How to build your pet's emergency bag

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Blog June 5, 2019

How to build your pet's emergency bag Infographic
Photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Pruitt from Department of Defense

June is National Pet Preparedness Month. In cases of emergency, it is important to make an emergency plan for all members of your family. This includes pets. Pets should not be left behind in cases of emergency. Remember that pets cannot make their own emergency plan so as pet owners, it perfectly makes sense for you to be ready for them. One way of preparing is by getting an emergency bag or a go bag ready for your pet as well. When it's time to evacuate always bring your pet and their go bag along with you as well.

Here is a checklist of the basic things to include in your go bag:

Prepared Go Bag Illustration
  1. Pet's first aid kit (with vet contacts)

    Your pet's first aid kit should include bandages, scissors, sterile saline eyewash, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the wound, a small number of regular pet medications to ensure your pet's health such as styptic powder to stop bleeding, sugar tablets for diabetic and pets with low blood sugar, diphenhydramine (or Benadryl) for mild allergic reactions, thermometer, treats for distracting pet, and most importantly, your vet's contact number.

  2. Weeks worth of water and food (canned pop-up)

    Remember to pack enough water and food to last you at least a week. Food must be ready to eat and easy to open. Best choices are either dried or wet food in a pop-up can. Wet food could make your pet feel less thirsty, stretching out your water supply. Water is important, so stock up some extra. Water is not only good for rehydration but for washing off wounds as well.

  3. Feeding dishes or bowls

    Feeding dishes and bowls must also be packed for your pet to easily take its food and water.

  4. Dishwashing soaps or disinfectants

    Remember to bring mild dish detergent for cleaning your pet's feeding bowls and hand sanitizers. Dish soap is also effective for the removal of toxins from the skin and fur. Just rinse your pet with water after applying.

  5. Litter paper or towels

    You can use an old newspaper or a litter paper for your pet's litter and paper towels for cleaning their litter.

  6. Disposable garbage bag

    A disposable garbage bag will come in handy in case of an emergency.

  7. Extra collar and leash/harness

    Always have your pet on a collar and leash whenever going out especially in stressful emergency situations. Always put identification tags on the collar and keeping an extra is always a good idea especially for emergency situations.

  8. Pet's medical records in a waterproof container

    A pet's medical record is very important. Keep them in a ziplock or waterproof bag to make sure it's safe with you. Also, include in your bag a proof of recent vaccinations. Some animal clinics and boarding facilities would require your pet to have up-to-date vaccinations. When you see a need to place your pet in an emergency animal shelter, your vaccination record can ensure your pet will get a spot.

  9. Pet carrier or travel bag

    During severe weather, your pets might panic and run off to find a place to hide. This could make your pet injured or trapped because of this. Pet carriers travel bags along with your pet leash can ensure your pet will not run off and is safe together with you.

  10. Blankets

    Blankets are not only good for keeping your pet warm. In cases that your pet gets hurt, their behavior becomes unpredictable. They may become fearful or even aggressive. To avoid injury to yourself, you can use a blanket and wrap it like a taco. You could also bring with you a dog muzzle to make sure you won't get bitten while administering first aid.

  11. Flashlight

    Bring with you a flashlight with extra batteries. A flashlight is not only good for illuminating the dark but it can be used as a surveillance tool as well for spotting danger and looking for a place to camp out at night.

  12. Favorite toys or chews

    Your pet's favorite toy or chew can help keep your pet calm. Your pet can be just as frightened and nervous as you are in cases of emergency situations.

  13. Pet's most recent photo (for lost posters)

    Besides your pet's recent photo, also keep with you a proof of ownership in a ziplock bag or airtight container. This is important as well, especially when you need to board your pet. This will help in identifying that you are its owner. In cases that your pet might run off, your pet's most recent photo can be used to create lost posters for you to find your pet.

Remember to arrange a safe haven for your pets.

Prepared Dog Illustration
Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels

As everybody will be in survival mode, you need to create an emergency help list to ensure your pet will always be in good hands during the duration of the emergency.

It could either be:

  • Pet shelter
  • Motel/Hotel
  • Friends
  • Relatives

View and download our infographic.