Pet Emergency Kit
When emergencies happen, it’s crucial to have an emergency kit with food, water and other essentials ready to go, whether you’re evacuating or riding out the emergency at home. If you have four-legged and furry family members, you need to make sure you have supplies in your emergency kit for your pets as well. Here are some things that you should include in your pet emergency kit.
Pet First Aid
You may have a first aid kit for your human family members, but what about for your pets? There are plenty of human first aid items that can also be used for your pets, such as:
- Gauze pads or rolls
- Antiseptic wipes
- Cotton balls
- Ice packs
- Tongue depressors (which can double as splints in a pinch)
You’ll also want to buy some items specifically for your pet first aid kit, including:
- Medications your pet is taking
- Ear cleaning solutions
- Flea, tick and heartworm medication
- Pet-friendly adhesive bandages
Don’t use regular band-aids on your pet — the adhesive can irritate their skin or pull hair out. If your pet is wounded, your best bet is to use gauze pads and cloth wraps or medical tape designed for use on animals.
You probably have a copy of all your important papers in your emergency kit — insurance policies, car and house titles, drivers’ licenses and social security cards, to name a few. You need all of your pet’s important paperwork as well as part of their emergency kit. Include copies of:
- Proof of ownership and contact information: These details help in case you and your pet get separated during an emergency.
- Medical records and proof of vaccinations: If you have to evacuate to a pet-friendly shelter, you’ll need a shot record to be able to bring your pet with you.
- Emergency help list: This item should include your vet’s number as well as local boarding locations and kennels if you need help.
- ID tags: People should always be able to see and identify crucial information about your pet.
- Care and feeding instructions for your pet: Include these documents in case you can’t bring them with you when you evacuate.
- Recent photographs and a description of your pet: Both can help if you get separated.
Essential Pet Care Items
Just like with your human emergency kit, you’ll need some extra items for your pets, including:
- Food and water: Whether you’re staying home or evacuating, you’ll need to have enough food and water for your pets for at least one week.
- Leashes or pet carriers: For small dogs and cats, you’ll want to have a carrier to keep your pet in. For larger dogs, have a collar or harness and a leash to keep them close to you.
- Comfort items: If your dog or cat has a favorite toy, pillow, bed or blanket, make sure you bring it along.
- Emergency blankets: If it’s cold out or your pet has short hair and has trouble retaining body heat, you’ll want to keep thermal foil blankets, which are an easy and portable way to keep them warm.
- Collapsible food and water bowls: You’ll want the ability to give your pet some food and water on the go.
- Pet treats: In case you need to calm your pet down or keep them active, take their favorite treats.
- Cat litter: Of course, if you’re taking a cat, remember to provide a place for them to go to the bathroom.
Other items — like paper towels, trash bags and bleach or bleach wipes — can also be useful. Grooming supplies can help keep your pet comfortable and calm during an emergency as well.
Emergencies are stressful for humans and pets alike. Preparing an emergency kit for you and for your pets can help you weather the storm and make it through safely. Just like your emergency kit, you should have at least two pet emergency kits — one for home and one for in your car in case you have to evacuate. We can’t always prevent emergencies, but we can be prepared for them when they happen.