Building Your Pet's Emergency Kit

Are you prepared to take care of your pet should a natural disaster occur? Or if your animal was to be suddenly involved in an accident and injured? While we would like to think emergency situations won’t arise, the truth is that they often do, and, in many cases, they happen when we least expect it.

Understanding what to do and having the right resources in place should an emergency arise will make you feel calmer, more prepared and could make all a huge difference to the outcome for your pet.

Here is what you need to know about building your pet’s emergency kit.

Basic First Aid Kit

A basic pet first aid kit should be an essential for any responsible and conscientious owner. Much like a human first aid kit, it should contain all of the supplied needed to administer basic care should your pet suffer an injury or become ill.

Since a lot of the items needed in a pet first aid kit are also present in a human variety, many people start by purchasing one designed for people and then add extra pet-specific items to it.

Equipment that your kit should contain should include:

- Absorbent gauze pads

- Adhesive tape

- Antiseptic wipes and spray

- Blunt-end scissors

- Cotton balls/pads

- Foil emergency blanket which will help keep your pet warm

- Gauze rolls

- Hydrogen peroxide. This induces vomiting should your pet suffer with poisoning, but most only be used under the direct instruction of our vet.

- Ice packs

- Non-latex disposable gloves

- Pet carrier

- Petroleum jelly. This is used to lubricate the next item on the list.

- Rectal thermometer. The average mammal should have a body temperature between 100°F and 103°F.

- Saline solution

- Tweezers

Other important resources that would be useful to have to hand include an additional leash, a copy of your pet’s paperwork including details of any medications that she is currently taking, and details of the phone numbers and location of your nearest regular and emergency veterinarian.

Many dog owners who spend a great deal of time outside and on the road with their furbaby will also put together an additional first aid kit that they will leave in their vehicle. Many injuries occur during activities such as walking and hiking so a mini-kit in your backpack is also advisable.

Disaster Preparations

While the chances of being involved in a serious natural disaster are very small, a disaster preparation kit is always a valuable commodity. However, it is not just the human members of your family that you will need to worry about having the resources for if the worst does happen. A loving and responsible pet owner will also want to ensure that they do everything in their power to keep their animals safe.

So, what should you include to prepare your pet for a natural disaster?

Basic first aid kit

In your disaster ‘go’ bag or box for your pet, make sure you include her first aid kit. She may not be injured when you try to get away, but accidents and injuries often happen when there is chaos and people and other animals panicking. You will want to be prepared to administer basic first aid should the need arise.

Food and water

It goes without saying that your pet will need food and water too, and you should try and include at least 5 days’ worth of each for each pet you own. Don’t forget a can opener if you are packing canned goods, and bowls to serve their food and water in.

Toileting equipment

If you have a cat you will need to pack at least one litter box, litter and garbage bags, or if you have a dog, include plenty of poop bags. This will enable you to ensure the area you are staying remains clean and free from animal waste.

Medications and medical records

If your pet is currently on medication, you will need to take this with you along with details about her dosage should you become separated. A copy of her medical records is also important in case she needs treatment.

Any other important information can also be included here, such as details of any behavioral problems that your pet has, and contact information for your preferred veterinarian. Pop everything into a waterproof bag or container to help preserve them.

Photograph of your pet

Many animals become lost when panicked situations arise, but an up to date photograph of your pet, and just as importantly, one of you with your pet so that you can prove ownership, could help you to be successfully reunited.

Leash / Carrier

Being able to transport your pet safely is essential in a natural disaster as you will almost certainly need to evacuate to a new location. Make sure you have a suitable animal carrier and in the case of a dog, a study leash or harness. Don’t forget blankets to help keep your crate or carrier comfortable for your pet as they may have to spend a considerable amount of time secured.

If you would like further information on how to build your pet’s emergency kit, our knowledgeable and friendly team would be delighted to help. Do not hesitate to contact us or pop into our offices with any questions you may have.