Race Against Time: Pet Evacuation Tips

Pet Parents have to be the ALPHA…especially when panic sets in.

In advance:

~ Make sure all dogs are licensed with your county agencies. All pets should be micro-chipped and registered with the county in case you are separated.

Secured at home:

~ With any weather changes like wind, make sure pets are inside the house or secured and easy to locate in case you have to evacuate.

Dogs will panic and run while cats hide in fear.

Movement items:

~ Leashes, collars, blankets, kennels, crates for all pets:

dogs, cats, ferrets, and birds can be transported in a dog crate, but practice, practice, practice loading all pets before you have to go.

Get them comfortable by leaving the crates out where they can investigate inside and out.

Crates usually remind them of something unpleasant like going to the Vet, so give them a chance to make it their ‘safe’ place.

~ Calming Aids: Benadryl is a great calming aid for nervous Nellys. Fresh lavender, mint, & chamomile – place in a Ziploc with a bandana is the best. Put the bandana on your pet and the calming will start. Whole Foods has a spray form of lavender, but get it in advance.

Nutrition supplies:

~ Pet food, bottled water, manual can opener, dishes, treats, medication/allergy list, toys, litter box and litter.

Keep emergency food kits ready at home as well as at friends’ or relatives’ homes in case you end up there, but be sure it is fresh. Yes, this will require you to check it and date it every few months.

Pet boarding options:

~ Evacuation centers: Many can not take pets into the facility, so be prepared with options.

~ Out of your area: Make a list of pet-friendly hotels or boarding kennels far away from the affected area. Fernley, Fallon, Carson City, Portola, etc.

~ Washoe County Regional Animal Services (775.322.3647) and outlining county Animal Rescue Agencies will have a list of boarding options if they can not board your pet. Many local facilities offer free boarding when emergencies occur.

~ Although keeping the family together is preferred, be ready to separate pets if needed. Ask family members if they can take your pet if needed.

Injury Preparedness:

~ First Aid kits for your human family and one for your furry kids with photos of each pet.

Include a list of behavioral issues (thunder, chemical allergies, etc.) if boarding is needed.

Panic can cause injury: don’t be scared, be prepared.

Not sure how to build one or how to care for an injured pet?

Come to Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR classes.

After the fact:

Some pets may experience a variety of behavioral issues after an emergency.

Please be their eyes, ears, and nose until everyone is settled back home, but be aware this can take a while.

Pets can not tell you if they are upset or anxious, so please, please keep watch on them until you feel they have settled down.

You may need a simple ‘Vet Check’ just to make sure they are ok.

Peggy Rew is a Sparks, NV-based American Red Cross Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR Instructor and Life’s Abundance Independent Rep.

Rew travels nationwide to any group interested in Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR classes. Her students include thousands of amazing northern Nevada and Northern California Pet Parents, Doggie Daycare Employees, and Rescue Groups; Denver-based Canine Companion Puppy Raisers & Handlers and Craig Hospital Employees and Volunteers; National Guide Dog Users and Puppy Raisers; and The Shining Stars Youth Cancer Foundation in Colorado. Rew is also a published wordsmith/poet who felt Dog Bite Prevention Education was needed for anyone who interacts with dogs or for people who don’t understand dogs. She is a local educator; professional pet nanny; pet rescue group liaison; and Life’s Abundance distributor of Planet-friendly products for pets and people. LA’s Soothing Mist is another amazing calming aid.