Fires are stressful, worrying about your pets can be stressful, so let’s ease some of the stress as we put the problem of “what to pack?” to bed! During ‘bush-fire season’ (Spring-Summer) it may be necessary to relocate you and your family, this may include a furry, finned or feathered friend. Just like we prepare a bag for ourselves it’s important to prepare or even just partly prepare a bag for our pets.
What to include:
- Transportation - this means collar and leads for dogs, carriers for cats and pocket pets, travel cages for birds and reptiles. Something to safely transport your pet, it’s important to ensure they are restrained for their own safety and well being as well others. Stress and confusion can be exacerbated in times of evacuation.
- Bedding - whether your pet sleeps in blankets or in hay, make sure you have some extra to take with you. When you get to where your going not only may it be unlikely you’ll find sufficient bedding for your pet but that search will be stress you can do without.
- Towels - you may need to cover your pet or their carrier while evacuating, this can help protect your pet from stress or even help to limit smoke inhalation.
- Food and Water - have a container of food and a bottle of water ready by the door. Once relocated it can sometimes be unclear as to how long you will be away from home, having your pet’s usual food on hand can help keep things as familiar as possible for your pet. This is of even greater importance should your pet be on a specially formulated or medicated diet. During hot days you will need to make sure water is always available, while relocating this means offering your pet water at regular intervals
- Bowls - have a food bowl, a water bowl and an extra. This little detail can be easily overlooked when you’re stressfully evacuating but you will be glad to have them on hand, they need not be fancy bowls just something you can use while you’re away from home.
- Something Familiar - whether it’s a toy, a blanket or something of yours (heavy with your familiar smells) having something they know and love will be of great comfort to a stressed and confused pet.
- Medicine - it is very important that if it becomes necessary to evacuate you take any prescription medication your pet may be on. With the unpredictable circumstances of relocating due to fire there is no guarantee that you will be able to obtain medications elsewhere. (understandably you may not be able to have these pre-packed, but make sure to keep them within reach and easily accessible)
- Medical details - along with medications it’s a good idea to have copies of your pet’s medical history. Should you have to get more medication from an unfamiliar vet, details of your pets’ condition and treatments will make the process easier for all involved. Vaccination records are also needed should you have to place pets into boarding, so having copies on hand is a good idea. You should also include your regular vets contact details.
Fires can be scary, and the threat of fire can be very stressful for all involved. Help ease your stress and your pets by planning ahead. If you are ever concerned about what to include in your pet’s fire evacuation pack seek the advice of your vet.