As pet owners, our companions hold a special place in our hearts. They bring us joy, comfort, and endless love. But it's our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being, especially during emergencies. In honour of National Pet Preparedness Month, we're here to guide you through essential steps to safeguard your beloved pets in the UAE's unique desert climate.
1. Create an Emergency Plan: Preparing for emergencies starts with having a solid plan in place. Begin by identifying potential risks in your area, such as sandstorms or extreme heat waves or even flooding. Collaborate with family members, friends, neighbours or pet care companies to establish a network of support, ensuring someone can care for your pet if you're unavailable. Keep a list of emergency contacts, including local veterinary clinics, pet shelters, and your Emirate Municipality. Designate a safe space within your home and equip it with necessary supplies like food, water, medications, and comfort items. Practice evacuations with your pets to familiarize them with the process, making it less stressful during real emergencies.
2.Pack a Pet Emergency kit: A well-prepared pet emergency kit can be a lifesaver during critical situations. Include essential items such as:
Sufficient food and water: Store at least a one-week supply of your pet's regular diet. Bottled water is preferable to avoid contamination risks.
Medications and medical records: Keep a copy of your pet's medical history, vaccination records, and any prescriptions they may need. Pack a first aid kit with supplies like bandages, antiseptic solution, dog friendly eye wash and any specific pet medications.
Comfort and familiarity: Pack your pet's favorite blanket, toys, or treats to provide comfort in unfamiliar surroundings.
Leashes, collars, and identification: Ensure your pet's identification tags are up to date with current contact information. Have a sturdy leash and collar readily available for safe transportation.
3.Be Mindful of Extreme Temperatures: Living in a desert climate, it's crucial to protect your pets from extreme temperatures. During scorching summer months, keep them indoors. Ensure your home's cooling system is effective and keep them hydrated at all times. Don’t walk your pets on hot pavement to prevent burns or injuries to their paws. For outdoor excursions, plan activities during cooler hours of the day – in the height of summer this is typically before 7.00am and after 7.00pm; and provide shaded areas for them to rest. In winter, provide cozy bedding and shelter to shield them from cold drafts, especially during chilly nights.
4.Know Your Pet's Unique Needs: Every pet is different, and understanding their individual needs is key to their safety. If you have senior pets, they might require additional care and more frequent vet check-ups. Similarly, pets with specific medical conditions may need extra medication or dietary precautions during emergencies. Make sure your dog’s microchip is active for added security, as they may become disoriented or separated during chaotic situations. Lastly, be aware of your pet's behaviour and signs of distress, as stress and anxiety can escalate during emergencies.
National Pet Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to prioritize our pets' well-being, particularly in regions like the UAE. By creating an emergency plan, assembling a pet emergency kit, being mindful of extreme temperatures, and understanding your pet's unique needs, you'll be well-equipped to face any unexpected situations with confidence and ensure your dog’s safety. Let's make pet preparedness a priority all year round!