Natural disasters and emergency situations are frightening for everyone in the affected areas. Pet owners have the additional stress of caring for a creature that can’t take care of itself and doesn’t understand what is going on. Planning for a disaster is an important safety topic for pet owners. Ready.gov, a project launched by FEMA and the DHS, offers useful information for caring for pets in the midst of a disaster. They suggest putting together a pet emergency preparedness kit so you’ll always have what you need!
Consider putting these items in your preparedness kit.
- Food and water – Store three days worth of food and water that is designated for your pet. To avoid attracting bugs or other pests while it is being stored, consider getting canned food that will last a considerable amount of time and bottled water. If you do put canned food in your kit, make sure to include a manual can opener too.
- Medicine and First-Aid Supplies – If your pet takes medication regularly, ask your veterinarian for a few extra pills to keep on hand for an emergency. Also talk to your vet about other first-aid items your specific pet might need. In general, it is good to include antiseptic and bandages.
- Extra collar, ID tag, and leash – Your pet should always wear a collar and tag, but having an extra one during an emergency is still a good idea and having a leash will make it easier for you to travel with your pet if necessary. If you do need to evacuate, consider bringing your pet’s crate or carrier with you too.
- Important documents – Make copies of any important documents related to your pet–registration papers, adoption papers, micro-chip information, vaccine records–and place them in a sealed plastic baggie. These documents can help prove ownership. Vaccine and other vet records will also prove that your animal is in good health–something you might need to do during a prolonged evacuation.
- A photo of you and your pet together – Place this in your baggie too. Should you be separated from your pet, the photo will help you prove ownership. Having a photo that you can show to others will also make it easier for other people to find your pet and reunite you with her!
Although this kit might seem unnecessary now, you will be glad you have it should the worst happen. Plan ahead to reduce your own and your pet’s stress during a disaster.
If you have questions about your pet’s disaster needs or have a general pet emergency, contact us.