When it’s raining cats and dogs, consider what happens to the cats and dogs. Day 6 of Emergency Preparedness Week is all about the fur-babies

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Photo by Dave Steers

We have two dogs and a cat. My husband often worries I might love them more that I love him. Some days he is correct. So in an emergency I want to make sure I can take care of them, and like heck am I leaving any of them behind if we have to evacuate. But without a little bit of pre-planning, the whole rounding-up-the-zoo-and-getting-them-in-the-car would be, well, a disaster. The cat would be running amok all over the inside of the car, closely followed by our youngest dog. The oldest dog would be sat in the front seat (regardless of if my husband was sat there) barking at the cat and the other dog…

So, the cat’s travel box is prepped and ready to go in an easy-to-find location. The dogs leashes are hung by the front door, not that we’d need them to get them in the car – you just have to start the engine and they will anxiously circle the vehicle searching for a way in, a few times they have made a premature leap for the trunk before I’ve even opened the hatch.

We have a container packed with food for each animal, “dog towels”, a couple of tennis balls, a catnip-stuffed mouse, a supply of cat litter, a few rolls of poo-a-scoop bags and a slightly random selection of plastic dishes. And that just about covers an evacuation or shelter-in-place for my furry friends.

The other consideration my husband and I have to make is that we both will be working crazy hours in an emergency, so we have a couple of friends lined up to take care of the animals if needed, as well as the phone numbers for the local dog boarding facilities saved in our phones.

In short, pack an emergency kit for your pets to include some food, water (at least half a cup per day for an average sized dog or cat), dishes, toys, blankets, medications, collars, leashes and a contact for your emergency pet sitter.

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