Evacuation Prepardness Kits for Pets

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Filed in Dogs, Safety

It's an old saying, but you never know when a disaster could strike. When you least expect it, you could be forced to evacuate your home or office on a moment's notice. In other articles, we've told you how to create a first aid kit for your home, but what if you and your pets need to leave in a hurry? Here are some ideas gathered from a few reputable sources, such as The American Red Cross, the Humane Society and the Animal Disaster Planning Advisory Committee (ADPAC) to help you get started in making an evacuation kit.

All three agencies list a variety of items on their animal preparedness lists. All the items on the lists are easily obtained. When preparing an animal disaster kit, include the following:

A Pet Crate

Pet crates, no matter what they're used for, should be large enough that your pet can stand up, turn around and lay down without touching the sides. On the outside of the crate, permanently affix your pet's name, your name, your phone number, your address, medications your pet is on, your vet's name, phone number and address and remember to identify that your pet is current on all vaccinations, especially rabies. It would be wise to include some general information about your pet's feeding and relief habits since, depending on the availability of pet-friendly shelters, you may be separated from your pet and someone else may be taking care of him.

If your pet is a trained guard dog or is considered viscous, the people taking care of him will need to know that in order to prevent injury when caring for him. Many people use the crate itself to hold all the supplies listed below, that way everything is in one convenient place.

Identification Tags

Your pet should always wear his collar with ID tags, license tags, rabies vaccine tags, etc. If you are not in the habit of having your pet wear his, now is a great time to start. You might want to include a tag with your name, number and address. Without these tags pets are often lost forever.

Leash and Muzzle

Even if your pet is the most mild mannered and easy-going pet in the world, changes in weather, housing and energy levels associated with evacuations can change their demeanor considerably. Better safe than sorry - muzzle your pet in transition times and when he's around strangers or in strange places.

Bowls

Don't forget to bring food and water dishes. We offer a great collapsible travel bowl which is light, easy to carry and easy to store.

Supplies

Bring enough food, water and medications for one week. Let your vet know why you need extra medicine and ask him specifically about storage and spoilage of the medications. Ask about packing some Dramamine in your emergency kit. Vets often recommend it for high stress times like evacuations. Never medicate your pet without the approval of and specific dosages from your vet.

Spare Identification

Bring a spare collar with proper, updated ID tags just in case your pet's current collar and ID turn up missing.

Disinfectant and Sanitizer

A bottle of Clorox (mix 1 cup of Clorox in 1 gallon of water). You might want to take along a bottle of no-wash hand sanitizer for yourself or some baby-wipes.

Plastic Bags

Waste disposal is of primary importance to you pet's health. You'll want plenty of plastic bags, such as our PooSmart Bags, which fit easily to almost any leash, to clean up after your pet. This will help show authorities in an evacuation center that you have come prepared for everything, including the task of cleaning up after your pet.

Veterinary Records

If you can't bring the complete package, then at least bring shot records. Many shelters will not accept your pet without proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations. In here too should be a list of any medications your pet is currently taking (include dosages in case shelter vet needs to medicate your pet).

Current Pictures

Keep a very recent picture of your pet with you, in case you are separated from him.

Pet First Aid Kit

Take along your Pet First Aid Kit, just in case you need an extra one for someone else or if you have more than one pet.

Comfort Items

If your pet has a comfort item like a small toy or pillow etc, bring it along. Having something from home is likely to help your pet through an otherwise difficult time.

Blanket or Towel

Depending on the size of your pet's crate, a towel or blanket may add to his comfort. This will also come in handy in case of injury or shock and you need to move him using the blanket or towel as a stretcher.

Again, try packing all of these items into the pet crate you'll be using. This will help you to keep all of the emergency items in a convenient location. Having an emergency kit like this one will greatly help you in your efforts to keep your pet safe and sound.

Deirdre Kelly is a freelance writer and dog owner living in Florida.

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