How to Make a Disaster Go-Bag for Your Pet

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You never want to think about anything bad happening to your home, your pet, or your family. But alas, life comes at you quickly, and you better be prepared for whatever it throws at you. For Natural Disaster Preparedness Month, we’re helping you and your pets be as prepared as possible.

Most people have some form of emergency plan for their family and pets, usually focusing on what to do and where to go in the event of a fire, earthquake, hurricane, or disaster. any other event that could force you to take shelter. These plans typically include a “carry-on bag” that includes the essentials you might need to get through the situation safely, and perhaps somewhat comfortably. Typically, each family member will have a prepared go-bag. But should this preparation extend to pets?

We think you know the answer.

Here are some tips on how to set up a go-bag for your furry family members.

Also known as a “bug out bag”, “to go” or simply an emergency bag, these packs include everything your pet would need to survive without stable food or shelter for up to three days. You can pack as much as you think they’ll need, but it’s important to consider portability, especially if you’re carrying a bag for yourself or a child. Ideally, the bag is something your dog or cat could carry on their back, but it all depends on the size of the dog. This list is organized in loose order of importance, so if you need to reduce space or weight, start at the bottom.

  • A three-day supply of food and water.
  • Collapsible bowls for food and water. Regular bowls will work in a pinch, but collapsible versions take up less space and are generally lighter.
  • Additional collar and leash. Things can be chaotic and the last thing you want is a loose pet if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Medicines for pets. It can be difficult to have extra continually updated medications just for the travel bag, and the last thing you want is to accidentally give your pet expired medications. Talk to your veterinarian about a plan for the emergency kit. Most importantly, try to take all the necessary medications when you go out.
  • Make sure each collar/leash combo is labeled with your pet’s name as well as your name and contact information.
  • First aid kit for animals. You can buy these ready-made kits, but if you want to make your own, you can mimic a human kit by including gauze, bandages, scissors, alcohol and peroxide, etc.
  • Vaccination records
  • Dog poo bags or cat litter. For cats, you can find collapsible bowls or litter boxes online.
  • Animal carrier. There won’t be room in the travel bag for it, but if you have the option of keeping one on your vehicle, it can be a lifesaver to have a secure space for your little buddy.
  • Portable pet blanket or bed
  • Toys. Just like with children, toys can be comfort items for pets in times of stress.

It’s never fun to consider the bad things that could happen. But if you are prepared, these bad things can be less bad for your whole family. Even furry limbs.

RELATED ARTICLE: Are You Prepared for a Pet Health Emergency?

The information in this blog was developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health or nutrition, please speak with your veterinarian.

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