How to Prepare Pets for Disaster

It’s important to be prepared for an emergency. You never know when disaster can strike, so planning ahead is critical. One thing we might not consider when planning for an emergency like a natural disaster is what to do for our pets. They’ll need help then too.

June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and has some useful tips for making sure your pet is part of your disaster preparedness plan. Some key things to keep in mind include:

Know Where Your Pet Can Go in an Emergency

Many designated public emergency shelters don’t allow pets. Many hotels also don’t, so do some research to find potential locations that would be appropriate for you and your pet. Your veterinarian might have some suggestions.

An important step you can take is to have your pet microchipped. In an emergency, you could get separated from your pet, and microchip tracking can make all the difference. Talk with your vet about microchipping.

Prepare an Emergency Pet Kit

Just as you should have a 72-hour kit for the people in your family, your pet should have an emergency kit too. Some items to include are:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Pet first aid kit with bandages, ointment, etc.
  • Medicine, including prescriptions (keep them up to date regularly)
  • Grooming kit
  • Sanitation items like poop bags, kitty litter, wipes, bleach, and more.
  • Bed for your pet
  • Pet carrier
  • Leashes for dogs
  • A photo of you with your pet for identification
  • Toys or other comforts to help your pet cope

Talk with your veterinarian about getting your pet ready for a disaster. Preparing now will help you handle the unthinkable, and it will give you some peace of mind.