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Pet Safety and Protection

National Animal Safety and Protection Month was created by the PALS Foundation and is celebrated every October. Being proactive and creating plans to keep pets safe in an emergency are a critical part of being a pet parent. It's something we should be doing every day, not just during October. Today, we want to share our top tips for pet safety and protection that you can implement as early as this week.

Pet Safety and Protection: Consider Possible Emergencies

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When preparing for emergencies, it’s wise to start with a list of possible scenarios you may realistically face as a pet parent. First, consider your locality and any natural disasters that are common in your area. Next, consider your lifestyle. Are you active? Do you travel with your pet? What common hazards exist near you? In an area like Yorktown, Virginia, we consider traffic accidents, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, and power outages to be possible emergencies near us. Plan according to the hazards you may likely face rather than those that are uncommon or rare in your area.

Once you’ve considered realistic scenarios you and your family may face, narrow your list down to the top three you plan to prepare for.

Pet Safety and Protection: List Your Pets’ Needs

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Once you’ve determined your family’s possible emergency scenarios, it’s time to make a list of items your pets use in their daily lives; things they could not survive without. Food and water top the list. For this reason, it’s smart to store extra pet food, water jugs, and an emergency pet kit in an accessible location year-round. If you’re forced to leave your home or hunker down with little notice, you’ll have what you need.

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Having a pet first aid kit in your vehicle AND your emergency kit at all times is a great help when forced to respond to emergencies quickly.

As a reminder, your pet kit should include medications, portable litter boxes, litter supplies, and more. The more pets you have and the more species you share your life with, the more items you’ll inevitably need to include.

Pet Safety and Protection: Draft a Pet Emergency Plan

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For each of the three scenarios you’ve chosen, draft and discuss a plan that your family, including your pets, will employ if faced with an emergency. For a tornado, for example, know what room of the house you’ll gather in for the duration of the storm. Keep leashes, harnesses, and carriers in an adjacent location to ensure that there is no delay in leading your pet to safety amidst the chaos.

Discuss all possible scenarios and consider other emergencies in which your plan may be helpful. The plan for a tornado may be the same as the plan for a hurricane whereas the plan for a terrorist attack, a house fire, and a pandemic might be completely different. Include all members of the family in the discussion to ensure that everyone’s questions are answered. Having a plan and executing it calmly will ensure peace of mind and desired outcomes.

Pet Safety and Protection: Make Prevention a Priority

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No matter the situation, making prevention a priority is integral to keeping our pets safe and secure. Protecting our pets from illness, injuries, and loss is an ongoing effort.

We encourage you to acclimate your pets - both cats and dogs - to wearing collars. If they slip out of the house by mistake, they are more likely to be returned if they are wearing a visible collar. Especially for cats, when people see a cat without a collar, they assume it may be feral, not lost.

In addition, having pets microchipped is a great way to ensure their return if they get lost. Be sure to update the microchip contact information to your home and phone number otherwise, there may be a significant delay in returning your pet to you, especially if your pet is lost outside of business hours.

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Finally, always feed your pet the best diet you can afford, keep up with their wellness visits, and keep them on a leash and in appropriate carriers when hiking and exploring. These pet care basics will ensure that your pet lives the longest, happiest, and healthiest life possible.

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Another way to keep pets safe is to hire a professional pet care company to care for your pet when you work or travel. Because caring for pets is our passion and calling, we are committed to providing the best of ourselves and our services to you and your pet.

As reminder, the last quarter of the year is very busy for pet sitting requests. We are already booked for Thanksgiving weekend and are booking up over Christmas and New Year's.

If you are a registered client of Hearts at Home Pet Sitting and need care for your pets come December, we ask that you please schedule services as soon as you have confirmed your travel dates.

If you are new to Hearts at Home, please submit a new client questionnaire here. For more information, visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868.Contact us at 757-745-9868 or to learn more.

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