Planning is the key to ensuring your four-legged mates stay well.
Planning is the key to ensuring your four-legged mates stay well.

Make sure you paws to think about pets

RSPCA Qld is urging all Queenslanders to spare a thought for the animals in these times of uncertainty and continue to support the organisation.

"As you can imagine, the majority of the RSPCA's work is hands-on, so although a small number of our staff can work from home, for our inspectors, veterinarians and animal attendants and volunteers it is business as usual," said RSPCA Qld spokesman Michael Beatty.

"We'd urge people to continue to adopt, but sadly we have to remind people that, due to recent Government directives, our care centres cannot be used as public gathering places.

"So please only come if you are genuinely thinking of adopting now or in the near future. We also currently have 40 horses in foster care that desperately need new homes so that their carers are free to take on other animals."

Although in other parts of the globe some animal charities have seen an increase in the number of animals surrendered, so far this has not been the case in Australia. Sadly, however, this may eventuate and it's the generosity and support of the public that will enable RSPCA Qld to continue its vital work.

Mr Beatty had these tips for pet owners for the coming weeks.

1. Make sure that you have at least two weeks' worth of food for your pet. If they are on any medications or a prescription veterinary diet, have at least a month's stock of both. For cats, ensure you have enough cat litter and if your dog does have to stay inside with you for a few weeks, consider having enough poo bags. To keep your pet healthy, have at least a month of parasite prevention. Call your vet before visiting, to ensure they have the food or medicine ready for you to help with social distancing.

2. Contact and designate someone to look after your pet if you need to go to hospital. Make sure they have a way to access your house and know your pets and their requirements. Have all food clearly marked with feeding instructions. If your pet is on medications, have instructions on what and when, and to make it easier have at least two weeks of medications pre-dispensed into labelled pill organisers. Write up a day planner of your pet's normal routine and quirks so that whoever is looking after it can keep its routine as stable as possible. Have a call list that includes your veterinarian, alternative nearby veterinarian and available boarding facilities.

3. Gather up all the essential documents relating to your pet and have them easily accessible. Make sure your microchip registration details are up to date and consider a secondary form of identification for your pet such as a collar and tag. Have a full list of emergency contacts including your and family and friends' phone numbers and email addresses.

4. Research and contact local boarding or pet-minding facilities near you in the event that your pet requires emergency accommodation. Ask them to email you their boarding paperwork so this can be pre-filled out and also send them any vaccination or registration paperwork in advance so that even a stranger could get them to safe accommodation. Have appropriate transport crates or leashes and place these within easy access.