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Preparing your pets for bushfire season

With recent severe bushfires resulting in an early start to the season, and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) expecting it will go later as well, Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) is urging pet owners to ensure they are prepared for the bushfire season.

Bushfires are extremely dangerous and threaten homes and lives of both humans and animals. Having a plan of action in case of an emergency, for both you and your pets, is essential to getting out alive.

Bushfires can occur in a matter of seconds, providing very little time to evacuate. With a plan in place you will know exactly how to react and what needs to be done in order to save the lives of you and your pets.

Tips for preparing for bushfire season:

  • Monitoring high fire danger days are important, as this will allow you to be prepared and ready if the worst happens. As soon as you are aware of a bushfire threat, it is important to act as quickly as possible.
  • Check with local authorities as to where your nearest pet friendly refuge centre is located. Know where you could house your pets as an alternative – this may include boarding kennels, a relative or friend’s place.
  • Because of the potential stress on animals in a major bush fire, we recommend that you relocate your pets early to a safer location.
  • Have a kit ready to go – this should include food and water, a bowl for each pet, a spare collar and lead, a carrier for cats and smaller pets, bedding and a woollen blanket, a favourite toy, any medications and your pet’s medical history, including proof of vaccination.
  • Have towels and woollen blankets available to cover and protect your pets.
  • Make sure your pets can be identified easily – microchip your animals and include your details such as your phone number on collars.
  • Discuss with neighbours about protecting your pets if you are not at home during a bushfire. Keep in regular contact with your neighbours during the fire danger period to let them know your plans.
  • Practise how you will move your pets if you leave – it takes longer than you think.

If your pets have suffered injuries during a fire ensure you seek veterinary assistance as soon as it is safe to do so.

For more information visit – https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety/Pages/Create-your-bushfire-survival-plan.aspx

Download a copy of AWLQ’s Preparing your pet for bushfire season here.