Assembling a Pet Emergency Kit
Emergencies happen and can be scary and stressful for pets as well as their owner. One way to help alleviate this stress is to prepare in advance.
A Pet Emergency Kit can be easily assembled beforehand and can be kept in a Tupperware container or duffle bag for easy access in the event of an emergency like a flood, hurricane, fire, or any other disaster that requires quick evacuation.
What should a good Emergency Kit Include?
- Water– Hydration is vital to your pet’s health so make sure you have at least 3-5 days of water in your kit. Don’t forget to include a water bowl- a collapsible one makes storing a little easier.
- Food- Make sure to have at least 3 days of food packed for you pet. If your pet likes wet food, invest in cans. Not only will it encourage your pet to eat during a stressful time because it’s extra tasty, canned food also keeps for a longer time and is waterproof. Canned food is also higher in moisture content, meaning your water supply will last a little longer. Remember- if you pack cans that don’t have a pop-top, DON’T FORGET TO PACK A CAN OPENER as well. Also include a bowl or paper plates!
- Medication– Try to save 3-4 days of your pet’s medication to keep packed in your kit. If you don’t have a few extra doses on hand, add a list of things you would need to grab to add to the kit in case of an emergency and tape it to the lid for easy access. If your pet’s medication requires refrigeration, such as insulin, pack a small collapsible children’s lunchbox. You can either keep ice packs frozen in your freezer to grab and pack or keep frozen water bottles. Frozen water bottles help to keep the medication cold and once the bottles melt- you have extra drinking water.
- Waste Management Items– Your pet will need to eliminate at some point. Having potty pads, poop bags, paper towels and wipes will be crucial in keeping your pet and their environment clean. Unscented baby wipes are great to wipe down your pet, while Clorox or Lysol wipes are good for cleaning up after an accident. If you have cats, you will need these items plus a litter pan, litter and a scoop. A foil lasagna pan or a tupperware container that’s around the size of a litter box can work in a pinch!
- A copy of your pet’s records along with proof of ownership and a recent photo– Generally there’s a lot of confusion surrounding emergencies. Your regular veterinarian may be closed, or phone service may be limited. Having a hard copy of your pet’s up-to-date records with proof of ownership is very important. You can ask your veterinarian’s office to print an updated medical record for you every year with your pet’s annual so you can keep these records current. Also, make sure to keep a current photo for identification purposes. Keep all of these papers in a Ziploc bag so it is waterproof. In this Ziploc, it’s also a good idea to keep a list of resources you may need, like the name, phone number and address of an emergency boarding facility. Our sister location, Sherwood South Animal Hospital is an emergency facility with boarding, open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. They are located at 3803 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and their phone number is (225) 293-6440.
- A collar with identification tags- although microchipping your animal is the most foolproof way of identification, keeping your pet in a collar with identification tags is another great way to make sure your pet gets back to you in case you are separated. Although my pets are microchipped, I also keep an extra collar with identification tags in my emergency kit so I don’t have to look for a collar should an emergency arise.
- Some comfort items– Emergencies are STRESSFUL for not only you but also for your pet. Make sure your kit includes some comfort items like a blanket or a favorite toy. Maybe include a calming pheromone spray like Adaptil (for dogs) or Feliway (for cats).
The only other item that crucial during an emergency for small pets is a carrier. A good sturdy carrier that’s large enough for the animal to lay and stand comfortably in is ideal, since your pet could be in their carrier for hours or maybe even days. A good carrier is an investment item, but rest assured you will use it not only in the event of an emergency, but also any time you travel with your pet. It’s also a good idea to keep your carrier out and open at all times which encourages your pet to be comfortable with their carrier. This was incredibly helpful to me when I suddenly had to evacuate during a house fire. My cat was already sleeping in her carrier at the time, so I just had to zip her up and get her out safely.
Ultimately, emergencies are a part of life. Stay prepared & stay safe & as always contact us if you need any help assembling your Pet Emergency Kit!