Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Pets

Font Size
A
A
A

How to Create a Pet Emergency Kit

Do you know what you should have on hand to keep your pets safe?
By
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by William Draper, DVM

Natural disasters routinely grab the headlines, yet most of us don't prepare for them -- even though a fire, hurricane, or hazardous spill can send you and your pets fleeing. Have you taken steps to safeguard your cat or dog in an emergency?

"Think about the weather and geological hazards in your area as well as technological things, like blackouts," says Cheryl Eia, JD, DVM, MPH. Then prepare without delay. Eia is a veterinarian and coordinator of emergency preparedness and response for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Lay the groundwork. Be sure your cat or dog has some ID, whether it's an implanted microchip, tattoo, or waterproof pouch with your contact information attached to their collar. Before a crisis strikes, figure out who can take your pet in an emergency. Ask your veterinarian for boarding recommendations or a nearby animal care center if it provides emergency shelter.

Prepare a pet emergency kit. Include pet food and water in secure bottles and no-spill bowls. "For an evacuation, you want to have about 2 weeks of food and water," Eia says.

Add all pet medications, along with a pet first-aid kit. Record the dose and frequency for each drug. Provide a contact list that includes your veterinarian.

Add toys, treats, and blankets -- things "that are familiar to your pet," Eia says. Pack a leash, collar, or harness as well as a muzzle to prevent your pet from biting strangers who handle them. To transport your pet, get a collapsible cage with bedding. Label all carriers with your identification and contact information.

Your pet evacuation kit should also contain proof of ownership: pet registration information, adoption papers, proof of purchase, microchip information, and a description of your pet, Eia says. Write down breed, age, gender, color, and any distinguishing characteristics.

Finally, for easy reunions, Eia says, "take photographs of you and your animals and put them in your kit."

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine." 

Reviewed on March 14, 2013

Today on WebMD

Small dog large dog
Slideshow
boxer dog
Slideshow
 
Night stalking cat
Slideshow
puppy eating from bowl
Slideshow
 
Woman holding puppy
Article
Sad dog and guacamole
Slideshow
 
Siamese cat eating from bowl
Slideshow
cat on couch
Evaluator
 
Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
Slideshow
Kitten playing
Quiz
 
Orange cat nuzzling woman
Slideshow
German shephard reading a book
Quiz