Disaster Preparedness for Pets

By Dr. Sonia Sandhu, Veterinarian

Emergencies can occur at any time, and in any form. An emergency can require a short absence from your home, ranging to a permanent evacuation. Just as pet owners must be prepared for disasters themselves, it’s also as important to be prepared for each type of emergency or disaster for your pets, to ensure their safety.

Have a Plan:

A few things to keep in mind.

  1. Be sure your pets always wear collars and to have up-to-date contact information so they can be identified, and owner can be contacted as soon as possible.
  2. It is always a good idea to microchip your pets and be sure to register the microchip with up-to-date contact information – this is a great measure to make sure that you can be alerted in case of emergencies. You can also add a second person to the microchip data so that in case you are unable to be reached, another person can be contacted.
  3. Always keep an extra leash or pet carrier next to the exit to avoid wasting previous moments in emergencies.
  4. If you’re going to be away from home and from your pet, have a buddy system with a neighbor or someone close by who knows your pet. When your buddy arrives to remove your pet from the home, have them take a stuffed animal or treats which may help calm your pet in stressful circumstances.
  5. Decide where you and your pet are going to stay ahead of time. Many shelters allow individuals in during a disaster, pets may or may not be allowed. It’s a good idea to plan stay for your pet ahead of time, this could be with family / friends who are out of the danger zone. In addition, have a handy list of hotels who are pet friendly.

Have a Pet Evacuation Kit:

What to Include?

The Humane Society of United States recommends 3-7 days worth of dry and canned food, at least 7 days’ supply of water, feeding bowls, medication, veterinary records, photo of pet, leash, litter / pan and toys. Remember to date all the food and medications which you have stored every 4-6 months, as this may need to be replaced.

If you have any more questions about how to prepare your pet for a disaster, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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