With so many bushfires raging around Australia, it makes sense to have a bushfire plan in place.
Knowing what to before you have to leave suddenly, can save your pet's life as well as your own.
Ensuring that your pet can find their way to you if they get lost is the first thing you should do.
Make sure they are microchipped and registered.
Check with your local council if you are not sure your details are current, and update any change of address or phone numbers for easy contact by authorities for when they are found.
Also, a collar with an ID tag with your pet's name and phone number can make their reunion with you much faster should you get separated.
Put together a Pet Emergency Kit.
This can be as simple as a storage box with some essential items you can grab quickly when you need to evacuate.
Some of the items you should include are: vaccination certificates and other medical or registration records for your pet, food and water bowls, enough food to last at least one week (tins and dry food are best as you may not have refrigeration available), some water, any regular medications your pet is on, extra leads and bedding.
Keep your pets indoors as the fire approaches.
Their natural fear can cause them to respond by running away from the danger, which will only cause you undue stress trying to locate them and potentially lead them to injure themselves in their panic.
Larger animals such as horses should be moved to large, open areas.
Move them at least a few days in advance of extreme conditions, if possible.
Ideally, the area should be as clear of vegetation as possible to lessen the risk of fire going through and have access to plenty of water from a dam.
Do not confine them to a small yard or stable as they may panic and injure themselves.
Removing all gear from horses is important as bridles or halters may melt or become extremely hot and scald your horse.
Rugs can also pose a threat as the horse may overheat or embers landing on the rug could cause it to catch alight with no escape possible for your horse.
Visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website for more information and or find a copy of the Fire Safety for Your Pets factsheet on Leeton Veterinary Hospital's Facebook page.