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Pet preparedness

Check out our Pet Preparedness Checklist (Spanish Pet Preparedness Checklist)

In case of an emergency

  • NEVER leave your pets behind!
  • Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if they do, you may not be able to find them when you return
  • Get a list of pet friendly hotels and boarding facilities in and out of your area
  • Talk to friends and family members about taking your pets in an emergency
  • Make sure your pets are comfortable with that person and the person is comfortable with your pet
  • Know ahead of time where co-located shelters will be set up
  • Arrange with someone in your neighborhood to check on your animals during a disaster in case you can’t get home
  • Make sure it’s someone your pet is familiar and comfortable with
  • Make sure that person has your veterinarian’s info and they have a permission slip put in your file at the vet
  • Consider microchipping your animals
  • Make sure all your animals have up to date ID tags on their collars
  • Practice putting your cat in his/her carrier and practice getting your dog in and out of the car
  • Make sure to pack a “Go Kit” for your pets which include vet records, extra ID tags, a picture of you and your pets, a a favorite toy or blanket of your pet.

Prevent your pet from starting fires

  • Extinguish open flames – Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs – Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Unplug all non-essential power cords – Puppies and cats have a tendency to chew through wiring left dangling which could start a fire and/or seriously injure your pet.
  • Keep pets near entrances when away from home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
  • Secure young pets – Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since pets left alone can’t escape a burning home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert window cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

Pet First Aid Kit: Recommended items

  • 3% Hydrogen peroxide if induction of vomiting is recommended by a veterinarian
  • 4″ x 4″ Gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape for making stirrups – never for wrapping around the leg
  • Antihistamines and known dose for your pets
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Blanket
  • Cold Pack
  • Digital thermometer (flex tip preferred)
  • E- collar (flexible, transparent) (optional)
  • Eye dropper or syringe without needle
  • Large non-stick pads (human) to cover wounds under cotton wrap
  • Leash
  • List of pet’s medications, if any
  • Lube for thermometer
  • Muzzle or nylon stocking
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (must rotate to keep fresh)-may include enteric coated aspirin or veterinary drug and known dosage for emergency
  • Pet ID information
  • Pet vaccine information
  • Roll cotton – several rolls for wounds and/or splints
  • Scissors
  • Spray for “hot spots” or insect bites
  • Sterile saline for rinsing eyes
  • Stretch Gauze Roll (optional if you have vet wrap)
  • Styptic Pencil
  • Toe nail clippers
  • Towel or clean rags
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Vet wrap or equivalent self-stick bandaging material-several rolls
  • Veterinarian’s emergency contact information, Animal Poison Control phone number
  • Vinyl or latex gloves