Here in the midst of these (relatively) temperate 50-degree days, we shudder to think of it; but if there’s anything the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991’s little sister over on the East Coast can teach us, it’s that winter is surely coming, and it’s coming soon.
And with last winter’s track record (Domebuster, anyone?), it’s as important as ever to be prepared in case of an emergency, and to be sure that you have the planning, supplies and knowledge needed to keep your family—furry members included—safe.
Carrie McCraw, a second-year veterinary student at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine who is working on a disaster preparedness project with classmate Laura Willard, advises having a week’s worth of pet supplies at the ready in case of an emergency (which might include anything from lack of electricity to being snowbound to flood evacuation). According to Carrie, a pet emergency kit should include:
- A crate or carrier
- Extra leashes
- Pet first aid kit
- Extra prescription medications
- Medical records (especially vaccine history)
- Toys (disasters are stressful—even the search and rescue dogs at Ground Zero got to play with toys on breaks!)
- A pre-written letter with pet care instructions in case you have to leave your pet with someone else (including a picture of your pet for quick identification). You can download a free pet emergency contact card for your emergency kit here.
As with any disaster (natural or otherwise), it’s wise to have a safety-related game plan for you and your pets. Here are some handy-dandy resources on emergency preparedness of the animal kind to get you started:
- Red Cross
- American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) (check out the “Saving the Whole Family” brochure—a link can be found of the left side of the page)
With a plan in place, you and your pooch can welcome Old Man Winter with open arms (well, ’til February, at least).
Photo: Sadie the Wonderdoodle, always prepared for any adventure.