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Pet Preparedness: Planning Information & Resources

26 Jan, 2009

It is important to be prepared before a disaster strikes! You can't prevent disasters or accidents, but you can be prepared if they strike. Remember, if it's not safe for you, it's not safe for your pets.

Do yourself and those you love a favor andprepare now so you'll be ready when you find yourself, your family, and your pets in an emergency situation. Time saved by preparing now is critical — it may very well save lives.

72 Hour Emergency Kit for Pets

If you are asked to evacuate in an emergency situation, have a 72-hour pet emergency kit ready to go along with the rest of your family's emergency supplies. Your pet kit should include the following:

Always have a collar with ID tag, city license tag and rabies tag on your pet (even with a pet ID chip)

  • If your pet has an ID chip, make sure you keep those records up to date with the registry center (or your veterinarian)
  • Keep proof of current shots and health records in a waterproof container such as a freezer bag
  • Current photo of pet(s)
  • Enough food and water for three days for each pet (remember to keep the food in a watertight or vacuum-packed container)
  • Food and water bowls for feeding
  • Pet carrier(s) or crate(s) with bedding/blanket
  • Plastic bags to dispose of pet waste
  • Medications
  • Toys
  • Manual can opener for canned food
  • First-aid kit
  • Grooming supplies
  • Paper towels/wet wipes
  • Cat litter and litter box
  • Water spray bottle in warmer climates to keep you and your pet cool (especially for pet birds and reptiles)

Pet Food Shelf Life Info

  • Dry Bagged Pet Food — About 1 to 1-1/2 years maximum. Note: If you store dry pet food in a container other than its original bag, be sure to wash the empty container with soap and water before adding food from a new bag. The residual fat that settles on the bottom of the container can become rancid beyond its shelf life (the date stamped on the bag). This spoiled fat may contaminate the fresh food added to the container, causing vomiting or diarrhea when fed to your pet.
  • Canned Pet Food — About 2 years
  • Vacuum-Sealed Pet Food — About 5 years
  • Freeze-Dried Pet Food — 6 mos for commercially-prepared freeze dried foods; up to 25 years in a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

Pet Disaster Preparedness and First Aid Resources

As pet owners (pet adopters, pet parents), we are responsible for the animals we take under our care. TheEpicenter.com encourages others to remember the pets when planning for the unexpected.