Summer brings to mind happy images of morning hikes on the trails with my dogs before the midday heat sets in and swimming with the kids at the neighborhood pool. Unfortunately the summer heat and dry conditions brings wild fires in many parts of the country. I live in Colorado and today several fires are raging. One fire is in Black Forest, a community nearby where many of my friends live. Over 2300 homes were evacuated yesterday in that community. Today I am posting some tips to help you and your pets stay safe if you live in a wildfire region. I also have a link to download a pdf file with to help you pack an pet evacuation supply bag and also a form to fill out vital information about your pet in case you need to drop them off at a shelter. Here is the Google docs link.
Pet Safety Includes Families in the Surrounding Areas
If you live in the Colorado like me or live in another fire area, then you probably are feeling exhausted and on edge. Chances are your pets are also feeling very anxious too.
Do not allow your pets to go outside without supervision and keep them on a leash if you do not have a fenced area. Dogs and cats will smell the fire and feel like they should flee the area. You need to be the one keeping your dog or cat calm because they do not fuly understand the situation. Pet experts are suggesting the following tips to relieve stress in your pets:
How to relieve stress in family pets:
1) Keep pets inside away from the smoke and heat.
2) Dogs have a great sense of smell, washing your dog or wiping down your dog with a wet towel to remove the smell of fire in the fur helps relieve anxiety. (Note: If your dog does not like baths, do not add to the anxiety by forcing a bath. Just use a damp towel to remove smoke odors.)
3) If your dog is barking or whining, give the dog an alternative activity to do such as providing aproject toy like a Kong filled with dog treats. Telling your dog to be quiet will not be helpful because your dog is warning you about what they perceive to be a dangerous situation. Instead, try to get your pet involved in a new activity and praise them when they participate.
Evacuation supplies for pets:
In case your family is asked to evacuate, you should pack these PET supplies in a bag so you are ready to go quickly if needed.
-- Vaccine records for pets in case you need to put them in a dog shelter or doggie daycare
-- Pet crate with a familiar blanket for each pet
-- Dog medications if needed
-- Dog collar with ID on the collar for each dog
-- Pet food bowls
-- 72-hour pet food supply
-- Gallon containers of fresh water
-- Dog toys including an "activity toy" to keep dog busy
-- Cat supplies, litter box, cat carrier, etc
-- Pet bird supplies including a cage, smaller bird carrier, bird food, fresh water, a lightweight blanket to cover bird cage and lower stress of your pet bird.
Here is the the Google docs link for the download a pdf file with to help you pack an pet evacuation supply bag and also a form to fill out vital information about your pet in case you need to drop them off at a shelter. The checklist looks like this:
Have you been evacuated? Register with the RED CROSS
If you have been evacuated, please register with the Red Cross—it's a simple way to let your family and friends know that you are safe.
Here is the link: American Red Cross—Safe and Well link
And if you meet a firefighter, give them a hug! They are AWESOME!