Let’s face it, our four-legged pets are more than just pets, they’re family members that can even take top spot in the family hierarchy (aka, your Dad’s favourite child) — and they need a fire safety plan.
You only need to scroll through Twitter to see just how much extra love there is for family dogs:
Why do I feel the need to cover my dog with a blanket when he’s sleeping?
— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) June 11, 2019
My dog is in the other room so I’m looking at pictures of her.
— Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) July 25, 2019
Son: We’re having chicken and rice for dinner?
Me: No. That’s for the dogs. Heat up some pizza rolls or something.
— Stacey (@skittle624) August 17, 2019
So, on the serious side of pet ownership, PetSafe Australia is urging all pet owners to make sure they have included their household animals in their family’s bush fire safety plans, recommending you take the following four steps in the event you need to evacuate your home.
1. Know where your pets are
If fire is threatening your area, but you are not required to evacuate yet, be prepared by knowing where your pets are. If necessary, keep them contained in one area of your home so that if you are required to leave fast you aren’t wasting precious time searching or chasing them.
2. Prepare your ‘Emergency Pet Kit’
Plan your ‘Emergency Pet Kit’ early, know what you want to put in it and where everything is located. This kit should include items such as:
- Fresh water bottles (and plenty of them)
- Dry pet food in sealable bags or containers (not wet)
- Bowls for drinking and eating
- Blankets for warmth and bedding
- Carrier for smaller animals (cats, etc.) to keep them contained and calm
- Harness or lead to ensure they stay with you and not run from fear
- Vaccinations or medication should they require it
3. Know your exit strategy
When the time comes for you to leave, ensure you have investigated where you are going as not all evacuation centres are able to accommodate pets.
4. Keep connected
Keep connected to local council and fire and rescue as well as connecting to other pet owners in your area via social media who could help or accommodate you in emergency.