No one ever wants to think about the “what if’s” when we’re in the midst of a pandemic or emergency. However, now is the time to focus on those things we can control – and that means planning for an emergency.
CPS recommends developing plans for those “what if” moments and you suddenly find yourself unable to care for your pets. Who is your backup? What type of care plan is in place? Who is authorized to make medical decisions for your pet if you are unable? Document everything in writing to ensure clear communication if an emergency presents.
Three simple steps….
- Update your emergency contacts and pet’s medical information – and send a copy to your backup team. Center for Pet Safety has developed two versions that you can download for free Single Page Version or Foldable Booklet.
- Speak with your veterinarian to authorize an emergency contact to make medical decisions for your pets if you are unable. In my case, I have two family members that I’ve appointed, and needed to provide a letter of authorization to my vet. I’ve also copied my family members with that letter. (There may be legalities to consider, so speak with your vet to ensure an appropriate authorization is on file.)
- Pack an emergency kit for your pets. Ensure you have a collar, leash, a 3 to 5 day supply of food (for cats, include a carrier and litter box supplies) and medications (to allow your selected caregiver time to source additional food and medications). If the medications are not shelf stable, give instructions on where to find the meds in your refrigerator. We’ve even got a free Evacuation Guide with some helpful forms/checklists.
Planning for an emergency will help to ensure your pets are cared for if you are unable to do so. Peace of mind starts with a plan.
Sending love and light during these challenging times.
Lindsey A. Wolko, Founder, Center for Pet Safety