Plan for your pets

What about my pets?

Every time there is a natural disaster in America you hear stories about lost pets. In the confusion of the situation it is not always possible to deal with pets if taking care of pets was not planned for. Having always lived with a large number of pets I understand how the responsibility of taking care of pets can affect so many parts of your life. In some ways they are as much as having small children. Planning for pets can be as simple as having a plan for the fireworks on the fourth of July. We keep our dogs in the basement because it has the lowest noise factor when neighbors shot off fireworks. One year we did not get our golden retriever into the house soon enough and he climbed into a large covert for the night. So planning does not have to be for major events.

In chaotic situations pets can get lost. Having an ID tag and valid license can be major factors in being reunited with your pet. When I lived in Alaska there were always lost dogs in the small towns. In fact the local animal shelter was always flooded with animals every summer as tourists came up and lost their dogs. A very large portion was never reunited with their owners because there was no id on the dog.

  Pets need shelter, water, and food just like you and I do. So plan accordingly. Pets may also have medical needs just like humans so make sure you factor other needs in. Emergency situations are stressful. Many times it helps to pack a toy along or other items they are fond of. Also, make your you have the right equipment to maintain control of your pet.  Unknown areas can present risk to your pet that you may not be aware of. I remember back in my Alaska days there is a popular place called the homer spit. It is a piece of land that goes out several miles into a bay. Well on this spit one summer was a bald eagle who happened to develop a tastes for small dogs. On one occasion a retired couple was looking for their little dog. It was a nice sunny day and they had let their dog run around on the beach.  I had a good idea where their dog may be so I got the man aside and we went to the power lines where this eagle liked to eat his food. Sure enough the eagle was eating his dog. Now it is a federal crime to harm a bald eagle and the dog was already dead. So all the poor guy could do was sit there and watch the eagle eat his dead pet. It was a very crappy moment to watch. So keep Fido with you in unfamiliar surroundings.

Finally, make sure you plan for the risks your pets can face in life.

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