Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pet Emergency Kit

In celebration of National Disaster Preparedness Month, Companions For Life is continuing our series of short weekly articles to guide you through preparing your pets - and your family - for a disaster.

Pet Emergency kit

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your pet for an emergency is to make a Pet Emergency Kit. Keep your kit in a safe place where it is easily accessible in a crisis. Should an evacuation be ordered, you’ll have everything you need in one handy place. You can just grab it and go.

So what should you include in your kit? Start with a medium size contained, waterproof is best, and include the following:

-Pet Food. Dry food, canned, food, and supplements. For dry food, free sample packs from pet supply stores work well. If you feed your pet canned food, don’t forget to include a spare can opener. It is also a good idea to include some paper plates or disposable bowls.

-Water. In a disaster, bottled water may be all there is and our pets, like us, need water to survive.

-Cat litter. Cats must have litter. You can store extra in a large storage bag inside a shoe box in your kit. The shoe box can double as a disposable litter box.

-Leashes. An extra leash can come in handy. A harness is a good idea, too. Even the best behaved pet may be frightened during a disaster and a harness can provide extra safety.

-Collars and Identification. Your pet should wear a collar with rabies tag and identification at all times, but if your pet is prone to losing his collar or has allergies that prevent him from wearing it, an extra collar with duplicate identification tags should be included in your kit.

-Medicines. If your pet take prescription medicines, make sure you have a supply of those drugs in your kit, along with the basics – flea treatment and heartworm preventative.

-First Aid Kit. Be sure to include a first aid kit for your pet. Specially designed first aid kits for pets are available online from a variety of sources, or from your area Red Cross.

-A photo of your pet along with current vaccination records, information on any medical conditions, and microchip registration papers. These should be stored in a waterproof baggie inside your kit. Be sure you have your pet’s name, your name, and your contact information, as well as a description of any unusual identifying marks on your pet, written on the back of the photo.

-Your vet’s name and phone number, as well as a list of boarding facilities and kennels in the area.

Preparing an emergency kit for your pet takes only minutes, but in a crisis it will make all the difference!

Look for our 4th and last installment shortly. Well discuss a few final tips for preparing not just your pet, but your family as well!