Emergency Preparedness for Pets - 5 Simple Tips.
Step One: Get a Pet Emergency Supplies Kit
If you own pets, you need to plan an emergency supply kit for them too. It needs to be part of your overall family emergency plan.
First. If your pets are on any medications, you need to ensure that there are enough set aside in the kit to last a few days until things settle down. Generally, a two-week supply will be plenty. Have a small first aid kit for your pets also in case they are injured during the emergency and can’t get to the veterinarian.
Second. You need to store enough food and water for each pet. Make sure dry food is well preserved and sealed in a waterproof container. Aim for a two-week supply.
Third. Make sure each of your pets has a collar with an up to date ID tag. They should also have a sturdy safety harness and lease. We strongly recommend that you consider having a microchip installed. That way, if your pet loses its collar, you can still locate it. Microchipping is an excellent form of permanent identification, emergency or not.
Fourth. Make sure you remember to pack plenty of sanitation items. You'll need plenty of poo bags to pick up after dogs when they relieve themselves outside. Also, you should consider adding a supply of training pads for your pet to relieve themselves if you have to remain indoors. You’ll want to have some Lysol wipes or a similar product to ensure that things remain hygienic afterward, too.
For cats, include a cheap litter box and a small bag of litter. Again, make sure that the litter is well-sealed and kept water-tight, or it will be useless when the time comes to use it.
Fifth. It’s a good idea to place a decal on your door indicating that you have pets. Indicate the number and types of pets, if possible. These decals alert first responders that there are pets in the home.
Sixth. During an emergency, your pet will be very stressed. Hence, anything you can do to make the animal more relaxed is beneficial. Consider adding a few comfort items or toys, and maybe their favorite treats to distract them.
Step Two: Take some current pictures of your pets.
We all love taking pictures of our fur-babies anyhow, so let's make sure we have plenty of current ones while we are making the emergency kit. Save some on your phone. Print a couple off and put them into the emergency kit. Having some photos of your pets will help rescue workers identify and reunite you with your pets faster if they become separated during an emergency.
Step Three: Get your pets familiar with their carriers or crates.
For most pets, the only time they get into their carriers is when they go to the vet. Understandably, they can become stressed when they see them and may even resist getting placed into them. It’s a good idea to get them used to carriers by leaving them out, placing treats in them, and allowing them to explore the space. It will make things easier on both of you when you need to use the carrier in an emergency.
Step Four: Know where your pets like to hide.
Most pets tend to find spaces throughout the house where they like to hide. Sometimes they hide to have a nap, other times they hide when they are scared. It's crucial to know where your pets will be because during an emergency, seconds count. You won’t have time to start searching. If you know where to look ahead of time, you’re way ahead of the game.
Step Five: Have an Emergency Plan for your whole family.
If you’re making a plan to prepare your family pets for an emergency then chances are, you’ve probably put together an emergency plan for your whole family too. But here’s a few more considerations that you may have overlooked.
Have you planned out an evacuation plan? If not, its time you did. Check with nearby veterinary clinics to see if they will be able to board your pets during an emergency. Its also a good idea to research hotels in the area to see which ones would be able to accept pets during an emergency if you were displaced from your home.
You could also reach out to friends and family and see if any of them are willing or able to step in and help if you must evacuate in a shelter that allow pets.
This article has been written to give some basic suggestions on preparing your family pets for a disaster. It’s meant as a general guideline and it’s certainly not exhaustive. It’s really important for you to consider what types of disasters might strike in your particular area. You’ll probably want to tweak the plan accordingly.
For more information please check out the following articles on our site:
Any pet owner will tell you that during a thunderstorm most dogs (and some cats) can get extremely scared during thunderstorms. The patented ThunderShirt design applies gentle, constant pressure to calm anxiety and fear when thunderstorms hit. They can also help calm your pet during fireworks, vet visits and travel.
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Frankly, we had never heard of these until one of our readers enquired. Yup, they’re a thing! But don’t get excited…we’re not advocating that you throw kitty in a bag at the first sign of trouble. Nope. It appears that a Cat Evacuation Sack is really just a weird name for an emergency kit just for your cat. Anyhow, we found a good one.
You can get it here on Amazon
We looked at a number of different options and ER Kits look great. They appear to be among the most comprehensive survival kits on the market for dogs and cats. These kits contain the necessary supplies to help prepare your pet to survive the aftermath of a disaster packaged in a convenient go-bag. These kits are complete and reliable, packaged in large, durable nylon bags for strategic survival purposes. The food is specially packaged and vacuum sealed to ensure a 5 year shelf-life and emergency water boxes that are US Coast Guard Approved to store safely for 5 years even in extreme conditions.
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Mayday Industries has a great option for us preppers and these emergency food packs for your pets come in various sizes. They’re great when a crisis happens and because they last up to five years, they’re ideal for your long-term emergency storage plan.
This emergency dog food is the best dog food to have in your pet preps when there is a crisis. Why? Because it lasts for 5 years, making it ideal for preppers' long-term food storage. Each survival food ration is packed with complete balanced nutrition and is formulated to meet nutrition levels for every one of your dog or cat's life stages. Each emergency food ration is also vacuum sealed to protect it and keep it fresh. Plus, the food is super lightweight and will take up minimal space in your bug out bag.
You can purchase from Amazon here
Let’s face it, we should already have something like this at home if we own pets but it’s surprising how many of us don’t. A good first aid kit for your pet is just as important as having one for the rest of your family. There’s lots to choose from and we looked at quit a few.
We really like the Adventure Kits Me & My Dog for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it’s a complete first aid kit. Meaning, there’s enough supplies in there to deal with any emergency – human or canine. We like that there’s a splinter picker/tick remover to safely remove splinters and ticks. But the kit also includes and an emergency blanket to treat shock and hypothermia as well also an emergency cold pack. There’s a lot here in such a small kit that weighs about 1,5 pounds. The manufacturers also include field manual: “Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness & Travel Medicine”, with 43 first aid categories and 160 subcategories including “Weiss Advice” improvised techniques, “When to Worry” tips on recognizing life-threatening conditions, 97 illustrations and information on how to use your Adventure Medical Kit. We found that book to be very informative.
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