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Emergency & Disaster Preparedness for Pets Handout

by Dr. Maren Bell Jones, October 2017

A search and rescue handler directs her dog during the May 2011 Joplin, MO EF-5 tornado

  • Food
    • at least 3 days worth per pet in a waterproof or watertight container for “bugging out”
    • at least 7 days worth for bugging in, ideally 14 days worth
    • Don’t forget bowls, food scoop, spoon, and can openers if applicable! Pop tops are preferable
    • Avoid lots of treats, especially ones they are not familiar with to avoid stomach upset
  • Water:  ½ to 1 oz per pound of body weight per day for dogs and cats (more if hot outside or eating dry food)
  • Medications
    • at least 7 days worth with clear instructions
    • Don’t forget one spare dose of heartworm/flea/tick preventative!
    • Check with your vet about getting an extra pill bottle with a small supply.
    • Check expiration dates every 6 months
    • Don’t forget a pet piller and pill pockets, cheese whiz, clam juice, or some other non-perishable way to give medications
  • Medical records and a pre-made lost pet flier
    • One hardcopy (laminated is preferable)
    • One copy saved to the cloud (take a photo with a smart phone and send to your email)
    • Include microchip number if pets get separated as proof of ownership
    • Good quality color photos of your pet, especially any unique markings:  from the front and the side shooting from their level
  • Microchipping, ID tags, Leashes, Collars and Harnesses
    • Have your vet check your pet’s microchip every 3 years when their rabies is due to make sure it still works appropriately
    • REGISTER the microchip and change the contact info if it changes.  An unregistered microchip is nearly useless!
    • Luggage tags are great for attaching to your crates and carriers for identification and your contact info
  • Hygiene and Grooming
    • Enzyme cleaner (Nature’s Miracle, etc), paper towels, and nitrile gloves for accidents
    • Puppy pads and dog poop bags
    • Cat litter and litter pans
    • Grooming tool if pet has high maintenance coat
    • Dawn dishwashing liquid for decontamination and general pet shampoo:  3 oz travel containers are great for this!
    • Belly bands for male dogs who mark, britches for intact females in heat or who have incontinence
  • Housing
    • A crate or carrier for EACH PET
    • Bedding, toys, and chews are fine, but only if they will not ingest them
    • Highly recommend crate training both dogs AND cats!
    • Feliway pheromone spray or diffusers for cats
  • Odds and Ends
    • Multitool
    • Pliers
    • Leather work gloves
    • Pens, Sharpie marker, notepad
    • Plastic ziplock bags and trashbags
    • Laundry soap:  keep pods away from pets, highly toxic!
  • First Aid Kit Recommendations
    • Must Haves:

      Nice to Have:

      Ask Your Vet:

      Chlorhexidine solution (namebrand: Hibiclens)

      Betadine

      Extra Rx Medications & Supplements

      Vet wrap

      Lubricating jelly (i.e.-KY)

      Anti-diarrhea remedy

      Cotton cast padding

      Paint stir sticks for splints

      Pain reliever: NOT ASPIRIN

      Non-adherent wound dressing

      Saline for irrigation

      Probiotic

      Gauze squares

      Booty (Ruffwear type or infant sock)

      Anti-nausea for carsickness

      Medical tape

      Tuff Foot or Musher’s Secret

      Anti-anxiety medication

      Thermometer

      Elastikon tape

      Benedryl

      Thermometer Probe Covers

      Nail Trimmers

      Hydrocortisone ointment

      Vinyl or Plastic Basket Muzzle

      Tick Key

      Surgical glue

      Eye Wash

      Forceps

      Ear cleanser

      Bandaids

      Nature’s Miracle Enzyme Cleaner

      Activated charcoal for poisoning

      Nitrile/Latex Exam Gloves

      Pet piller

      Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting (dogs only!)

      Kwik Stop for Nails

      Sanitary pads/potty pads

      Bandage Scissors

      E-collar/cone

      Hemostats

      20 ml syringe for flushing

      Rubbing alcohol

      Stretcher

      Moleskin

      Battery powered hair clipper

      Cranking/solar powered flashlight

      Penlight

      Duct Tape

      Dry bag or other watertight container

      Dawn dish soap

      Pet shampoo

      Deskunker shampoo

      Slip leash

  • For more information:

    CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/features/petsanddisasters/index.html

    American Veterinary Medical Association:  https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx

    Animal Poison Control Center:  https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

    FEMA:  https://www.ready.gov/caring-animals

For an easy to print PDF version of this checklist: /Disaster_Checklist_Final.pdf

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