Pet disaster preparedness.

In honor of Disaster Preparedness Month in September, Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to challenge our readers. How knowledgeable are you about disaster preparedness for pet owners? Are you ready if something were to happen?

Can You Check the Boxes?

In the San Antonio area, disaster prep is something that we are no stranger to. From hurricanes to flooding to wildfires to crazy things like sinkholes and earthquakes, natural disasters occur with little warning. 

While you may have thought about what you and your human family would and should do in these situations, have you considered your pets?

Do you know:

  • Where you would flee if you had to evacuate? 
  • How you would transport your pet(s)? 
  • What things you would bring along?
  • How you would find your pet if you became separated?

Putting some thought into these questions can help you be more prepared should anything ever happen.

Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Thinking about basic steps to be prepared can be overwhelming, but putting those steps into actionable items makes it easier. Disaster preparedness for pet owners can be broken down into a few areas to tackle one by one: 

  • Create an evacuation plan—You need to consider places that your family and/or your pets can go to should you need to leave your home. These should include options close by and further away in case of a mass evacuation. Create a list of friends, family, pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities, and campgrounds that you could go to if necessary. Write the list down and keep it current. If you think evacuation is imminent, call ahead to reserve boarding and hotels as they may fill quickly. 
  • Put together a pet care kit—Having a supply of your pet’s care items in an easy-to-transport, organized location can be very helpful. Keep a pet carrier if applicable, extra leash and collar, at least a week’s worth of food, water, and medications, and bowls in a designated location that you can grab quickly. Rotate perishable items periodically. It is also helpful to keep a copy of your pet’s medical records in your pet care kit in case you need them. 
  • Create a pet emergency kit—Consider putting together a small pet first-aid kit and keeping it with your pet supplies as well. 
  • Ensure contact information is up to date—Be sure that your pet’s identification tags are current. If your pet is not already, consider microchipping them so that you can be more easily reunited should you become separated. Consider including multiple contacts on your microchip registration. It may also be helpful to keep a small, current picture of your pet with you.

Thinking through pet disaster preparedness ahead of time can really help should an actual emergency occur. The less you have to scramble and think, the faster you can get yourself and your pets to safety. 

Pet disaster preparedness is important. Please let us know if we can help you in any way. If we stick together, we can get through just about anything.