Planning Ahead for Your Pet: Preparing a Pet Emergency Plan

iStock_000015811630_LargeDespite our best efforts, life is anything but predictable. We never know just what turn the future may take, and a little planning does a lot to help smooth the road ahead. Because our pets depend on us for so much, it is important that we remember them when planning for life’s unexpected events.

When expecting the unexpected for our pets, be sure to:

Gather Your Pet’s Information

Having all of your pet’s important information in a centralized, easily accessible location is vital. In this information be sure to include:

  • Your pet’s regular veterinarian’s name and phone number
  • Contact information for an emergency veterinarian
  • Names of pet sitters or family members who are able to care for your pet if you can’t
  • Your pet’s care information including diet (and where to purchase if not widely available), medications, and any medical problems
  • Vaccine history and any pertinent medical records
  • Think About All Possibilities

    It can be a little nerve-wracking, but it is important to consider all scenarios and what special care your pet may need under those circumstances. Think of the following situations:

  • Who will care for your pet if you are stranded away from home due to snow, flooding, fire, earthquake or just closed roads?
  • What would happen to your pet if an injury or illness unexpectedly put you in the hospital?
  • If you were to pass away or be killed, who would take your pet?
  • If you needed to evacuate your home, where would your pet go?
  • If your pet is injured, do you or the person with your pet know what to do?
  • Prepare a Pet Emergency Plan

    Fires, floods, earthquakes, and more can cause turmoil in a pet’s everyday life. No one is immune to these happenings, and it is important to have a pet emergency plan in place in case your life is touched by such an event. Be sure to:

    Provide pet identification – All pets should have at least one form of identification. Personalized collars and tags are useful, however a permanent microchip can be a more reliable means of identification.

    Have a rescue alert sticker on your door – Get a pet rescue sticker for your front door that alerts firefighters or other rescue teams how many pets live in your home so that they can be on the lookout.

    Arrange a safe place for your pet – Identify local kennels, shelters, friends, or family that can take your pet in the case of an emergency. Consider less local options in case of an evacuation as well.

    Put together a pet emergency kit – It is smart to have a small pet first-aid kit as well as a small supply of food, water, bowls, a litter box or waste bags, and an extra leash and collar. Each pet should also have a sturdy carrier. Other nice items to have include a copy of your pet’s medical records, blankets, and a flashlight. Keep your pet’s emergency kit in an easily accessible area of your home.

    A little thought can go a long way when trying to provide for your pets. No one can be sure what the future may hold, but by thinking ahead you can ensure that your pet is well cared for, no matter what happens.