What to Pack in Pet Emergency Kits

by Lee Chambers


It’s National Pet First Aid Month, and we have tips to help you be prepared.

What could be more crucial than keeping loved ones safe?  While families often make emergency plans for people, it’s important to keep your pets in mind as well.  Here are some things you can do to prepare for storms, power outages, emergency house evacuations and other disasters:

Step One:

Identify a safe haven for you and your pet in advance.  If you think you’d likely stay with friends or family, be sure they can take in your pet as well.

Step Two:

Create an emergency kit for your pet and keep it handy at all times.  In putting it together, remember that you may be out of your home longer than you thought.  There are different items to assemble, depending on the type of pet.

For cats/dogs

  • Food and fresh water to last 3-7 days
  • Any medications your pet will need
  • Disposable litter trays and litter
  • A travel bag, crate or carrier (one for each animal if they can’t share)
  • Their toys

It’s also a good idea to take some recent photos of your pet and have them handy in case you’re separated.  Also, be sure your pets have ID tags on them that display your most updated cell phone number.

For birds

  • Several days’ food supply
  • Water for cleaning or drinking
  • A cuttle bone or beak conditioner
  • Cleaning supplies and paper towels
  • Extra seed bowls and water containers
  • A heavy towel to wrap around the cage for warmth
  • An evacuation cage for transporting
  • A flashlight and extra batteries

For fish

  • A battery-operated air pump in case of power outage
  • Extra batteries
  • A weekend feeder that can feed your fish when you’re away
  • A 5-gallon bucket in case your tank cracks or you have to transport your fish in a crisis
  • An Emergency power generator
  • A Quarantine tank
  • Medications
  • A net
  • A blanket to wrap the aquarium during cold weather power outages
  • An extra tank heater
  • A water test kit

For reptiles

  • Non-perishable reptile food
  • Water
  • Heat packs
  • A battery-operated mister fan
  • Non-toxic baby wipes for cleaning
  • Paper towels

Step Three:

Take precautions to minimize the possibility of other problems.  If you haven’t already done so, get your dog or cat microchipped.  An unexpected separation has a better chance of ending in a happy reunion if your pet has both ID tags and a microchip (in case they lose their collar).  If your pet is already microchipped and your address or phone number has changed, be sure to update the microchip company with your new contact information.

Make it a spring project to plan ahead in case the unthinkable happens.  We want everyone to stay together!

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