Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from sheltering in place for a few hours, a brief absence from your home, or a long term evacuation.
Prepare a Pet Emergency Supply Kit
Just like you need to prepare an emergency supply kit for yourself, you will also need one for your pet. Make sure you use plastic zipper bags to store items and then place them into a larger waterproof container. Here are items to include in your kit:
- Food & Water: Keep at least 3 days’ worth. If your pet eats canned food get some cans with tops that don’t need a can opener. Make sure you rotate this food and water every few months so that it’s ready for use in case you actually need it.
- Food & Water Bowls: Include something light and easy to clean.
- Medicine & Medical Records: If your pet is on regular medicines, keep an extra supply in your kit. Put a copy of your pet's most recent medical records in your kit should you need to have your pet stay elsewhere.
- First Aid Kit: Include the basics like: cotton bandages, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, tweezers, saline solution, and a basic pet first aid book.
- Leash & Collar: Keep an extra leash and collar in your kit. If you have an extra set of ID tags put them on the spare collar. Ensuring that your pet is microchipped will assist in identification if you and your pet are separated.
- Crate or Carrying Case: Have a crate or carrying case for your pet. If your kit is small and you have a smaller pet, consider adding an all-cotton pillow case so that you have something to contain your pet. You may want to consider a crate on wheels or a pet stroller to make evacuation easier.
- Cleaning supplies: Depending on your type of pet, you may also need litter and a litter box, paper towels and plastic trash bags. Consider using aluminum roasting pans because they are light and can be thrown away. Include some liquid dish soap and disinfectant.
When most people think about disaster preparedness, they think about natural disasters – hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. And I did too until my friend BoSoxAmy suddenly had to leave her home because of a fire in her apartment building.
Luckily Amy, who has a cat and a guinea pig, had prepared a pet emergency kit with the essentials she needed to get through the first few days. Amy shared her experience on her blog, and I highly recommend you visit it to learn from her experience.