5 Ways to Prep Your Pet for Emergencies
Your pet is family. Their safety and well-being is a priority for you every day, but have you thought about what you would do with your pet in an emergency?
Although you can never completely control what will happen during an emergency, you can take steps to be as prepared as possible. By taking some easy actions now, you can avoid having to make difficult and dangerous decisions during an emergency.
- Get your pet microchipped. Owners can be located if a shelter or veterinary clinic scans the chip. Finding a lost pet that hasn’t be microchipped can be extremely difficult and many times impossible. If your pet is already microchipped, make sure the registration info is up-to-date so you can be contacted if your pet is found.
- Prepare a disaster kitfor your pet ahead of time, along with your family’s personal needs. Include everything your pet will need, from food and prescriptions to leashes and bedding. Don’t forget your contact information and a photo of your pet; preferably one of you with your pet as further proof of ownership.
- Plan where your pet will stayin case you need to evacuate. Pets are often not allowed in evacuation centers unless they are service animals.
- Use a buddy system with friends, family, and neighborsin case you’re not home during an emergency. Have a trusted person you can call to check on pets and evacuate them if necessary.
- Practiceevacuating or sheltering in place with your pet. Training pets to be in their carriers can make them more comfortable and reduce the stress of getting everyone out safely.
For sheltering in place, pick a room with few or no windows, no toxic chemicals or plants, and make sure to close off small areas where frightened pets could get stuck. Include your pet in your family’s plan—everyone should know who will grab the pet(s), supplies, and where you will meet during an emergency.
Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit
Prepare a disaster kit for your pet(s) with these items. Ask your veterinarian for help putting it together.
- Photocopied veterinary records
- Rabies certificate
- Medical summary
- Prescriptions for medications
- Most recent heartworm test result (dogs)
- Most recent FeLV/FIV test result (cats)
- Photocopied registration information (ex: proof of ownership or adoption records)
- Pet description(s) (ex: breed, sex, color, weight)
- Recent photographs of each of your pets
- Waterproof container for documents
- Microchip information (ex: microchip number, name and number of the microchip company)
- Your contact information (phone numbers and addresses for your family and friends or relatives you may be staying with)