Pet Disaster Preparation Tips

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is May 8th. While we hope that none of you are ever faced with a disaster, it’s best to be prepared, just in case. Make sure that those preparations include your pet! A Columbia, MD vet offers some advice on preventing pet disasters below.

Have An Emergency Kit

In an emergency, you may not have time to run around grabbing everything you need. Have a bag ready to go for your pet. This should include basic necessities, such as food, dishes, a leash and collar, water, toys, treats, bedding, and a pet first-aid kit. If you have a dog, include a muzzle as well. Cats will also need a litterbox and litter. If your pet is on any medication, include several days’ worth of that as well. You might not want to muzzle your canine buddy, but if your only option is a shelter that requires them, you may not have a choice.


Pets can easily get separated from their owners in emergencies. If this happens, having proper identification could make all the difference. Make sure that your furry pal is both microchipped and wearing ID tags. Once your four-legged buddy has been microchipped, you’ll need to keep your information current and correct in the chipmaker’s database. You can try using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool here to check.


Until recently, many people had to abandon their pets in disasters, as shelters rarely allowed animals. Fortunately, more shelters are letting pets in these days. However, it’s still not universal. Those that do allow pets often require that pets be current on vaccinations and parasite control. Keep up with these preventative measures! Also, have copies of your pet’s registration and medical records. One easy way to do this is just snap pictures of them with your phone, and keep them in a private gallery. It’s also a good idea to make a list of all pet-friendly shelters and hotels within a few hours’ drive.

Make A Plan

The thing about disasters is that you often don’t know they’re coming. Have some plans in place, just in case. Talk to your family, and come up with some contingency plans. Be sure to include Fido and Fluffy in these preparations!

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Columbia, MD  animal clinic!

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