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Do you know how to perform CPR on your dog? Would your neighbor be able to pick up your cat safely during a fire? If you were evacuating because of a hurricane, would you be able to quickly grab a two-week supply of pet food and medicine?
These are the kinds of questions you should be asking during National Pet Preparedness Month this June. A recent PetFirst Pet Insurance Survey indicates that for too many families the answers to those questions is “no.”
Less than a third of PetFirst policyholders surveyed have a pet First Aid Kit, and less than ten percent have taken a First Aid class that focused on pets.
More than 50 percent of pet parents worry about what would happen to their pet in the event of a disaster.
“No one wants to think about bad things happening to their family — including their pets,” said PetFirst Pet Insurance CEO Katie Blakeley. “But thinking about emergencies before they happen is the only way to really prepare yourself.”
One positive note: nearly 80 percent of people keep a two-week supply of food and medicine on hand for their pets. But many people may not have it assembled and ready to grab in an emergency.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation offers a free booklet with preparedness advice. Some things to consider:
- Pet handling tools — like gloves for cats — should be stored where they can be easily found. Pets may be agitated during an emergency and neighbors and first responders can more readily help if they have tools.
- Keep a kit of extra food, medicine and other pet-related needs packed and ready to go on short notice. (A two-week supply is ideal.)
- Have photos of you and your pet to help prove ownership if you become separated.
- Premade “Lost Pet” signs can be a helpful item in your emergency supplies. You may want to list a phone number of a family member who lives outside of your community.
Purchasing pet insurance is another way to prepare for an emergency, because it eases the financial concerns associated with getting emergency and specialist care for your pets.
“Of course, we all hope that we never have a major fire or national disaster,” Blakeley said. “But small emergencies are likely to happen. Learning pet First Aid prepares you for scrapes at the dog park, as well as for a fire. Having some food and water in the car is helpful even in non-emergency situations — such as a longer-than-expected walk on a hot day. At PetFirst we urge everyone to think now about ways they can safeguard their pets in the future.”
Founded in 2004, PetFirst is dedicated to removing personal financial considerations from pet care. By providing affordable pet health insurance to families, PetFirst provides them “peace of mind” that their pet is covered in the event of an accident or illness. PetFirst is the most recommended pet insurance to new pet families. To learn more about PetFirst, please go to www.petfirst.com.