Making arrangements to ensure the wellbeing of the entire family, including your companion animals, is essential during this time of great uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. What if you were no longer able to leave your house for several days? What if you had to remain under quarantine or be hospitalized? It is important to be adequately prepared for anything, including establishing a Plan B for the care of your furry or feathered companions. This way, you can rest assured that their needs will continue to be met and that they will be safe under these exceptional circumstances.
Most importantly, be sure to have enough food, medication and other vital items (e.g.: ‘poop bags’, litter, etc.) at home to last a minimum of two weeks.
You should also have your animals’ medical records handy, which include their vaccine history as well as a list of health problems they might have or any medication they take. This will be helpful in the event that a consultation is required at a veterinary clinic that does not have access to their medical history.
Plan ahead and make arrangements with someone you trust who would be available to welcome your animals temporarily into their home should you be unable to take care of them for a while. Ensure the person is comfortable with the responsibility. If you do not know of anyone who could take them in, you can also reach out for help through this Facebook support group (not run by the SPCA).
Finally, prepare an emergency kit in order to ensure a smooth transition to a temporary home. The kit should contain the following items:
- The names and contact information of at least 2 people who have accepted to take care of your animals in case of emergency;
- A cage or carrier;
- Your animals’ medical records;
- A recent photo of your animals;
- A collar and tags (make sure the information is up to date in the microchip file);
- Your veterinary clinic’s contact information;
- A note describing your animals’ habits: routine, behaviour, walks, food, medication and any other relevant information;
- Food and medication for at least 2 weeks;
- Litter or ‘poop bags’;
- A leash and/or harness;
- Toys, treats, a bed, blankets, bowls, etc.
Keep as many of these items as possible together in one place for easy access. Write a list of the missing items to add to the kit, indicating where to find them in the house. This way, if needed, you or your animals’ temporary caregiver will be able to find everything easily.
We also suggest you consult the list of precautions to take with your companion animals (available in French only), published by the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec (OMVQ) and share it with the appointed caregiver so you are both well-informed and to ensure everyone’s safety.
As a last resort, if you need to be hospitalized and can’t find anyone to take care of your animal, contact the Montreal SPCA at 514 735-2711.