Amidst the growing issue of California wildfires, we want to remind you that our team is here to help you prepare for emergencies and evacuations with your pet. As we have experienced what damage weather, wildfires, and other emergencies can cause, it is critical for pet guardians to have a pet disaster kit on hand that contains all necessary supplies in preparation for a variety of conditions. Additionally, establishing an evacuation plan that includes your pet can be the difference between life and death.
Emergency Pet Disaster Kits
Though you can purchase pre-made disaster preparedness kits online that will range in price and complexity, it is fairly simple to make one yourself. You will need a waterproof container to store your items such as a cooler that is easy to carry but still large enough to hold all of your pets’ necessary items. Inside you should keep food, water, bowls for eating and drinking, necessary medication, a favorite toy, a leash and collar with an identification tag, and a pet bed or a blanket that’s easy to transport.
Your kit should also contain information about your pets’ feeding schedules, medical conditions or behavioral issues, and a current vaccination certificate. If your pets have chronic medical conditions and need prescription medications, speak with your veterinarian ahead of time to be able to secure an emergency supply of pet medicines to which you may not have access in the event your community is hit with a disaster. It is also important to include your veterinarian’s contact information in case you have to foster or board your pets. Be sure to keep your kit up-to-date at all times, replacing expired food and medications accordingly and including current contact and medical information.
Additionally, you may want to include a nail trimmer, digital thermometer, Vaseline, veterinary-approved topical treatments and ointments, a flashlight, and several jars of meat flavored baby food in your pet emergency kit. Some pets may become extremely nervous during an emergency and refuse to eat their regular diet. Baby food can be quite tempting for a frightened pet and may even get them interested in the food you normally serve.
What To Do When Evacuation Is Necessary
Evacuations do happen, and it is important to prepare your home, family, and pets accordingly. Make sure to include a trusted neighbor or friend in your disaster plans should you need assistance safely evacuating your pets. Keeping your disaster kit in a set, easy-to-access location is important to quickly bring your pets to safety.
You should also carry a list of addresses and phone numbers for pet-friendly hotels outside of your immediate area in the event of an evacuation. If you get notice of an impending disaster, make your reservations in advance to ensure you have a place to stay with your pets. Additionally, prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians that will be able to board your pets in an emergency. It is also wise to include proof of ownership for your pets in case it is required by a facility.
Please note that when an evacuation is suggested or becomes mandatory, most evacuee shelters do not accept pets. Do not assume that the local animal shelter or pound will gladly care for your pet as these facilities are generally overcrowded, to begin with. Never leave your pets behind if you get an order to evacuate. When you return home you may not be able to find them. This is a compelling reason to have your pets’ microchipped to facilitate a happy reunion in the event they become lost or go missing.
Planning and preparing for emergencies in advance can help pet guardians deal with any disasters that may suddenly strike. Having a pet emergency disaster kit stocked and ready to go will not only save time and lessen anxiety but can also help save your pets ’ life. For more information about preparing for emergencies, pet disaster kits, or how we can help, contact Veterinary Sports Rehab & Integrative Wellness today.