Following a disaster, your pets are at their most vulnerable as they cannot fend for themselves. Nobody can predict when the next disaster will strike and so it is important that you do not forget to put together a survival kit for your pet. This is even more important now when natural disasters such as flooding, storms, and hurricanes are happening more frequently. Preparing ourselves for these times should be a high priority, but oftentimes our pets get forgotten about. There are three points that should be considered when putting together an emergency survival kit for your pet:
- It should be easily accessible and easy to carry
- It should be kept up-to-date and contain fresh or unexpired suppplies
- It must be able to address any special needs of your pet
You are going to need a way of carrying all of the supplies for your pet so we will first take a look at the bag. The best kinds are those that are durable and have plenty of pockets. It is much easier to find what you need quickly if you are able to seperate the items throughout the bag. Don’t choose something that you can’t quickly grab and carry in an emergency. It needs to be big enough for the pet supplies but small enough for easy carrying.
If you are packing an emergency survival kit for a dog, you can purchase dog backpacks that will allow your pet to carry some of its own supplies. If going down this route, it is important that you practice with your dog as much as possible to ensure that it becomes comfortable using it.
Your pet is going to need an adequate stockpile of food. I recommend including at the minimum, a weeks supply of food in case you need to make a quick exit. Pack only those foods that your pet is used to. The last thing you need is your pet turning its head up to food when it matters the most.
Becoming familiar with how much water your pet drinks each day will make it easier to understand how much water you should include. In a dog, the average required amounts are about an ounce of water per 10 pounds of weight. This will change depending on climate and food. If feeding them dry food, they will need extra water.
It is important to include a warm blanket in your pet survival kit, especially if you are unsure that you will have adequate shelter.
They are going to need something to eat and drink from. These don’t necessarily have to be proper pet bowls, they could be as simple as disposable containers with lids. You don’t want your pet eating off of the floor as they will have a higher chance of becoming ill following a disaster. As for water, you should never squirt water directly in to your pets mouth as it is not only wasteful but can get in to their lungs.
Garbage bags have many uses in a survival situation with your pet from using to build a temporary shelter or making a rain poncho for your pet.
Treats and Snacks
Just like their owners, pets will get tired of eating the same things over and over again so it is important to include some little treats and snacks for your pet. These can also help address their added nutritional need following the stress of evacuation.
If your pet needs to take regular medications, it is important to include a full prescription and backup medicines where possible. It may not be possible to go to the vets if your animal gets sick so keeping a supply of antibiotics and other medicines is always a good idea.
First Aid Kit
Small first aid kits can either be purchased from a store or you may decide to make your own. If choosing the latter, include bandages, gauze pads, vet wraps, antiseptic wipes, scissors, antibiotic cream, iodine solutions, tweezers, styptic powder, cooling and heating pads, saline solutions for rinsing the pets eyes, and anything else that may be needed in emergency situations.
Make sure that your pet has a collar along with tags that can help to identify them if they get lost in the aftermath of a disaster. This should include your up-to-date contact information. You might also consider tagging them with locator chips. Make sure that the information on file is also up to date.
Maintaining good hygiene after a disaster is a must. Clean water won’t be as easy to come by so it is important to pack items that do not require a lot of rinsing. Leave-on dog shampoos and wipes for their paws can help eliminate bacterial infections or the presence of allergens on their fur and skin.
- Leash, rope, and collar – during times of a disaster, your pet will become scared and may wander away if you don’t keep them on a leash.
- Toys – it is important to include at least a couple of your pets favourite toys. This will help them to better cope with the situation that they are in.
- Clothing – whether or not you choose to include pet clothing in to the kit will depend on the climate that you are in.
- Bedding – choose a lightweight and easily packed dog bed. Sleeping on the cold, damp floor can affect their health and quality of sleep.
By preparing an emergency survival kit for your pet, you can help ease their stress when a disaster occurs. There is no need for them to lack food, water, and other supplies. As their owner, it is your responsibility to look after your pets at all times.