Whether you’re soaking up the sun by the pool, enjoying a long weekend at the beach, or taking a well-deserved vacation, the summer season is full of fun! Your busy summer schedule may mean that your pets are home alone more than usual and it’s important to make sure they’re safe while on their own.
Approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house or apartment fires every year. Check out the tips below to keep your fur baby (or babies) safe while you’re out and about this summer. And share these tips with other animal lovers and pet owners to spread awareness about National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15th.
Do Not Leave Any Open Flames Unattended
Be sure to blow out any candles that are burning before you leave the room or your apartment. A wagging tail, paw swipe, or accidental bump could start a fire.
Secure Stove Knobs
Cats who jump up onto counters or larger dogs who can reach the stovetop could turn a knob and light a burner. Remove or cover the knobs when you are not home.
Secure Loose Wires
Loose wires can be tempting, especially for puppies and kittens! A pet pulling or chewing on these wires creates a fire hazard, so eliminate the temptation and the risk for your pet.
Don’t Give Your Pets Free Rein When You Aren’t Home
Crate puppies or younger dogs and only give kittens and younger cats access to certain rooms.
Keep Pets in Easily Accessible Spaces
Leave your pets in rooms or spaces that are close to exterior doors in your apartment so that firefighters will have minimal trouble rescuing them in case of a fire. Pet Alert Window Clings also help firefighters when there is an emergency at your home. Make sure the cling is prominently displayed and has the correct number of pets in your apartment written on it so that firefighters know how many animals to look for.
Include Your Pet in Your Escape Plan
If you don’t already have an emergency escape plan, consider making one. Then, practice it with all family members, including the furry ones! Keep leashes, harnesses, and carriers in easily accessible places in case you need to exit quickly. When you’re not home, store these carriers in the same room or area your pet is in, in case a firefighter needs to get your pet out.
Put Together an Emergency Kit
Put together an emergency kit that you can bring with you in case you and your pet have to evacuate. Include at least a week’s worth of supplies, such as:
- Any required medications and important medical information
- A way to transport your pet (leash, carrier, etc.)
- Recent photos of your pet in case they get lost
- Bowls, food, and bottled water (and a can opener, if necessary)
- Plastic bags, paper towels, cat litter and something your cat can use as a litter box
- Comforting toys and a bed or blanket, if possible
- A list of emergency contact information
Store your emergency kit in an easily accessible location in your apartment so you can grab it quickly if you need it.