Are there any animal lovers in the house? I’m guessing there are plenty of them. We really love our dogs and cats and birds and whatever other pets we take care of on a regular basis, don’t we?
I’ve heard many animal lovers say that they consider their pets as members of their family. I couldn’t agree more. They love us because we do everything for them that they can’t do. We feed them and water them and provide them with shelter and take them to the vet and clean up after them. And we do it no matter how much time it takes. And I think their dependency on us is one of the things that makes us love them so much.
So, here’s a question. Why is it that so few people talk about pets when they discuss preparing for a disaster? Do they think we’re going to neglect our pets if we have to hunker down during a crisis? Or abandon them if we have to bug out?
We need to have everything necessary prepared, in advance, to meet our pets’ needs, should an emergency arise. A pet should have its own bug-out bag – or perhaps you could have one large bug-out bag for your two or three pets – and the bag should contain the types of things that an animal will need to survive and stay occupied.
You can use your own water supply for your pets, but the items that would go in a pet bug-out bag should include:
• A large bag of the food they normally eat. The way to keep the food from getting stale is to rotate new bags in and out of the bug-out bag each time you buy one.
• Chew toys. Depending on how long the emergency lasts, you will want to keep your animals occupied. For dogs, this would include treats that they can swallow and ones that they will only chew on.
• Any medications that your animals need. Ask your vet if you can stay at least one month ahead on their prescriptions. For items such as Frontline and HeartGuard, you should be able to stay six months to a year ahead.
• Extra collars, leashes and carrying cages. You never know if you might have to transport your pets on several occasions during a crisis, so be prepared for that.
• Papers proving that your pets are current with their shots. In an emergency, you may not be able to get that information from your vet quickly, but you may have to prove to someone at a different animal hospital or a pet-friendly hotel that they are current.
We’ll get into more information about prepping for pets in an upcoming blog, including the best ways to find pet-friendly hotels.
Assuming you’ve prepared emergency food, water and other supplies for yourself, have you also done the same for your pets? What types of things do you have stored for them in case a disaster strikes?