As we all know too well right now, wildfires are scary. They pop up quickly and they spread way too fast. Protecting our loved ones is usually the first thing on our minds. That’s why it’s important to always have an emergency plan in place for everyone in your family, pets included.

How do I protect my pet during a wildfire?

  • Make sure they have updated collars and tags
  • Create an evacuation and emergency kit
  • Always have precautions in place for high-risk days
  • Have an evacuation destination
  • Evacuated ASAP if needed
  • For farm animals create a fuel-reduced and low-risk area where they can be moved, like a low-risk paddock for cattle and horses.

If you choose to stay during the emergency, make sure that you have plenty of supplies. A good rule of thumb is to have enough food and water for each member of the family for a week or more. This includes feed and water for livestock.

What to include in an animal evacuation kit?

  • Carriers for pets
  • Leashes
  • Extra collars with IDs
  • Food and treats
  • Water bowls with plenty of water
  • Toys
  • Blankets

Never leave your animals behind to fend for themselves unless you absolutely have no other choice. If for some reason you have to leave them during high-risk times, make sure to prepare for the worst, just in case. Whatever you do, do not leave animals confined or dogs chained in case they need to make an escape. They will be able to survive much better if they can run and aren’t locked up.

For more information check out the California Department of Forestry and Protection’s Wildland Fire Safety for Your Livestock and Pets animal evacuation protocol. While the threat of natural disasters is scary, you can get some peace of mind by having a plan in place. Planning for an emergency can help you get through the worst the best way possible.