How to keep your pets safe in natural disasters and everyday emergencies
We're barely over halfway through the nation's hurricane and wildfire seasons, and both have already been devastating and record-breaking. Like many Americans, FBRN volunteers and adopters have watched with alarm over the past years as natural disasters have forced evacuations in so many areas.
While some states are now allowing pets in some shelters, many people are being turned away with their beloved animals. Nearly fifty per cent of people who choose to stay home in mandatory evacuation areas cite refusal to leave their pets behind as the reason. Many of us at FBRN can relate to the refusal to leave a pet behind and we encourage all of our supporters, adopters, and volunteers to take an hour or two to set up a plan for evacuation.
It’s important to make sure your pets are wearing collars and identification tags that are up to date. Even if your pets are microchipped like all of our FBRN dogs, the person who finds a lost pet during a natural disaster may not be able to scan for a chip, but they will likely be able to read a basic tag.
Please take the time to think about where you would go in the event of a mandatory evacuation. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pet either so make plans now. Call your local shelters and confirm that they will take your pets. If not, will a hotel take them? What are the rules and fees? Ask about any restrictions on number, size and species. Inquire if a "no pet" policy would be waived in an emergency. Keep a list of animal-friendly places handy, and call ahead for a reservation as soon as you think you might have to leave your home.
Consider evacuating early. The smell of smoke or the sound of high winds or thunder may make your pet more fearful and difficult to load into a crate or carrier. Evacuating before conditions become severe will keep everyone safer and make the process less stressful.
Additionally, keep a go-bag for your pets. Poop bags or kitty litter with a 9x13 cake pan or aluminum roasting pan. Put a Sharpie marker in it for writing your phone number on the dog's tummy. Be sure to have your vet's phone number, or even better a thumb drive with your pet's vet records. Print some photos of your dog with family members as well as the ones you keep on your phone, in case you get separated. Keep a toy or two, some towels, a leash and collar with tags, and other proof of ownership. You may want to get a health certificate for your pet if you are going to travel. Keep at least 5 days' worth of food for your pet and bottled water, as well as dog bowls. Does your dog take daily meds or supplements? Keep 10 days' worth in the go-bag. It can be so easy in a moment of tension and upset to forget important items, especially if you are packing for yourself and other family members, so a pre-packed backpack or bag is very helpful.
If your pet is smaller, be sure to have a carrying case for them. You might want to break down a plastic crate for a larger dog if you are able to find a shelter or a hotel that will take you and your pets--tape the screws and hardware to the sides of the crate so you don't lose them.
And don’t forget about planning for everyday emergencies that might pop-up. What if the power goes out? What if there is an accident that prevents you from getting home to care for your pets? Most of us have a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member who can be a back-up caregiver to our pets. If you don’t, now is the time to ask someone! Make sure that person is comfortable with your pets and that they have (or know where to find) a spare key. Consider writing care instructions for your pets and keeping that information near their food or treats. In the event of a power outage, remember that while our pets have fur coats it isn't safe to leave them in an unheated house -- and if it's summer, even just an hour or two in the sweltering heat can be dangerous.
While we hope the circumstances never arise, we urge preparation just in case. If you do find yourself in a situation where you must evacuate, we wish you the comfort of a loving reception wherever you and your pets may find yourselves, be it among neighbors, friends, or strangers.
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Gold Paw Sun Shield Tee
We’ve been fielding requests for a summer-weight popover for years and we’ve finally found the right fabric – a lightweight stretch jersey with a UPF50 rating that blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays. Super comfortable indoors and out and perfect for all sorts of applications beyond sun protection too: skin conditions, wound care, topical medications, and as an anti-anxiety calming aid that can be worn all day.
These Outward Hound canine lifejackets are a Frenchie water safety MUST-have! The French bulldog is a top heavy breed. Due to their uneven weight distribution, French bulldogs should not be allowed to swim without a lifejacket, even under supervision. They sink, and sadly can drown in a matter of seconds.
These flotation jackets can be used for any water adventures you may have with your pup. Whether boating, hanging out around a pool, or just playing on the lakeshore, you will feel secure knowing you have provided your Frenchie with added protection.
FBRN's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home French Bulldogs in need from commercial breeding kennels, import brokers, public shelters, private rescue groups, owners or Good Samaritans. Our organization is comprised solely of volunteers who nurture and foster these dogs as well as provide education and training. Our goal is to place healthy and happy French Bulldogs into forever homes.
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