Are You Prepared?

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Spring is finally here!  But with spring comes springtime weather.  In Ohio, that’s typically severe storms, occasional tornadoes, and flooding.  But these natural disasters are only a few of the emergency situations in which you and your pets may find yourselves.  Are you prepared to care for yourself as well as managing your pets in an emergency situation?


Most pet owners will do their best to rescue their pets or take them along when forced to take cover or evacuate.  However, please remember the safety of you and your family comes first!


When attempting to gather your animals quickly in an emergency, above all, stay calm!  Approach your pets calmly & speak softly.  Pets will pick up on your fear and anxiety and that makes it much harder to catch them.


Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a disaster or necessary evacuation:


1) Have a Plan!  It’s important for everyone in the family to know the plan for each possible situation.  Think about the types of disasters or emergencies you may encounter, be them natural disasters, fire, anything.  For example, for a fire, know your escape routes and where to meet outside.  For an impending flood or hurricane where you may not be able to return home for awhile, keep a list of places in the area where you can either board your pets, or reside with them if necessary.


2) Keep Leashes handy.  It’s never a bad idea to keep a couple extra leashes by the exits.  Don’t worry about clipping them to collars in an emergency-just loop them around the neck and go! 


3) Leave cat carriers out in your home for the cats to sleep in and get used to.  This may make catching them quickly easier.  Pillow cases are good to use in an emergency.


4) Prepare an emergency kit ahead of time for your pets in a waterproof container.  Include pictures of your pets along with their descriptions, a recent vaccination history (including rabies), a few days supply of any medications, a few days supply of food, a gallon of water, and bowls for food/water.


5) Know the location and phone number of the nearest 24 hour emergency veterinary hospital in case your pet is injured during an emergency.


6) Oftentimes during an evacuation or emergency that forces you to flee from your home, you may not be able to take your pets with you.  Once the danger has passed, put out the word that you are looking for your pets.  Contact area animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and local fire and police.  Give them a detailed description of your pets (pictures help!) and your contact information.  Check in with shelters often to see if your pet has been turned in.


One of the best things you can do to help your pet is to have them microchipped.  Pets can't talk, and collars and tags can fall off or be removed.  Microchips are permanent forms of identification.  When a pet is found, shelters and veterinarians will scan the pet for a microchip.  If the pet is microchipped, the scanner will read a number, which is then called into the company and the owner can be located.  However, please make sure you keep your contact information up to date.  A microchip is no good if the company does not have current contact information.


Through the end of April, Suburban Animal Clinic is offering a $10 discount on microchips!  The special price of $44 includes the microchip, inserting the chip, and the lifetime registration fee.  Is your pet microchipped?  Why not?!  Call us today to schedule your pet to be microchipped!


For more information on preparing for emergencies and disasters, visit the American Red Cross website at


Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270.  Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove CityGrandviewUpper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.