Chances are that you keep some emergency supplies around the house in case of a disaster — maybe a first aid kit, important phone numbers, non-perishable food items, and some bottles of water. But did you ever think about what your pet might need?
For most owners, pets end up becoming members of the family, and just like any other family member, you want them to be safe during an emergency. Here is a useful list of supplies to have on hand for your pet in case you need to take shelter at home or leave to get help.
Emergency Pet Supplies
1 week supply of food
You may not be able to make your way to the store to purchase pet food during an emergency. A 1 week supply of pet food stored in an airtight, waterproof container will give you peace of mind and your pet something to eat if disaster strikes.
3 day supply of water
Many disasters can disrupt water systems and make drinking water unavailable or unsafe to drink. While stocking up on water for you and your family, think about your pet, too.
You never know what kind of injuries could result from a disaster. Additionally, your pet could suffer an unrelated injury while you are hunkering down at home or taking refuge in a safe haven. A first aid kit that includes supplies especially for pets will prepare you to handle minor injuries at home or on the road.
Any medications your pet is taking
Many pets take regular medications such as insulin, anti-inflammatories, and flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives. If your pet is taking any medications regularly, ask your veterinarian about getting additional doses that you can put in a waterproof container and add to their emergency kit.
Your pet’s medical records will be important to have on hand if you need to leave the house during an emergency. Put a copy of your pet’s records in a waterproof bag or container and add it to their emergency kit.
If your pet is microchipped, keep a copy of the microchip number in their kit. Unfortunately, some pets can get lost in the chaos of an emergency, and having your pet’s microchip number will make it easier to find them.
Collars & ID tags
For their safety, pets should always wear a collar with a rabies tag and identification tag. Keep backup collars and ID tags in your pet’s emergency kit.
Avoid getting separated from your pet during an emergency by keeping them on a leash. Extra leashes put in your emergency kit may come in handy should something happen to your old standby.
Keep recent photos of you and your pet together in their kit. Include on the photos information such as breed, species, color, age, sex, and any distinguishing features. If your pet becomes lost during an emergency, these photos can establish your ownership and allow others to help you find your pet.
Emergency sticker for your door
Should you need to flee your home without your pet, an emergency sticker placed on a door or window will let rescue workers know that a pet is inside. Most of these stickers allow you to write in how many pets are inside, your veterinarian’s name, and their phone number. If you are able to take your pet with you when you leave, write EVACUATED across the sticker.
Litter and tray for cats
Having extra litter and an additional tray packed up and ready to go will allow you to leave the house more quickly with your cat in case of an emergency.
Poop bags and cleaners for dogs
As with the bathroom supplies for cats, a readily available supply of poop bags and cleaners for your dog will be one less thing to worry about if disaster strikes.
It may be safer for your pet to travel in a carrier should you need to flee your home. Even if your pet doesn’t usually travel in a carrier, having one on hand is a smart idea.
Blankets and Toys
Blankets, toys, and any other items that bring your pet comfort can help reduce stress during an emergency. Keep a few extra of your pet’s favorite things in their emergency kit.
Don’t put off getting your pet’s emergency supplies together, and visit ready.gov for more information on preparing your pet for disaster.