This summer, residents of the Post Falls area have experienced several wildfires. If your family has not been directly affected by a wildfire, consider yourself fortunate. However, it’s still wise to have an evacuation plan set in place for this season, just in case a wildfire encroaches near your home. It’s also important to consider your pet’s outdoor activities when a wildfire is active, even if an evacuation hasn’t been ordered yet. Consider the following wildfire pet safety tips by Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls so that you and your family can be safe during wildfire season.
- Monitor Your Pet’s Outdoor Activity
Even if an evacuation has not be ordered for your specific neighborhood, the smoke in the air can still pose a threat to you and your pets. This includes eye irritation and respiratory problems. When the air quality is at unhealthy levels, it’s best to limit your pet’s time outdoors, especially if they already have known eye or breathing sensitivities. Keep your walks short, too, until you know the wildfires have been completely extinguished and the air quality is safe again. Monitor your pet for wheezing, trouble breathing, or any signs of distress, and call us at (208) 773-6000 if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Have an Emergency Kit Packed
When there are pets in your home, there are a few extra steps you should take to ensure their safety during an emergency wildfire evacuation. Although wildfire warnings typically allow ample time for a safe evacuation, it’s best to have your kit packed BEFORE an evacuation is ordered. Your kit should include the basic items for your pet’s care, including food and water, bowls, leash and collar, basic first aid kit, and medications. If you have a cat, remember to pack litter and a portable litter box as well. Your kit should also include copies of your pet’s medical records, even if you have them saved online.
- Have a Pet Evacuation Plan Prepared
In addition to the emergency kit mentioned above, make sure to have an actual plan of evacuation set in place that includes your pet. If you’ll be taking your dog or cat with you to your evacuation destination, make sure they are already well adjusted to traveling in a vehicle. If your pet typically travels in a carrier, keep that carrier in your vehicle or somewhere in your home where it is easily accessible. If you plan to board your pet instead, have several boarding facility options in mind that are outside of the evacuation area. Always call the facility ahead of time to be sure that they can safely accept pets.