Pet owners need to think of animals before disaster strikes

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2001

Are you prepared?

Disaster can strike at any time, and often pets owners are not ready for it. Disaster preparedness can help you and your pets by making them feel safe, keeping them calm in a stressful situation and possibly even saving their life.

Emergency supplies should be put together before disaster strikes. The following checklists are provided by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Emergency Planning Committee with the help of the People for Emergency Preparedness Planning for Animals.

Supply checklist for reptiles

n Water: A three- to seven-day supply for soaking and misting. Certain species only drink water if it is misted or dripped on leaves. You may be able to use an IV bag and tubing for a dip system.

n Food: Certain species of reptiles can eat prepared diets. Other species rely on fresh or frozen prey items. It may not be possible to store food for your reptile, especially if you're without electricity.

n Small aquarium or kennel for transport. Pillowcase for transporting snakes.

n Newspaper for cage liner. Paper towels, garbage bags and disinfectant.

Supply checklist for horses

n Water: The average horse consumes eight to 10 gallons of water per day; have at least a 48-hour supply available.

n Food: Enough hay/grain for a 48-hour period. Try to keep your horse's diet consistent, as abrupt diet changes can lead to colic.

n Extra halter with name, address, phone number and an emergency contact number, and extra leads.

n Copies of immunizations and photos (all angles), including description of horse, noting tattoos, microchips, distinguishing marks, age, sex, breed and color.

n Basic first-aid supplies (i.e. Silvadene cream, Betadine solution).

Supply checklist for livestock

n Extra halters and leads, preferably including your name, address, phone number and an emergency contact number.

n Water and feed for a minimum of 48 hours.

n Record of immunizations if applicable.

n Log or photos including brands, tattoos or other ID.

n Basic first aid supplies.

Supply checklist for small pets

n Water: As described for other species. Extra water bottles and tube sippers, if used.

n Food: As described for other species. Rotate a supply of mixed grass hay for rabbits.

n Airline crate, hutch or aquarium.

n Newspaper or other bedding, and cleaning supplies.

n Current photo and copies of immunizations if applicable (especially for ferrets).

Supply checklist for dogs, cats

A large, lidded garbage can makes an excellent storage container for pet supplies. Supplies also can be stored in a pet's crate or kennel. Make a copy of this checklist and tape it to the inner lid of the storage container for reference.

n Water: A three- to seven-day supply. A 10-pound animal needs about one quart of water per day; a 40-pound animal needs about one gallon of water per day.

n Food: A three- to seven-day supply. Food should be rotated every two months to ensure freshness. Don't forget an extra can opener if using canned food.

n Kennel or crate for housing: For dogs, it should be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around, and include food and water bowls. For cats it should be large enough to include a small litter pan along with food and water bowls. Label the crate with owner's name, address, phone number and an emergency contact number.

n Newspaper to line crates and blankets and/or towels for bedding and to cover the crate during transport.

n Kitty litter and small litter boxes (shallow cardboard boxes work well, or a pan can be made by stapling or taping several layers of newspaper together at the corners).

n Leashes and collars with ID tags containing owner's name, address, phone number and an emergency contact number. Use additional tags for medication and/or if your pet has a tattoo or microchip.

n Booties for dogs to help keep feet warm and protect against broken glass, etc.

n Plastic bags, paper towels and pooper scoopers for waste cleanup. Bags also can be used to store your pet's photos, paperwork and any medication.

n Current photo of pet. Note on the back of the photo age, breed, sex, spayed or neutered information and any distinguishing markings.

n Copies of medical records, especially current vaccinations. Proof of current rabies vaccination is important for public health and safety. Boarding facilities may not take your pet without this information. If you are unsure about your pet's vaccination status, contact your veterinarian. If you have a pet medical insurance, include a copy of your policy.

n Extra medication (at least a two-week supply), along with instructions for administering medication.

n Muzzle or a roll of gauze bandage that can be used as a muzzle in case your dog becomes agitated and aggressive during the confusion.

n Toys and treats: Just like children, pets can gain comforts with the distraction of a favorite toy or treat. Including an old unwashed shirt with your scent on it can be a comfort if your pet is being cared for by strangers.

Supply checklist for birds

n Water: One-third to one-half gallon per day for large birds' drinking and bathing. Include bottle of electrolyte solution (i.e. Pedialyte) and a bottle of fruit juice if your bird drinks juice.

n Clean, dry spray bottles for cleaning and misting.

n Food: A three- to seven-day supply. Pelleted diets and dried fruits, veggies, pastas and seeds will all keep well. Remember to rotate supplies. Include vitamins and syringes for hand feeding.

n Garbage bags, paper towels and a bird-safe disinfectant.

n Portable cage/cage cover: Collapsible models are available. An airline kennel also can work well. A cage cover can be an old sheet but a blanket is preferred if transporting the bird in cold weather. Label the cage with owner's name, address, phone number and an emergency contact number.

n Clean towels: In case you need to wrap your bird for handling, an exam or treatment.

n Newspapers or other cage liner.

n Current photo of your bird including a description. Include microchip ID number, medication and copies of pet insurance policy if applicable.

n Cage toys: Birds are sensitive creatures and toys may provide comfort and a welcome distraction.

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