An Essential Guide to Emergency Preparedness for Pets: How to Be Ready - Make a Plan & Disaster Kit

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

As the wildfires continue to pop up here throughout California, they are a can’t-miss reminder for me to get better prepared at my house for an emergency.

In the last blog post, I shared how to create an escape plan with your family as the first step in emergency preparedness. Check it out here if you missed it!

Up next in my “bite-size so I don’t stress out” process of prepping for a disaster is…

Pet Preparedness

If you have a pet, then you will want to be sure you’ve taken these steps to make sure you have what you need to help your furry friend!!

For each of the members of my family, we will be assembling a 72-hour grab-and go-bag, and I’m adding our dog Harper to that prep list too!

Luckily for me, I was just at Wall-Mart and they had a bunch of their backpacks on extreme clearance so I was able to purchase a backpack (for only $3 - Whoop! Whoop! for bargains) to fill with pet essentials.

New red school backpack with tags

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Here is what I’m putting in my kit:

1. Safety :

Be sure to pack a leash and a harness. If you have a pet carrier, you may also want to keep that near your emergency supplies. I have a pet car seat harness that I’m going to store in our prep bag in case we need to take a long car trip with our dog.

Black pet carrier for dogs and cats

2. Nourishment:

Collapsible plastic travel dog food water bowls

Bottled drinking water and a collapsible travel water bowl are must-haves. Also add some canned food and dry food with an extra food bowl. (if your canned food needs an opener, be sure to pack that too!). Ideally you want to have enough food and water for 3-7 days for your furry friend.

3. Hygiene:

Orange dog waste poop bags and dispenser

Don't forget to grab those poop bags for dogs and cat litter/pan if you have a cat.

4. Health:

I am also putting in our kit any necessary medications and a copy of my pet’s medical records.

Orange Pet First aid kit with thermometer

A pet first aid kit may be extra helpful in case your pet is injured during the evacuation process. Amazon sells kits that are already put together that make it super easy! Also if you have a first aid book for pets, pack that too!

First Aid Book for Pets Cats and Dogs

5. Info:

Make sure you have a list of any important info specific to your animal, like their feeding schedule, medical conditions, behavior issues, and the name and number of your vet just in case your pet needs to be cared for by someone outside of your family.

I've created this Pet Info Sheet that will help you cover all the bases!

Pet Information Printable Worksheet

6. Identification:

It is also important to have a current photo of you and your pet in case they are lost and you need to have help looking for them! It is wise to have an ID tag on your pet with your pet’s name and family contact info in the event that you are separated.

7. Comfort/Entertainment:

I'd definitely recommend packing a pet bed and toys if they are easy to transport.

Our dog doesn’t use a bed, so I’m just adding a few extra toys to our kit! Having things from home can help ease a pet’s anxiety during stressful situations away from home.

Those are all of the basics that we have packed in our Grab-and-Go Bag for our sweet Harper, and there is one more thing that we did as part of our pet emergency preparedness.

We made sure we had a way for an extended family member or a neighbor to get into our home to rescue our pet in the event we are away from home and a fire quickly breaks out.

Here are a few extra things to think about when you are prepping for the worst-case scenario.

  • Microchip or have an up-to-date ID tag for your pet

  • Know pet-friendly places to stay, in case you need to evacuate

  • Place pet rescue decals on the windows/doors of your home

  • Identify and document your pet's hiding places (and include them on the decals and info sheets)

I don’t know about you, but each piece of the preparedness pie I put together, the better I feel knowing that I am ready if a disaster should occur.

Up next, prepping the kids in our house with grab-and-go kits!

Until next time, cheers to being prepared for something that will hopefully NEVER happen, and cheers to you!🥂



Want a quick recap that you can pin for future reference or print?

Dog with emergency disaster kit for pets

Dog in red cross blanket and emergency kit for pets