Letters to the Editor

Are your pets ready when disaster hits?

The recent windstorm is one more real life reminder for all pet owners to be prepared to withstand power outages and harsh weather conditions. If pet owners will take these four steps before the next disaster hits, it can make a difference in the lives of their pets.
First, have several days worth of dry and/or canned pet food stored in sturdy containers. If you usually feed your pet a raw food diet, prepare for a dry or canned food alternative for just these emergencies (have a non-electric can opener on hand, too). If your pet is on medications, be sure to keep extra doses securely stored in your pets kit and ask your veterinarian about what to do if your pets medications require refrigeration.
Second, store spare towels or blankets to keep your pets warm and comfortable during the cold days and nights. Although many animals have thick coats to help them maintain their own body temperature, the blankets or towels will help and keep them off any cold floors. Watch for signs of hypothermia, frostbite and dehydration.
Third, have an animal carrier ready in case you have to evacuate or just need to keep your four-footed companion secure.
Lastly, make sure your animal is wearing at least two forms of identification. These can be an animal license and/or ID tag on the collar and a microchip (which is implanted under the skin). Also have your contact information up to date in any or all databases where those ID numbers are kept.
Our pets are important members of our family, be sure to include their needs in your plans. For more animal disaster preparedness tips, visit www.petfinder.com, click on the library tab and search on disaster.
Nancy B. McKenney, MNPL, CAWA
Executive Director
The Petfinder.com Foundation
Renton, Wash.

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