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Fire safety and wildfire preparedness for families with pets

Putting a Pet Alert sticker or cling where rescuers can see them will help first responders find pets during emergencies.
Carrie Dow

Some may think with the approach of fall in the US, that wildfire season is almost over. Not true. In many places around the country and the world wildfire season is just getting started. In some places like the American West and parts of Australia wildfires are a threat year around. That is why it is never too late to prepare for wildfires to keep all the members of the family, including pets, safe. Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlets would like to share these tips.

How to fire safe a house with pets:

  • Extinguish open flames: Do not leave your pet unattended around open flames such as candles, appliances and fireplaces.
  • Pet proof your home: Look for areas where pets might start fires such as stove knobs and loose wires and fix appropriately or keep pets away.
  • Secure young pets: Keep puppies and kittens confined away from potential fire hazards when you are away from home.
  • Keep pets near entrances: When leaving pets alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can find them easily.
  • Practice escape routes with pets: Keep collars and leashes ready in case you have to evacuate quickly or if firefighters need to rescue your pet.
  • Affix a Pet Alert window cling or decal to a front window or door (these stickers can be found at any Chuck & Don’s store): This very simple task provides critical information for rescuers during house fires and other emergencies.

How to be prepared for a natural disaster:

  • Pack a kit to sustain yourself, family members and pets for at least 72 hours. Include pet meds, current vaccine papers and food in the kit.
  • Make a list of friends and family who can take pets temporarily in emergencies and keep a list of veterinary hospitals, boarding kennels and pet-friendly hotels in the area.
  • Create a “buddy plan” with nearby relatives, friends or neighbors to help each other with animal evacuation. This can be especially helpful for horse-friendly and other large animal neighborhoods.
  • Keep all pets current on vaccines and other preventative healthcare for fast and easy boarding.
  • Microchip pets and put on identification tags with current information in case they get lost.
  • Have current photos of pets, both digital and paper, to help with identification.
  • Transport pets in their own kennel or cage and have the carrier labeled with your name, address, phone number and alternate contact information.
  • For smaller pets, such as rabbits, rodents, birds and reptiles, make sure to have appropriate travel cages, bedding and foods ready for emergencies.

Learn about these and other pet care tips at the Chuck & Don's Blog on the website.

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