Emergency Preparedness for the Pet Owner
In areas of the country where natural emergencies often occur, it is likely the pet owner has an emergency kit ready for pet evacuation. There are many pet owners, however, who have never put together an emergency kit for their dog or cat.
The number one emergency in households is a fire. Weather also causes many emergencies, from power outages to severe damage from wind or water. Owners are sometimes forced to leave the premises during these types of events. In addition to grabbing important things for the human members of the family, a pet care package should be handy and available on short notice as well.
Keep this kit stocked at all times and have it in an easily accessible place. Stock it with basic items for pet care:
- Dry and/or canned food, dishes and water — for canned food, don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
- A collar or harness and leash for a dog or small cat carrier (even a pillow case or soft-sided travel bag will work to control a cat temporarily).
- Cat litter box (even a low cardboard box can be used temporarily) and cat litter.
- Towels or other comfortable bedding.
- Veterinary and health records, including recent vaccine records.
- Recent pictures of your pets in case they become lost or escape.
- A first-aid kit.
- Any medications the pet may be on or a written prescription that can be filled at a pharmacy.
- A list of pertinent telephone numbers: the veterinary hospital, local shelters or animal control officers, boarding and daycare facilities or other important pet numbers you use. Consider identifying which local hotels will accept pets if necessary.
- Toys or rawhide chews to keep the pet occupied.
- Plastic bags and paper towels for an emergency cleanup.
Place these items in a plastic carrying container and label it “Pet Emergency Kit.” Hopefully you will never need it but if a disaster forces you to leave quickly, the basic supplies to keep the four-legged family member happy and safe will be ready.
This article is provided as a general overview of the topic. Always consult your veterinarian for specific information related to diseases or medical care for pets.
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