Survey: Pet Owners Are Not Prepared for Disasters
Keeping a child safety gate in your car may make it easier for you and your pet to take refuge with a friend or family member because you’ll have an option to keep your pet in one room.
Most pet owners are unprepared for disasters and emergencies, according to a recent survey by PetFirst Pet Insurance. That’s why pet owners should set aside time during National Pet Preparedness Month in June to take first aid classes and create disaster plans, said officials of the Jeffersonville, Ind.-based company.
The survey, which included responses from about 50,000 PetFirst policyholders, revealed that less than a third have a pet first aid kit, and less than 10 percent have taken a first aid class that focused on pets. Additionally, more than 50 percent of pet owners worry about what would happen to their pet in the event of a disaster.
While nearly 80 percent of people keep a two-week supply of food and medicine on hand for their pets, many may not have it assembled and ready to grab in an emergency, according to the survey.
“No one wants to think about bad things happening to their family, including their pets,” said PetFirst Pet Insurance CEO Katie Blakeley. “But thinking about emergencies before they happen is the only way to really prepare yourself.”
Some things to consider, according PetFirst:
· Pet handling tools, like gloves for cats, should be stored where they can be easily found. Pets may be agitated during an emergency and neighbors and first responders can readily help if they have tools.
· Keep a kit of extra food, medicine and other pet-related needs packed and ready to go on short notice. (A two-week supply is ideal.)
· Have photos of you and your pet to help prove ownership if you become separated.
· Premade “Lost Pet” signs can be a helpful item in your emergency supplies. You may want to list a phone number of a family member who lives outside of your community.
Purchasing pet insurance is another way to prepare for an emergency because it eases the financial concerns associated with getting emergency and specialist care for your pets, according to company officials.
“Of course, we all hope that we never have a major fire or national disaster,” Blakeley said. “But small emergencies are likely to happen. Learning pet first aid prepares you for scrapes at the dog park, as well as for a fire. Having some food and water in the car is helpful even in non-emergency situations, such as a longer-than-expected walk on a hot day. At PetFirst we urge everyone to think now about ways they can safeguard their pets in the future.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation offer a free disaster preparedness booklet, Saving the Whole Family.