Last week’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma highlights the need for you and your pets to be prepared for natural disasters.  And while the chances of a tornado on that scale striking the metro DC area are slim, there have certainly been enough natural disasters in the area (floods, earthquake, Derecho, heat waves, tropical storms, and blizzards just in the last few years) to start thinking about pet preparedness in your home.  May 26th through June 1st is National Hurricane Preparedness Week, but it’s a good time to evaluate if you’re set to face all different types of disasters.  So, what exactly should you do to ensure that you and your pet are ready?

First thing is first: make a plan for your family and your pets.  Know exactly how you will proceed in case of a pending storm or power outage.  Next, make an emergency kit for your pet that includes everything from bottled water, first aid supplies, and food to recent photos of your pet, current vaccination records and disposable litter pans.  It’s also a good idea to keep some chew toys or other comfort items to help your pet to stay calm.  Most pets feel more secure in a crate or travel bag, so keeping those handy to grab quickly in case of an emergency is a good idea as well.  As for that first aid kit, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends that you keep our number as well as the number of an emergency vet saved in your cell phone and a hard copy in the kit.  Additionally, be sure to pack:.

  • Gauze to wrap wounds or muzzle animal.
  • Adhesive tape for bandages.
  • Nonstick bandages (i.e., Telfa pads) to protect wounds or control bleeding.
  • Towels and cloth to clean wounds or to wrap up the pet.
  • Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poison (be sure to get the advice of your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poisoning).
  • Large syringe without needle or eyedropper (to give oral treatments).
  • Muzzle, a basket muzzle is the best option but a cloth muzzle will also work, (soft cloth, rope, necktie or nylon stocking) or use a towel to cover a small animal’s head. Do not use in case of vomiting.
  • Stretcher (a door, board, blanket or floor mat).

If your pet is injured or becomes ill, please contact us immediately at (301)258-0333.  Making sure you and your pets are ready to face whatever Mother Nature throws your way can give you some peace of mind when she strikes.