Pet Survival Kit

Ok, here we go concerning our feathered, furred or whatever else friends :)

To the left is Greenleaves, aka the Greenthing. I would love to get him into a wool sweater for those chilly nights, but I don't think he'd like that very much :)

I won't provide a list per-say, because there are plenty of lists out there and I cannot possibly write an article here on every type of pet someone may have. However I will give some pointers to help get you started. Please read on as you'll get some information that may help you.

Many people, myself included, see our pets as members of the family. We love them, feed them and provide for them as anyone would for a member of the family.

I have a particular love for birds, and other people may as well, or they have a favorite animal of their own and that is ok. It's all the same in the sense that they they need to be looked after regardless.

Emergency preparedness requires no less attention to pets as for other members of the family.

Oftentimes we see information for cats and dogs, as though no-one has birds or other kinds of pets. I hate that because the information is just more difficult to come by if you are a bird owner, or owner of another kind of creature, fish or whatever you may have.

I suppose some organizations are just plain old lazy and don't bother to make the effort to provide some resources for people who may not have cats and dogs for pets.

I give some information on how to prepare for farm animals as well on the Farm Animal Emergencies page. They may not be pets, but are nevertheless important to you so I'll give you some information to get you started and point you out as to where you can get more. This is important and you should consider this as 'Business Survival'.

Now here is the obvious for anything you have as a pet. Have the necessary food, water, vitamins and other such necessities. Also, if required by law in your area, have the necessary vaccinations, registrations as well as any other documents along with the papers to prove it. Photo-copies of these documents or placing them on an encrypted USB key should be placed in 'their' survival kit as well.

Having photos of your pets and toys that can comfort them during the stress of an emergency as well as any other items that may be of use for your pet should be considered a part of 'their' kit as well. Animals feel stress as well, as I hope you are aware, and that mitigating this stress by preparing in advance can help your animal to survive an emergency.
Depending on the time of the year, the climate and temperature as well as the nature of the emergency and what your family plan is, you'll need to consider how to transport your pet(s) safely away from danger to safety, which is the purpose of relocating in the first place.

This can be challenging, in that the Red Cross as well as other shelters may not accept animals in their shelters, and if you have a pet that is sensitive to temperature extremes, it becomes all the more imperative that you think about what to do NOW rather than LATER. Birds are sensitive creatures and depending on the species that may be more the case for one bird than for another.

Dogs and cats tend to fare well enough in hot and cold temperatures, provided they have enough food and water, as well as shelter if the temperatures are extreme, either hot or cold. Water is especially important in hot weather and food in colder weather, but have enough water for them for colder times too.

As human beings, some animals may be picky eaters and it isn't time to 'surprise' them with food that they have never seen or eaten before. This can prove very dangerous as your pet may not eat at all, and combined with the stress of an emergency can make it very difficult for your pet to survive.
Don't say to yourself, if they get hungry enough they will eat. For human beings, there is what is called 'food fatigue', which can cause people to not want to eat the food which is in front of them. It tends to affect the very young and the very old.

Variety is of the essence, and to store what you eat and to eat what you store. No surprises! Having food in time of stress helps alleviate that stress, so have a heart for your pets as well by not taking any chances with them.

Even though there are some shelters that will not accept pets, there are some pet friendly motels/hotels that can be of assistance. It is important to know what the rules are for the shelters in your area and also for any pet friendly establishments.

Pick up the phone and call your local chapter of the Red Cross as well as some motels/hotels. Some advertise in the Yellow Pages as being pet friendly and you can always have a look at their website if they have one.

Take a note of the numbers for any veterinarians in your area as well as their business hours (some offer 24 hour emergency). Some veterinarians do not have specialists for birds so don't think that you can go just anywhere with your bird.
Birds have unique dietary requirements as well as shelter (think safety). Their cage is their world, and their sense of safety.

As mentioned above, their may be challenges for the transportation of your pet. Small travel size cages exist for birds. They won't like you for it because it is cramped in there, however it is easier than carrying a large cage.

If it is windy and somewhat chilly, cover the cage with a good blanket or a plastic bag. Remember that plastic bags do not breath, and that goes the same for a blanket if it covers the entire cage.

The thing to remember here is that if you have a very short distance and time to get to a shelter for your bird, there should be enough oxygen for your bird to be alright. This depends on the size of the bird AND the size of the cage. If you have a large cage for the size of your bird, the bird will have more usable oxygen.

Also, let in some fresh air while protecting the bird from drafts every few minutes or so. Drafts are not good for birds because they may get sick.

If a fire breaks out in your apartment building as an example, you may place your birds cage in a plastic bag that can cover the entire cage. Close the bag off tight. Don't worry, your bird will have enough oxygen while you make it outside to safety. This will help prevent smoke inhalation which can cause your little bird to have respiratory distress or pneumonia within a few weeks of smoke inhalation, and your little friend may die.

Have a bag ready to go beside the cage, and this bag is for this purpose only, and nothing else! As with any situation, assess if you have the time to actually place the cage in the bag without endangering yourself. It is your call to make in the event of a fire and for your pet.

Having rope to lower the cage to a lower floor or to the ground below may be an option as well. Just remember the time of year, the temperature and other factors that may endanger your little bird. Think about predators as well. Are there any cats or dogs below?

Seeds, water and treats as well as toys can be added to the kit as well. This goes for any kind of pet as well.
As for cats of course having cat litter along with the usual having food, water and toys will go a long way to provide comfort and safety for your pet.

Pet travel cages are a must in my opinion for they are designed with the safety and easy of transportation of your pet in mind. Do this for any pet you have, not just cats.

Resources

Create a Pet First Aid Kit
Dog First Aid Kits: Supplies You Should Pack

Emergency Shelters

Some emergency shelters are not pet friendly due to concerns over safety and hygiene. However, there are some shelters and motels/hotels that may accept your pets.

Things to do and consider here are as follows:
  • Call your local chapter of the Red Cross to know their policies.
  • Some motels/hotels may be pet friendly so look them up.
  • Have supplies ready to go and bring to any shelters or pet friendly motels/hotels. They will NOT feed your pet(s). Always have anti-spill bowls for food and water as well.
  • Have any necessary documentation that goes for your pet such as registration and vaccination records handy.
  • You'll have to take care of your pet once in the shelter.
  • Your pet will most likely be stressed out because of unfamiliar surroundings, noise, unfamiliar people and other animals present as well.
Your animals will probably be stacked up like you see in the photo above if in a pet friendly shelter, so get sturdy pet carriers.

Pet First Aid Kit

Having a pet first aid kit for your animal is a good idea.

Know what you can do for your particular pet and make some preparations. Some basic things like gauze, clothes, ointments and whatever else that is appropriate can also be used.

Just remember that human medications might not go well with your pet, and you may actually do more damage than good. Get what your veterinarian would recommend for your particular pet.

For birds, it is a challenge to say the least, given their very small sizes at times. However, have a look and see for your bird what can be done. If you need to contact a veterinarian to get some information go for it.

Sweaters exist for cats and dogs as well as paw protectors. Have a look at the video below about dog packs.

Let Fido Carry His Own Kit

RuffWear Dog Packs