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May 02 2019

Pet Emergency Preparedness

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The first week in May marks Emergency Preparedness Week – a time to ensure that you are prepared if a disaster strikes. May 11th is recognized as National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day.

When disaster strikes, it is important to be prepared. During the initial phases of a disaster, while emergency relief officials mobilize, you are responsible for you own your own safety and survival – this includes the safety and survival of your pets. It’s important to create a 72-hour Emergency Survival Kit for your family – including your pets – so you are prepared in case of disaster, be it earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, or ice storm.

Creating an Emergency Survival Kit for your pet is the first step in being prepared – checking the kit twice a year to ensure that the food and water is fresh and to update your pet’s medication and health information as needed is the second step.

Each pet needs his or her own personalized kit. Here are some guidelines for preparing emergency kits for cats, dogs, reptiles, birds, rabbits, and small mammals.

Note: While transporting your pet in his or her crate or cage, remove excess items that could cause injury during a hurried evacuation.

Items to pack for ALL pets:

  • Proof of ownership, identification (if your pet is microchipped, keep a copy of the microchip number in your kit), and a recent photo of your pet.
  • Emergency contact list and contact information for your veterinary hospital.
  • Instructions for feeding and administration of medications/supplements that your pet needs.
  • Non-slip food and/or water bowls – collapsible dishes are available for cats and dogs.
  • 72-hour supply of food and treats. Rotate food and treats to ensure that they are always fresh. Pack kibble in Ziplock-style bags or water-tight containers or pack canned food. For canned foods, remember a can opener and spoon.
  • Be sure to have enough water for 72 hours. Dogs need anywhere from 8-17 ounces of water per ten pounds body weight per day, and cats need slightly less. In other words, a 65-pound dog will drink between ¼ – ½ gallon of water daily. Keep in mind that in extreme heat and humidity, these needs may rise.
  • Medications and supplements.
  • Pet first aid kit.
  • List of pet-friendly hotels and pet boarding facilities.
  • Cleaning supplies, including a disinfectant, a hand sanitizer, paper towels, and garbage bags.

Cats:

  • Crate/carrier
  • A favorite blanket for bedding
  • Towels
  • Collar/harness and leash if your cat uses a leash
  • Litter box, litter, garbage bags, and scooper
  • Can opener and spoon
  • Toys
  • Brush or comb

Dogs:

  • Crate/carrier
  • A favorite blanket for bedding
  • Towels
  • Leash and collar/harness
  • Can opener and spoon
  • Toys
  • Brush or comb

Reptiles

  • Pillow case or secure container for transport
  • Escape-proof housing
  • Bedding materials (newspapers or other paper)
  • Battery-operated heating source and extra batteries
  • Water bowl for soaking
  • Water bottle for misting

Amphibians

  • Small transport container (with ventilation holes)
  • Escape-proof housing
  • Water bowl for soaking

Birds

  • Cage that’s portable (and easy to carry)
  • Material to line the cage
  • Blankets or towels
  • Hot water bottle
  • Grit
  • Toys and extra cage perches

Rabbits and Small Mammals

  • Cage that’s portable (and easy to carry)
  • Bedding materials
  • Water bottle

The ability to care for your pet during an emergency depends on how well you have prepared. If you already have an Emergency Survival Kit, take some time this week to review, refresh, and restock, and if you don’t, now’s the time to prepare one!

Remember! Take your pets with you if you need to evacuate! Once you leave your home, it may be a while before you are allowed to return again. Your pets depend on you for their safety and survival. Get prepared. Be prepared. And stay prepared.

LifeLearn News

Note: This article, written by LifeLearn Animal Health (LifeLearn Inc.) is licensed to this practice for the personal use of our clients. Any copying, printing or further distribution is prohibited without the express written permission of Lifelearn. Please note that the news information presented here is NOT a substitute for a proper consultation and/or clinical examination of your pet by a veterinarian.