It has been almost a week since Malaysia was hit with the unprecedented flood which has affected more than 70,000 people to-date. Just as evacuation and assistance are being extended to the affected people, images of animals being rescued or in dire situation have also surfaced.
During this dire situation, pets are equally as vulnerable. They may either had to be left behind by owners, got lost during the chaos or are strays trying to save their lives as well.
Unlike human, animals, particularly dogs and cats can only cry bark or meow for help. Despite the difficult situation, thankfully many kind-hearted Malaysians are making efforts to rescue these furry friends with the hope of saving them and reuniting them with their pet parents. Such gesture is truly a gesture of a-paw-ciation to pets which are loyal companions in good and bad times.
In light of current situation, Royal Canin Malaysia is truly concerned about the health and wellbeing of these furry friends during and post floods. Royal Canin believes it is important to continue sharing correct and useful information on pet care with pet owners, lovers and rescuers to help create a better world for pets.
Dr Dylan Choy, Scientific Communication Manager at Royal Canin Malaysia who is also a registered veterinarian shares a list of important do’s and don'ts on pet care especially in an emergency such as floods.
Plan Ahead Before Storm Comes
- Make sure your cats and dogs are wearing proper identification. These days, collar with pet and pet owner details is a common thing to have. Such details will be helpful to locate either the pet or the owner if an emergency strikes.
- Just like ensuring sufficient food and medicine supply for people, do make sure pet food and medicines are well stocked. Kittens and puppies have different nutrition requirements.
- Ensure that your pets are vaccinated. Do include vaccination against Leptospirosis, a harmful bacterial disease that can be found in and around water (including floodwater). Leptospirosis affects both humans and animals.
- Stay updated. With social media and messaging platforms, it will be easier for pet owners to be updated on the situation to prepare for the next action.
- Place important documents such as vaccination record and vet’s details in a sealed bag. Do also include a current photo of your pet just in case it is lost in the chaos.
During the Emergency Period
- If you have to evacuate your home due to flood, there is a chance you need to leave your pet(s) behind.
- If this happens, place your pets on higher level that is likely to remain dry, with plenty of food, water and litter tray.
- Put a notice on your door or windows to let the emergency services know there are pets inside.
- In any case, do inform your relatives or friends that you are leaving your pet(s) in the house. They may be able to rescue your pets when they have the chance.
- Do not leave your pet(s) inside carriers unattended which can trap the pets, leaving them unable to save themselves.
- If you want to take a look at the surroundings to see what is happening, it is not a good idea to bring your pets along. Let them stay in the house where it is safer.
- Avoid giving them flood water to drink as it may be contaminated. It may harm them and there is a high risk of getting diseases.
- Do not assume your pets, especially dogs, can swim. Place them in a safer place if needs arise.
- If any of your pets do get caught in floodwater, never jump in after them. It could put you in danger as well. Leave the rescue to the emergency services.
Post Emergency Period
- For dog owners, it is advisable to not walk your dogs until the area is safe again.
- It is important for you to bring your pets to the vet for a thorough health check-up and get the necessary treatment. They may be hurt physically and internally during the emergency chaos without anyone realising it. This is important also as cats are secretive by nature and good at hiding their pain.
- Just like human, pets can be traumatised and stressed as well when sudden change happens. Monitor their behaviour closely. If you think something is not right, quickly bring them to the vet to get professional advice.