What to Pack in Your Pet Emergency Kit:
Disclaimer: This blog was prepared prior to the events of Hurricane Harvey. The decision to post this blog was not made lightly. With this blog, Jeffers hopes to prepare and help as many people and animals as possible.
Last year, Jeffers provided an overview of how to prepare your pets for natural disasters. This year, Jeffers takes a look at the top 10 items to include in your pet’s emergency preparedness kit.
- Identification and Medical Records: While keeping records stored on a cell phone is convenient, carry photocopies with you as well. If you prefer paperless copies, store all information on a USB drive and keep in a waterproof container. Other information to keep on hand: a list of feeding times, medications, and behavioral issues. Helpful Tip: While it is important to have your contact information on your pet’s tag, make sure to include information for someone outside of the area who’d be willing to take care of your animals on a second tag.
- Medications and Supplements: If your animal requires daily medication, make sure to bring it along. Keep any medications which require refrigeration or a soft-sided cooler. If you’ve ever purchased vaccines from Jeffers before, our coolers are a great reusable and lightweight option. Don’t forget a container for sharps! For supplements, bring along enough of your pet’s daily dose to last up to 7 days.
- Food and Water: Each individual pet should have enough food and water to last them between 3 to 7 days. Don’t forget to switch food out every two months to ensure freshness!
- Travel Bowls: If possible, bring the bowls that your cat or dog normally uses for their meals. If you can’t, look for bowls that easily fold up into smaller shapes and limit spills.
- First Aid Kit: For a simple, compact solution ClotIT offers a pre-packaged First Aid Kit with all the basics. For a comprehensive list of items to include in a build-your-own kit, visit the Humane Society or ASPCA.
- Comfort Items: Just like Linus from Peanuts, everyone has a comfort item. These items can help alleviate anxiety during stressful situations. Bringing along a pet’s favorite toy as a comfort item serves double-duty as it will also keep them occupied.
- Crate or Carrier: Shelters which allow pets, often require that they are kept in a crate for their own safety and the safety of others. Depending on the month, consider adding a battery-operated crate fan.
- Beds or Blankets: Again, if you can bring items that your pet is familiar with here, do so. If you can’t, bring items that are easily portable that your pet can comfortably sleep on for a few nights.
- Extra Collars/Leashes/Harnesses: Slip leashes are an excellent option for time-sensitive situations. When selecting a new collar, make sure important informational tags can easily transfer.
- Waste Disposal Bags/Disposable Litter Box/Potty Pads: For dogs, make sure to have waste disposal bags. If weather prevents your dog from going outside, use potty pads to designate a bathroom area. If you can, purchase disposable litter boxes for your cat.
Other Pet Emergency Kit Items for Consideration
- Flashlight: Keeping a flashlight on hand is good for multiple reasons. Don’t forget some extra batteries!
- Calming Products: Adjusting to new surroundings can be difficult and often a pet is attuned to your own mood and energy.
- A Recent Photo of Each Pet: Preferably one with both you and the pet in the picture. This will help establish ownership in cases of mistaken identity.
- Multi-Powered Radio: Keeping in touch with the world, and the local news and weather could be a lifesaver.
- Fresh Batteries: Not only will the flashlight need batteries but so will the radio. If you’re without power for a few days, you’ll be needing extras.
- LED Safety Necklace: In addition to a collar, you might want to consider a safety necklace. The NiteHowl Rechargeable LED Safety Necklace is a USB rechargeable necklace designed for use in conjunction with your dog’s collar for additional protection and visibility (especially during the night).
You may be planning on using your cell phone for a flashlight and news but what if it gets damaged, lost, or you can’t charge it because there’s no power.
A Few Last Thoughts
Besides cats and dogs, ASPCA offers advice on transporting and preparing a wide variety of animals for disasters.
Read more on Disaster Preparedness here!