My Dog Ate My Money

Emergency Preparedness for Pets

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Emergency preparedness for pets is just as important as it is for the humans in the family. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes are just a few reasons people pack away non-perishable food and other supplies. When preparing the humans in the family for survival during an emergency, you should also pack a survival kit for the pets in the family. The general recommendations for emergency preparedness for pets are the same for pets and people. Put all your pets’ supplies in one place that’s easy to find, such as in a hard-sided bin with a lid in the garage, and pack enough supplies to last at least three days.

emergency cat foodEmergency Pet Food and Water

Most pet owners will probably remember to put food in their pets’ emergency stash, but don’t forget water too. How much water you will need will depend on your pet’s size and activity level. A large parrot or cat would need about one gallon of water for two to three days. A large dog would need three to four gallons of water for one day. Pack unopened bags or cans of your pet’s regular food or buy a prepared emergency pet food kit to make it easy.


First Aid

The first aid supplies for your pet can be combined with the first aid supplies for the humans in the house. You can use gauze, cohesive elastic bandages, and Betadine solution to clean and cover wounds until you can get to your veterinarian.


If your pet needs daily medications, then you need to include these in your pet’s emergency kit. Your veterinarian may be able to prescribe a spare week’s supply to add to the kit. If not, then you need to be vigilant about refilling your pet’s prescription before running out.


In case you need to move your pet, such as in a flood, you’ll need crates and leashes. Put extra collars, harnesses, and leashes in your pet’s kit. If you can, also have extra crates in the kit, or store the crates you normally use near your pet’s emergency kit in the garage.

Pet Identification

In the event of an emergency, fences may come down or windows may break, and your pet may get lost. You can help your pet return home in such an emergency by getting it microchipped. Your veterinarian or local animal shelter can place a small chip under the skin that with a scanner will positively identify the pet as yours. It can also provide your pet’s home address and phone number. Getting your pet microchipped is painless, cheap ($20 or less per pet), and guaranteed to not get lost like a collar with tags can. You can microchip dogs, cats, rabbits, and even parrots. Every animal shelter and veterinary clinic has a scanner and knows to check every found pet that comes its way.

Once your pet’s emergency kit is prepared, don’t just put it on a shelf in the garage and forget about it. Food and medications will expire. To make it easy to remember when to replace these items, put a label on the bin with a list a perishable items and their expiration dates. Then once a year, you can quickly look at the bin label to determine if anything needs replacing.

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