How to prepare your pet for an emergency

Dec 19 2017, 4:05 pm

With evacuation alerts and orders springing up across B.C. because of the 170-plus wildfires raging in the province, the BC SPCA is urging pet parents to make sure they’re prepared in case of an emergency.

If there’s a state of emergency for a fire or another reason, pet parents need to get out of the area as soon as possible – and sadly, sometimes pets are left behind.

“People don’t necessarily think about their pet in an emergency situation until it’s too late,” says Lorie Chortyk, BC SPCA general manager of community relations.

Hurried pet owners often forget to pack pet food, crates and bedding – even leashes, says Chortyk, who says SPCA branches are overwhelmed in crisis times.

Just like having a roadside emergency kit in your car or earthquake kit for your house, it’s key to have a pet emergency kit, says the SPCA.

They recommend including the following:

  • Enough food for seven days
  • ID tag and collar
  • Sturdy crate or carrier
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Blankets and plastic bags
  • Leash, harness
  • Food and water bowls, preferably collapsible
  • Litter box and litter for cats
  • Manual can opener
  • Copy of current vet records/vaccination records
  • Current medication and any special health instructions

And don’t forget to make sure your pet is always wearing ID. And make sure their microchip has the current owner contact information.

You can buy a great pet first aid kit from St. John Ambulance for $37 online. It’s portable, and easy to throw in your car when you’re taking your pet camping or hiking. It’s packed with bandages and splints and anapestic, so it actually comes in handy quite often when there’s a human injury on your trip too.