- in Other Pets
According to a National Pet Owner’s Survey, an estimated 62% of US households, or 72.9 million homes, have pets. On a survey completed by the American Kennel Club, only 61% of those households have included their pets in an emergency preparedness plan.
A simple fact in most emergencies is, the more prepared you are, the higher your pet’s chances of survival. Pets constitute some of the most vulnerable members of our family and they rely on their adult guardians for safety.
The following plan is a comprehensive and easy to prepare emergency kit, tailored for the millions of pet households who may believe “It won’t happen to us” or who perhaps, “Don’t know how” and “Haven’t had time yet”. All you need to do is prepare the paperwork and pack the duffel bag.
Preparing the paperwork in advance of any kind of emergency will ensure your pets have an alternative adult guardian to care for them in your absence. It will also ensure that your pet has a safe place to stay with or without you, and it will maximize your pets overall health and well-being.
Most of the checklist details in this area can be done from your home. In order to prepare, you will need paper, a pen and a telephone. It will also be helpful to have access to the internet. Store all your completed paperwork in a large Ziploc bag or waterproof container.
The Duffel Bag
Locate a carrying case that is just big enough for your emergency supplies. Find one (or two) that you can grab-on-the-go, and ideally, one that is waterproof. A duffel bag, backpack, suitcase, or double-lined garbage bag will work just fine. Now that you’ve completed your paperwork, the following is a list of what to pack.
- The paperwork you just completed, compiled in one Ziploc or waterproof container.
- Non-perishable food in a waterproof container and bottled water, enough to last 5 days or so.
- Pet carrying case and/or control devices if appropriate, such as an extra leash and collar.
- Pet waste bags and/or litter and litter box. A towel or paper towel might also come in handy.
- A toy and/or blanket and bedding. This is optional, but if you have the extra space, these “creature comforts” may help reduce stress.
- First Aid Kit. You can assemble one yourself with direction from your veterinarian or animal care organization. Also, these organizations will often sell First Aid Kits and refer you to your local First Aid Training classes for advanced emergency preparation.
- Medications. If your pet depends on medication, you will need to ask your veterinarian for an extra two week’s supply. Keep an eye, however, on those expiry dates.
If you have a vehicle that you often depend on for transportation and especially, if your pet travels with you, it is recommended that you make two of everything. This emergency action plan kit is portable and practical enough for you to store one in your home, as well as one, perhaps abbreviated version, in your vehicle.
Tragically, the very nature of an emergency often involves unforeseen, rapidly unfolding events that jeopardize the integrity and safety of ourselves and loved ones. Though there will never be a day where it “rains cats and dogs”, preparing the paperwork and packing your pet’s duffel bag will ensure that you’ve prepared for the unexpected.
No matter how tumultuous a crisis may be, it is important to know that you did the best you could. As such, the completion of this emergency preparedness plan for your pets will help you get through without regret, so you and your pet family can concentrate on healing and recovery.
Read more: Creating A Memorial Tribute To Your Pet