“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst”; a phrase many of us have probably heard many times in our lives, but how often do we really practice it?
When it comes to our pets are we practicing the same level or preparedness as we are for ourselves? Are we practicing at all? The importance of practicing preparedness for our pets is both vital to their health, and our responsibility as pet owners.
Preparing for disaster for our pets isn’t much more than preparing for disaster for ourselves, with a few extra things we need to do:
1) Just as we need to make sure we have food and water for ourselves, let’s make sure we have food for our pets, and enough water to support them, too.
Dogs should be drinking approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. (link)
Cats typically need between 3.5–4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day. (link)
For food, keep enough on hand for however much they east per day, per the number of days you’ve building a kit for. Make sure to rotate dry or canned food, and don’t store fresh food, it won’t stay fresh for long.
Also, pets don’t react well to stress, either, so keep that in mind as you monitor their food and water intake and know that it will fluctuate.
2) Make sure you have any required medicines on hand for your pets, just as you would for yourselves. Whether it’s Rx, over the counter, or just additional stuff they need to be comfy, make sure to have some stored for disaster prep.
3) ID. Make sure your pets always have some form of ID on them, preferably both on their collar, and in the form of a microchip. Having both means they’re much more likely to be reunited with you if they get separated, and they’re more likely to be identified as pets, and not strays.
Whatever your disaster preparedness plans are, make sure you include your pets, and if you have to leave your home, take them with you; if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them, either.
More resources to help you plan: