is a great way to inexpensively weatherproof hard copies of your pet's medical history, including their immunization record. If you have a fireproof safe, this is another great location to store an extra set.

RELATED: Cat Vaccinations: Essential Shots & What to Expect

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Assemble an Emergency Go Bag

Emergency evacuations can be scary, especially if you have furry friends in tow. One way to get everybody out the door quicker is to assemble an emergency "go" bag or container for your pets, complete with a week's supply of food and water, prescriptions, medical records, waste bags, and anything else your pets may need while away from home, including a portable bed.

RELATED: Here's What To Do With Your Pet When a Natural Disaster Strikes

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Turn On Mobile Alerts

Make sure you are getting the most timely info for your area by turning on severe weather alerts as well as breaking news alerts from your local news station. Many smartphones are already equipped to deploy certain alerts, but these are typically restricted to weather events, and delivery may be inconsistent.

If you have social media (who doesn't?), there are also several official social media accounts dedicated to certain emergencies, such as NWS Tornado, that you can turn on notifications for as well.

RELATED: 8 Tips to Keep Pets Safe During Extreme Winter Weather

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Practice Sheltering in Place

Sheltering in place can look different for everyone. Some pet parents are content with letting their pets roam around the basement while they all wait out a tornado siren while others prefer to put them in their crate or carrier until it's safe to emerge.

No matter what you prefer, practice sheltering in place with your pets. Practice makes perfect when it comes to getting your pets to go where you want them to go when you want them to go there.

RELATED8 Secrets to Crate Training Your Dog or Cat

Photo of Dog Hiding Under Blankets
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Identify Safe Evacuation Routes and Destinations

Nothing is worse than loading up the car with nowhere to go. If you have to evacuate your home due to a wildfire or flood, decide on 4-5 routes and destinations you can count on to get to safety if you can't stay put. Additionally, it's not a bad idea to practice driving your pets around, especially if they're not used to riding in the car.

RELATEDHow to Travel With Your Cat in The Car (and Help Your Kitty Stress Less!)

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Establish Emergency Contacts

Although it's scary to think about, there may be a situation such as a severe weather event or other environmental concern that prohibits you from reaching your pets in time to act. Think of a core group of people you trust to execute your pet preparedness plan if you can't be there. Ideally, these people should live within walking or short driving distance of you and your pets and have a way to enter your home if necessary.

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Brief Your Household On Pet Preparedness Plans

Now that you have all the steps to your pet preparedness plan laid out and checked off, it's time to socialize it with the rest of your household. Making sure everyone is clear on whose pet responsibilities are whose if an emergency strikes makes everyone safer, pets and humans alike.

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