Most of us with pets consider them to be a part of our family. So it only makes sense to have plans to get them to safety and provide for their needs in an emergency.
Food and Water
At home I store extra water and food for my pets along with any special items they might need. Dry pet food can be stored in the bags for about 1 year and canned food will store even longer. I rotate my pets’ food regularly just to keep it fresh. I like to store about a 3 month supply of pet food. I just buy a little extra each time and it builds up quickly. Don’t forget to include their medications in your storage plans.
In addition to storing food and water, it is a good idea to make an emergency kit for your pet in case you need to evacuate them with your family. I include:
- Shot records in a zip top bag
- An extra collar
- An extra leash
- A blanket
- A toy
- Kitty litter for cats
Storing and Carrying the Kits
My dog (she’s big) has a saddle-bag-style kit that she can wear. She can actually carry her own food, water, collapsible bowls, her meds, treats, a toy and an extra collar! But your plan may be different—especially for cats or small dogs.
Our cats each have a carrier and we keep their emergency kits packed inside. In an emergency we can take the bag out, put the cat inside, and we are ready to go. Be sure to include your pets each time you practice your family’s evacuation plan—it will help reduce stress on your pets in an emergency. We love our pets and these simple preparations bring us great peace of mind.
Now our biggest challenge is actually catching the cat!
When my Mom was very young, her Mother would save the scraps from the week and boil up some barley, mix in the scraps and use that to feed the dogs for the next week. I am a little more diverse in my pets and have added canned fish varieties to my pantry. Mackerel used to be the cheapest canned meat around now if you can find any for around $2/large can grab it! Though, I do plan on adding some filler, barley may just be it. My cats love lettuce as well so, there are things you as a pet parent can do to make sue your babies do not go hungry.
I recently copied the AVMA 'Saving the Whole Family' which is about emergency prep for pets and livestock. The Ready (FEMA) site also has something but I prefer the AVMA bulletin. Both are free to print.
'Saving the Whole Family'
This is great info for pet lovers. Thanks!
We have a large pet stroller for our cat. We keep it set up near the front door and he using it as a "hunting blind" when watching the birds outside. He can stay in this comfortably for quite a while and we can use it to help transport some of his gear and ours in the bottom tray. I need to get a copy of his shot record and laminate it to carry with us though. I understand the person who mentioned her dogs favorite blankets. If I have to take one of his stuffed animals to wash he has separation anxiety! We buy extras (luckily they come from the $1 store!)
We have two cats and only one carrier…never thought to get one for each, in case of emergency. wow. Thanks, I have work to do!
I think I will put this on my "to do list" for this week. Thanks for some great tips and comments…….Laurie in CA
If you have a small dog that would tire easily from a very long walk to safety, could I suggest you use a little red wagon and that you sit a hard case pet carrier in it. The kind with the metal bars latching door. With the wide weave on the door and the slats on the sides they get alot of ventilation, they are protected from hot sun, especially if they are a dark colored dog. Then there is room usually at the back of the wagon to put some of their supplies, and even some supplies could be bungy corded to the top of the pet hard side pet carrier. Most can be bought with a padding inside, but you could also make a bit thicker and more comfortable pillow for them to lay on inside of the pet carrier. This allows the wagon to be pulled with one hand, instead of two hands that might have to be used if your pet tires and you have to carry them.
These are all some great ideas and some great information. Some I already do, but there were some new ones here I really need to consider and add to my list. I see it says to include a blanket. That is wise, to have one already packed, but two of my dogs absolutely have to have the blanket they are already use to when we go somewhere. One runs back to his and lays down any time he feels the slightest bit of stress. No strange blanket would work to comfort him. Thanks for the tips!
I too have an evacuation kit for both of my pets and I took their food and put it in food saver in individual servings for each dog for 72 hours. Now to build one that will last a bit longer. My tent is big enough for myself and both dogs in their crates.
Linda in Lake Balboa
Include a closeup picture of you with your pet in the bag with shot and license records. Could come in handy for identification if you get separated. Linda in Lake Balboa
L, that's a great question. You may be interested in posting that in the pet food forum thread—you may get some good information from other pet owners. The link is here:
I hope that gives you a couple of tips to get you started!
Does anyone have an affordable long term storage pet food that is nutritionally complete?
The only foods I can find have a 5 year shelf life, are expensive or only nutritional to dogs.
It is also a good idea to have one pet first aid book in your kit. Their first aid kit is just basically a copy of yours, but a book will have appropriate vitals and tips.
Great reminder for all of us that love our pets. Thank you. Michelle, Cleveland, TN