How to keep pets safe during an earthquake
A series of recent earthquakes along the West Coast has left Metro Vancouver residents wondering if this region is next in line.
While cities and families may be preparing for a major seismic event, pet owners can also take steps to ensure their furry friends are kept safe.
While it's important for people to have earthquake kits on hand, it's also a good idea to ensure there are some items for pets too.
"You can actually get pet first aid kits," said Karley Seagrist, a vet at Yaletown Animal Hospital, who explained the kits have similar items seen in human first aid kits.
Seagrist added that it's important to make sure you have some pet food set aside in the family's earthquake kit.
If you and your pet end up getting separated, having them microchipped is one way to help you be reunited later.
"Microchipping is a permanent identification. A lot of people think it's a GPS tracker and unfortunately it's not, but it's something that can be scanned worldwide that has all of your information," Seagrist said.
"Having it up to date on not only your information, but also your vet's information can be really important especially if their collar happens to slip off … so you'll be much more likely to be reunited."
Having pets fully vaccinated can also protect them against disease following an earthquake.
"If we do get the big one that everyone's worried about, there might be a lot of stagnant water, rotten debris … so a lot more risk of infection," said Gavin Myers, who is also a vet at Yaletown Animal Hospital.
But beyond preparation, it's important to understand how your pet might react if the big one hits.
"Their initial response is to try and find a safe place," Myers said.
"When an earthquake happens, initially, you should try your best to look after yourself first…then if (your pet) will allow you to catch it and hold it close to your chest, that's great.
"But if it does want to run away on its own and find a safe place, sometimes it's actually safer for both you and your pet to just let it do that."