Preparing Your Senior’s Pet for an Emergency

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

September 19, 2018

September is National Preparedness Month. As a family caregiver, this is the ideal opportunity for you to evaluate your senior’s preparedness, and make sure they are ready to face potential emergencies such as severe weather.

Homecare in Beaver PA: National Preparedness Month
Homecare in Beaver PA: National Preparedness Month

Dangerous weather events such as thunderstorms, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, and high winds can occur suddenly, and be severe.
Taking the time to prepare ahead of such an event will not only make it easier and more efficient to get through such an emergency but will give everyone involved peace of mind. While you are preparing your senior for an emergency, it is important not to overlook their furry friends.
Pets are valuable to elderly adults, helping them to maintain better mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being as they age. Taking care of them during an emergency situation is vital to protecting their health and safety, and ensuring they remain a valuable part of your parent’s life.
Use these tips to prepare your senior’s pet for an emergency:
-Start researching evacuation and safety shelters well in advance to find one that allows animals. Your parent might have to travel further to find a shelter that will allow them to bring their pet, but it will be worth it to know their animal is safe.
-Contact friends and family outside of the emergency area to ask if they would be willing to allow your parent and their pet, or even just their pet, to stay with them during the event, and until your senior is either back home with all utilities returned, or re-established somewhere safe for their pet.
-Make sure the pet is fully up-to-date on all vaccinations. Remember during an emergency they may come into contact with other animals or other situations that could put their health at risk. Keep a copy of their vaccination records with your parent’s emergency kit so it is easily accessible.
-Make sure the pet has a collar with a tag containing contact information.
-If the pet is not already microchipped, look into having this procedure performed. It is very quick and it allows for a shelter or vet to scan the chip and find valuable information about the pet that can allow them to be reunited with your senior if they get separated.
-Make an emergency kit for them. Just like your parent will need a kit of emergency supplies, so will their pet. This kit should contain a leash or carrier, food, water, treats, a muzzle if necessary, bowls, sanitation supplies, a pet first aid kit, toys, and a blanket, as well as contact information for your parent, you, and the pet’s vet.
-If there is no other option than to leave the pet at home during a weather emergency, contain it in an interior room with plenty of food and water, a blanket, and a litter box or pads. Put a large note on the front window or door to announce to rescue workers that there is a pet inside. Reach out to family members, friends, or neighbors in the area to ask that they check on the pet when it is safe.
The benefits of elder care for your aging parent can be exceptional.
An elderly home care services provider can offer your aging loved one a wide variety of services designed to meet your parent’s needs in the ways that are right for them and to encourage them to have the highest quality of life possible as they age in place.
These services can include reliable transportation to where your parent needs and wants to go, help with personal care needs and activities of daily living, physical support and assistance, meal preparation and assistance with eating, companionship, medication reminders, and more. This can leave you feeling confident your parent and their pets are in the best hands, both when you are able to be with them, and when you are not.

If you are considering Elderly Care in Pittsburgh, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551.