Preparedness and Pets

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:

An image of a cat snuggling a stuffed animal.
People aren’t the only ones who get scared in an emergency! Have a comfort item packed away to distract our pet.
  • 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.

Now when it comes to water, how much do you need to put by? PetMD has handy little articles about the hydration needs of your cat or dog.

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.

3 replies on “Preparedness and Pets”

I think it is important to have something to use as a makeshift muzzle- like an extra gauze roll or something. In case pet is injured and scared and you have to deal with it. Actually gauze is going to be pretty useful in your pet first aid kit, since you can’t tape to fur very well. Most of your human first aid kit is going to work for you pet, too.

My dog’s food is expensive, and he has a delicate tummy so he can only eat that. I’m not sure if I can keep extra bag on hand, but I at least try to stock up before a weather event, so I don’t have to go out the day after an ice storm and get more (true story).

Is it bad that I only have a preparedness bag packed for my pets? We humans in the house will be screwed, but the animals will have full bellies and warm comforts. I really need to remedy this.

These are really good tips. I didn’t even think about having a carrier or pictures in case we are exasperated, god forbid. Thanks for this!

The only thing I might add is a crate that fits your dogs. If your dog is in a crate, if you are in an emergency shelter for some reason, you’ll probably be allowed to keep him with you. If not, they’ll take him somewhere else to be kept. You don’t want to be separated from your pet in circumstances like that, so the crate is well worth it. The metal ones are collapsible and might serve other useful purposes eventually, too.

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