Disasters are not always predictable and can strike at a moment’s notice. It is important to have an action plan and supplies ready for emergencies. Does your evacuation plan include your pet? This guide will help you create a plan that includes your pet’s safety if disaster hits.
Make a pet supply emergency kit
The items included in an emergency supply kit for your pet are the same things you would want to pack for yourself. Your pet will need the basic essentials, like food and water. You will need a container you can grab quickly that will store your pet’s emergency items. Also, it’s important to check the kit often to ensure all the items are fresh and usable and the kit is ready at all times.
We recommend that you include all of the following in your emergency supply kit:
- Food and water — Pack a two-week supply of food and water in an airtight container for each pet.
- Food and water bowls should be included for each pet.
- Crate or carrier with bedding — A secure crate or carrier will help keep your pet safe and secure if you need to evacuate.
- Collar with current ID or harness and leash — Your pet will more likely be returned to you if she is lost during a disaster if she is wearing a well-fitted collar or harness with your current contact information on the tags. We recommend implanting a microchip so your pet’s contact information is not lost if she loses her collar. Consider adding your pet’s rabies tag and a tag with her medical needs, such as epilepsy or diabetes, to the ID tag.
- Familiar belongings — A favorite toy or blanket will remind your pet of you and your home.
- Elimination items — Include plastic bags for dog poop or cat litter and a litter box. And, don’t forget cleaning supplies, like paper towels, newspaper, and disinfectant, in case accidents occur.
- Medication and instructions — Include a two-week supply of your pet’s medications, as well as medication instructions and information for more refills in case you are separated.
- Documentation — Seal all documentation in a waterproof container. Include a current photo of you and your pet, which will act as documentation of ownership if you become separated. The picture also can be shown to other people if you are searching for your lost pet. Also include photocopies of your pet’s veterinary records, including vaccine history and microchip information, and proof of registration.
- Pet first aid kit — In case your pet is injured, your pet first aid kit may include:
- The phone number of a veterinarian in your location
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dose syringe
- Antibacterial soap
- Dish detergent
- Rubbing alcohol
- Digital thermometer
- Water-based lubricant
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Veterinarian-recommended antihistamine
- Latex gloves
- Leash or carrier
- Cotton balls
- Sterile gauze pads and wrap
- Ace bandages
- Bandage tape
Develop a disaster plan
Next, map out an evacuation plan. Practice your departure routine and determine how you will pack up your pets, supplies, and the necessary equipment. The goal is to work out the kinks in your plan and to know how long it will take to leave your house.
Decide ahead of time where you can board your pets or where they could stay on short notice in case of evacuation. Check with local boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, or shelters to determine what your pet will need when she is boarded. Have back-up plans for your pets in case your first choice is not an option. Family or friends may be willing to be included on your list of emergency contacts for your pets.
Do you need help preparing for your pet in case of a disaster? Contact our office, and our team will help you be prepared.