When an emergency strikes, pets depend on pet parents to protect them, prepare them for disasters including but not limited to having enough of food, water, supplies and to move them out of the house quickly and safely if needed. The situation can be stressful and scary for everyone, but the tips below will help you prepare in case disaster hits.
How would you care for your pet in a fire, flood, tornado, blizzard, or any other unpredictable event?
If you are like many pet owners, you have not given this question much thought. We encourage you to consider preparing a disaster kit for your pet. That way you can confidently state what you would do when faced with severe weather or another type of emergency.
What should you include in a Disaster Kit for Your Pet?
When a disaster strikes, knowing that you have a kit prepared and stored in a safe place can help keep you calm. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the kit should include the following at a minimum:
- Written details about each pet in the event you become separated
- Your notes should include your contact details, any behavior issues, feeding and care instructions, and how to contact your pet’s regular veterinarian.
- Water and food for each pet to last for up to two weeks. Be sure to place the food in an airtight container so it does not spoil and pack a can opener or scoop if you need them to feed your pet. Water should go in an airtight container and be replaced periodically with a fresh supply.
- Bags for dog waste and a litter box for cats
- Cleaning supplies if your pet eliminates inappropriately
- Up-to-date medical records
- Two weeks’ worth of any prescription medications
- Grooming supplies
- Harness, leash, and pet carrier
- Toys and pet beds
What are best practices for creating your pet’s disaster plan?
It is essential that your dog, cat, or other pet have current identification in the chaos of a sudden emergency. If your pet has a microchip, make sure that you update your contact details any time you move or change your telephone number or email address. Additionally, ensure each pet has an individual carrier with your name and the pet’s name written on it clearly.
Another recommendation from the CDC is to place a harness or leash near every exit in your home. It may be difficult to hold a pet who is highly stressed, which increases the likelihood of him running off. By having a leash or harness available, you can safely remove your pet from the situation as quickly as possible.
Determine where you will evacuate in all areas of your house before an emergency or weather disaster occurs. It is also helpful to prepare a list of pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, veterinary clinics, and shelters just in case you do need to evacuate.