pet edition

By GABBIE ABESAMIS

• GET TO KNOW YOUR ANIMAL COMPANION
You should know your buddy’s behavior more than anyone. After all, you already know where they like to sleep, what they like to do during the day, and what they enjoy messing around with.

Be familiar with their patterns. That way, you know if they’re trying to tell you that something’s wrong – and you also know where to find them in case of an emergency.

• NO OPEN FLAMES UNATTENDED
A fire can break out in just a split second. Never leave a flame unattended, whether that be with a scented candle or a stove or barbecue.

This is especially true with young or curious animal companions, or even cats who like to knock things over. Make sure you carefully monitor any open flame in the area and have an extinguisher ready in case things get bad.

• SECURE ELECTRICAL CORDS
Dogs, cats, birds, and even hamsters enjoy chewing whatever they can get their paws on. Not only do open or grounded wires run the risk of electrocuting them, but they could also touch another object like a wooden desk and suddenly ignite a fire.

Keep electrical cords secure and tucked away as much as possible. Don’t leave them on the floor.

• HAVE AN EMERGENCYPLAN READY
Your emergency and escape plan should include not only your human family members, but also your animal companions.

Everyone needs a go-bag. These are emergency travel bags that are prepared for sudden evacuation. It usually contains first-aid, extra money, food, water, medicine, documentations, clothing, flashlights, and batteries.

Make sure to include your animal companion in your plans and prepare an emergency escape that includes them.

Don’t forget to include emergency enclosures (this is great for reptiles, amphibians or rodents) and collapsible food or water dishes, emergency pet food, documentation, and medicine for their use.

Make sure these bags are quick and easy to get to, so keep them by the front door or under the stairs.

• BE READY FOR EVACUATION
When it’s time to run, you don’t stop. Have your leashes ready by the door for easy access during evacuation. If that’s not possible, make sure to have an identification tag on their collar as you run outside to safety just in case you get separated.

This is especially true in case you don’t have them microchipped.

• PET-PROOF YOUR HOME
Young animals are normally very hyperactive and curious. They will touch and explore everything, so prevent any unwanted accidents from happening by pet-proofing your home.

Even unexpected things like glass and bottles should be stored properly as these could magnify and ignite fires on nearby objects.

• HAVE YOUR VET ON SPEED DIAL
In the unfortunate event that your animal companion does get injured, immediately call your vet and rush them for emergency treatment.

The quicker you act on it, the higher the chances of survival – and your friend will thank you for it.

• KNOW WHAT TO DO DURING EVACUATION
During evacuation, make sure to tell firefighters that there are pets inside so that they will take the initiative to rescue them as well.

Not informing them could mean the end for your companion as the firefighters might not be able to see them through the blaze.

• CONSIDER INSTALLING SMOKE DETECTORS
When you aren’t capable of watching over your animal friend most of the day, or even just as an extra precaution, consider installing smoke detectors.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Your “pets” are your best friends, your companions in life. What’s more, they’re undeniably part of your family. If you don’t care enough to include them in your emergency or evacuation plans, then do reconsider before adding more of them into your family.

Loving an animal companion means including them in all your plans. They become an important part of your life. You are all they have and all they depend on, so take the responsibility well and keep them safe at all times.