You may have an emergency bag and food squirreled away for you… but what about your pet? An emergency go bag and food are just as vital for your fuzzy thumbless family members.
An emergency bag should contain:
- At least three days’ worth of food
- At least three days’ worth of water
- Photocopies of their vaccination records and important paperwork
- photos of your pet if sadly they get separated from you
- A mini first aid kit to mend any possible minor injures
- An extra collar with ID tag and leash
- A toy or bag of treats to distract them from any stressful circumstances
- A kennel or carrier for little animals, cats and smaller dogs for transport
Now if you want to extend your preparedness to your pets but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on pet food you can go the altruistic route; buy several bags of the absolute cheapest food you can find. Make sure the expiration date is a ways out and make sure to label it clearly. If an emergency hasn’t befallen you a week or so before it expires you can take it to an animal shelter and repeat the process. (Save the receipt if its a non-profit! You can claim your donations on your taxes, so you’re being prepared, helping a local shelter, and being fiscally responsible!) This especially handy for rabbit food. Many feed stores have bulk animal feed (like 25 pounds of rabbit food for twelve dollars) and it stretches a long way. I feed it to my three rabbits and I go through a bag like every other month. The fussy overpriced rabbit food in the pet section is highway robbery. It’s easy to upgrade basic pellets with a smattering of healthy seeds (also exceedingly easy to get in bulk) and you’re saving money hand over fist.
Does your pet have any medications or health conditions? If possible, plan as far ahead as you can afford. Also make sure to have flea, tick, and heartworm meds on hand and a few months in advance as well. If you can’t afford that, at the very least a few flea collars tucked away won’t hurt.
Hopefully this starts you on a new weekend project! It’s never too early to plan for an emergency, especially planning for those who can’t.