Animal Welfare

Do You Have a Disaster Plan for Your Pet?

Feel free to copy this article and use as a handout for your customers

Severe weather can happen at any time, and sometimes even out of the blue. Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you — and your beloved pet — with these tips.

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  • Tag Your Pet: Keep a collar and tag around your pet’s neck and make sure your pet’s name and your phone number and address are engraved on a tag attached to the collar; printed-on lettering can be worn away over time or washed off by water. Also, keep a proof-of-rabies tag on the collar to let rescuers and veterinarians know they are safe to handle and up-to-date on their shots.
  • Chip Your Pet: Microchip identification is one of the best ways to ensure the return of your pet. A microchip inserted under the skin can’t be damaged or lost during a severe storm. Make sure it is registered with your current information when you get it inserted by your veterinarian; update it any time you move or change your phone number.
  • Create an Emergency Kit: Emergencies and evacuations can happen very quickly, so it is especially important to have an emergency kit ready beforehand. Store it someplace that’s easy to access. Read “Emergency Kit Items” for a comprehensive list of items that should be included.
  • The Family and Friends Plan: If no one is home with your pet when an emergency arises, make sure someone — a friend, family member, or neighbor — knows where you keep a spare key and your pet’s emergency kit. Establish a rendezvous point to make reuniting with your pet easy.
  • Identify Emergency Facilities: If your pet becomes injured during a disaster, know where to take them for treatment. Your normal vet office might be closed, so familiarize yourself with surrounding pet-friendly shelters and emergency clinics.
  • Know Where to Search for Them: If you do get separated from your pet, oftentimes they end up in shelters. Keep a list of contact information for local shelters with your other important papers.
  • Know Where to Go: Evacuations can force you to areas you are not familiar with, and many hotels and temporary shelters don’t allow pets. Keep a list of pet-friendly places to stay up to a 60-mile radius of your home and in surrounding states. Don’t be afraid to ask out-of-town friends and family members to house you and your pet.

Emergency Kit Items

  • One-week supply of food in a watertight container
  • One-week supply of fresh water
  • Necessary and preventative medication (antiparasitics, antibiotics, antifungals, pain relievers, etc.)
  • Copies of vaccination records kept in watertight bag or container
  • Photographs of your pet with your family in watertight bag
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Spare leash,
  • harness, and collar outfitted with tags
  • Pet carrier
  • Toy

Source: TPV Today’s Veterinary Practice