Be Prepared (The Pet Version)

May 13, 2017

Leash-free is the best way to play!
Credit donjd2 (Don DeBold) [Flickr]

The great things about a dog park are the fenced areas where you can play off-leash with your pet.  Be a responsible owner by making sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots, and clean up after your pet.  Another responsible thing for every owner to do is to be prepared for unexpected emergencies!

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Today is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, a time to remind every pet owner to be ready for an emergency. Whether it’s flooding, or a tornado or hurricane, or an earthquake or fire, an unexpected disaster can put you and your best friend at risk. You might ensure that both of you survive if you plan ahead.

Start by putting together a survival kit in case you have to evacuate. A friend of mine calls it a “bug-out bag”. He has been through at least two hurricanes and a tornado, so he believes in being ready. He stocks the bag with necessities like a three-day supply of pet food, bottled water and a bowl for his pet to drink from, a harness with ID tags and leash, a blanket and a toy. If his pet needs medication, he keeps a supply in the bag. When he runs low, he pulls the meds from the bug-out bag and replaces it with a refill, to keep it fresh. He stores the bug-out bag in a pet carrier so he really can grab-and-go in an emergency.

Other great items to keep handy are your pet’s medical records, which may be necessary if you must board your furry friend. Go ahead and have your pet microchipped, because ID tags can be lost. Planning now can make the difference when disaster hits.

If you’re already prepared to take care of your pet in a disaster, you might want to spend some quality time hanging out with pet people and their four-legged friends. In Tuscaloosa today, you can head over to the Will May Dog Park for the fourth annual “Bark in the Park” which starts at ten AM.

The dog park covers about three acres inside Sokol Park, and is a great place for people and pets to get out and socialize and enjoy being together any time. Today there will be competitions for best trick and best costume, even owner-dog look-alike contests, plus face-painting and games for the kids.

Don’t have a dog? No problem, all are welcome. There will be food and drink available and interesting booths to visit, and there is no fee to attend.

So stop by Bark in the Park this morning, then spend the afternoon putting together a bug-out bag for your best friend, to make sure you both stay safe and happy when you’re speaking of pets.

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