Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wildfire Evacuation Preparedness Tips for Pets

Note: While our area is usually not prone to wildfire evacuations, these tips are great to remember as we head into hurricane season. Take home message is be prepared to care for your loved ones during any disaster situation.

/PRNewswire/ -- Preparing your family to evacuate during a natural disaster takes some initial planning. In conjunction with California's Wildfire Awareness Week, PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance (www.purinacare.com) would like to offer some tips to help prepare your family pets during this stressful time.

Having a Pet Evacuation Kit ready to go will aide you in making quick decisions during an evacuation threat. Below is a suggested checklist of emergency items for your pet:

-- At least one week's supply of food in a water-tight container
-- Containers of potable water
-- Leash for dogs
-- Harness and leash for cats
-- Appropriate size pet carrier for both dogs and cats
-- Make sure vaccinations are up to date (rabies, kennel cough, etc.)
-- Copies of vaccination certificates (this will be required by shelters)
-- Any medications (including heartworm prevention)

-- Litter box and litter for cats

It is also a good idea to identify a few evacuation sites and research potential pet accommodations in the area before a fire forces your decision. Make initial calls now to check on the boarding policies of the local kennels or animal shelters and ensure you add any of their requirements to your Pet Evacuation Kit. If your evacuation plan includes a stay at a hotel or motel, determine its pet polices ahead of time.

Information provided by:

William H. Craig, DVM, chief medical and underwriting director of PurinaCare(R) Pet Health Insurance. Dr. Craig brings 30 years in private veterinary practice and contributions to veterinary medicine to PurinaCare(R).

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