June is National Pet Preparedness Month so it’s a great time to think about making sure your furry family members have a dedicated plan and emergency kit should a disaster happen. A pet emergency kit usually includes many of the things that we, as their human family members, need to make it through at least 72-hours – things like water, food and medication – but there are a few more things that are specific to your pets’ needs.
First Aid Kit
Having a first aid kit for the pets in your life is just as important as the one for your human family members. Keep supplies in a backpack or container that you can travel or move around with easily, and make sure there’s a copy of your pet’s health paperwork included too.
Include items like:
- A pet first aid book for quick reference and instructions on dealing with a pet medical emergency
- Hydrogen peroxide to disinfect wounds or induce vomiting (check with a vet or poison control center before doing so)
- Self-adhesive gauze, scissors (with blunt ends), tweezers, and rubber gloves
- A digital thermometer to check your pet’s temperature (this should never exceed 103oF or drop below 100oF)
- A towel or blanket to wrap and calm your pet if they’re injured, or to act as a bed surface for them to lie on
- Pet paperwork (keep in a waterproof pouch/container, or on a USB) in case your pet needs to be boarded or left with friends or neighbours
For more pet first aid kit items, check out the Humane Society’s comprehensive list.
This can include a few things to make sure that, in the event of an emergency and if you have to evacuate your home, your pet is well cared for and safe for the duration of the emergency:
- Proof of ownership – keep this together with photographs of you and your pet to identify you as their owner, and ensure that you are reunited as quickly and easily as possible
- Proof of vaccinations – if you have to board your pet (many emergency shelters do not allow pets), some animal clinics and boarding facilities will require your animals to have up-to-date vaccinations
- Emergency contacts – having a list of helpful neighbours or contacts to help with your pet in an emergency can provide peace of mind that your pet is with the right people
- Medical records – if your pet has a significant medical condition, just like people, it’s important to keep key paperwork handy for anyone who might need to care for or treat the animal
For more information, here are 8 Documents Every Pet Parent Should Have.
Leashes/Harnesses or Pet Carriers
Depending on the type of pet you have, keep extra leashes or specific carriers on hand for use in an emergency. Your pet may panic in a stressful situation, and these are both good ways of keeping them calm and under control. Dealing with an emergency is more than enough to worry about without your pet getting injured or going missing.
Be sure to keep a couple extra leashes on hand in case one gets damaged or lost, and think about doing the same for collars too. Keep everything with the rest of your pet’s emergency kit so that you always know where they are, and have everything as soon as you need it.
Waste Disposal System
While your indoor cat might be the best prepared for an emergency, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have plenty of litter, newspapers, a scoop, and garbage bags to clean up after your pets, as well as bleach and baking soda to disinfect and remove smells. A quick fix for litter trays is to use aluminum baking tins that can easily be disposed of after use.
Toys, Treats, and Other Creature Comforts
Whether your pet is confined to their crate or carrier, or a kennel, they’re in a small space, usually for an undetermined amount of time. Include things that are familiar to your pet to help keep them calm and happy throughout any emergency.
- An extra pet bed or blanket can make things smell like home
- Toys can keep most animals occupied for periods of time
- Treats can help keep stress levels to a minimum
Pets are just as likely as we are to be nervous or scared, so soothing them in any way can keep them relaxed until the emergency is over.
If you’re ready to get your pet’s emergency kit together, download this awesome Pet Emergency Kit Checklist to get you started! And if you have tips or items that you’d like to share from your pet’s kit, be sure to connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.
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