Hands up if you knew September was National Preparedness Month! Yeah, I didn’t realize either – #shame! While it may not be quite as exciting as National Ice Cream Day (um, am I the only one who thinks anything that encourages eating ice cream should also last an entire month? It just makes sense!) it is one of the most important!
I actually “discovered” NPM a couple of weeks ago and it’s all thanks to my friends at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. If you read this post then you know we’ve teamed up for the second year in a row to share some fun, helpful and heartwarming (more than 160,000 pets adopted in 24hrs during at this year’s adoption drive? I’m still feeling the warm ’n’ fuzzies!) posts with our fellow animal lovers!
Brainstorming ideas as National Preparedness Month and Hurricane Dorian (very unfortunately) approached we ultimately decided it would be most helpful to share our top pet safety tips for storm preparedness. As much as I like to focus on the lighter things in life when you’re slap bang in the middle of hurricane season there’s really no better time to talk about keeping your furry family member as happy, healthy and safe as possible!
To give you guys a little background, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a company that believes animals should be loved and cared for throughout their lives. I’m thinking (and hoping) most of us understand the importance of fulfilling these very basic needs but what I really love about Hill’s (apart from the fact that switching Maddie to their prescription diet completely changed our very sick pup’s life – she still eats the same food by the way) is that they actively work to make lives better!
As you already know they’ve long been huge supporters of the country’s biggest pet adoption drive but they also have a couple of really incredible initiatives in place including their Food, Shelter & Love Program and their Disaster Relief Network – both of which I’m sharing more about below and which inspired this post!
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Pet Safety Tips For Storm Preparedness
Emergencies come in many forms and may require anything from a brief absence to a permanent evacuation from your home. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are some simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready should an emergency arise.
- Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date (I can’t stress this part enough) information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his or her name, your telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification is strongly recommended.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or emergency. Pets can very easily become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
- Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items you should consider in your Evac-Pack include pet first aid essentials, 3-7 days worth of food and water, a blanket, important medical records, contact info and something comforting like a soft toy.
- If you’re evacuating do not leave your pets behind and do not tether them to trees or poles as this will prevent them from getting to safe areas if necessary. If you’re staying in your home then be sure to find a safe space where you and your animals can stay together. For those with cats make sure that small spaces are blocked off – my childhood cat (Tinkerbell – yes really!) was extremely inventive when it came to getting cozy in different hiding spots!
- Remember, not all shelters can accept pets and hotels are not required to either – even during a disaster. To ensure you’re as prepared as possible have a list of caregivers in place and utilize websites like bringfido.com and dogfriendly.com to find pet friendly lodgings.
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When you purchase Hill’s Pet Nutrition products, you’re helping the brand to continue supporting thousands of pets and people!
Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love Program
Created in 2002 the Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program supports more than 800 shelters in North America by providing constant access to deeply discounted premium food 365 days a year. Not only does this greatly benefit pets (proper nutrition combined with the love and care of shelter staff makes for a happy, healthy and adoptable pet) but also helps to alleviate the burden on those organizations who would otherwise have to seek out pet food donations or apply for grants. Over the last 17 years, Hill’s provided more than $290MM in food to help pets in need.
Disaster Relief and Helping Pets in a Time of Need
Hill’s has always provided pet food support to communities in need but in 2013 the brand formalized its response. A direct extension of their nationwide Food, Shelter & Love program the Disaster Relief Network quickly provides FREE pet food to shelters and veterinary hospitals responding to communities in need. Shelters are often the first line of response when disasters strike and many times their pet population can double overnight. Hill’s helps to lighten the load by providing the one thing pets need every single day: nutrition. This better enables the shelter staff to not only focus on the pet’s medical needs but also reuniting them with their families – a lot more helpful than leaving them to worry about how they’re going to feed all those hungry bellies.
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