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Save Your Pet's Life: Properly Stock a Pet Emergency Kit

These days you can never be over-prepared for an emergency or disaster event that may put your family – and your pet - in harm’s way. A deadly storm, natural or environmental catastrophe, building collapse, gun violence, and biotech threat can thrust your family into survival mode. Just as you would be prepared for your family, you must also be prepared for your dog or cat’s needs during an emergency. This means keeping a properly stocked Pet Emergency Kit at the ready.

Essential Items for a Pet Emergency Kit

The essential items to stock in a pet emergency kit include pet data, food, and a variety of emergency supplies, which we have organized for you in the lists below. All of these items should be in one pet emergency kit stored in a location in the home that you can easily access in the event of an emergency.

Pet Data Required for Emergency Situations

Data about each of your family pets should be kept in a small notebook as well as in your digital device (phone, tablet). Why both: If you lose cellular service or the phone battery dies then you won’t be able to pull up the data you need. A print version of the following information will be invaluable at such times.

  • Your pet’s name, breed, age. microchip ID if applicable

  • Name of your veterinary clinic and doctor’s name, address, phone number, website, and directions to the office

  • Name of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital, phone number, and directions to the office

  • Recent copy of vaccine record, including proof of rabies vaccination

  • Local Pet Poisoning Hotline Number

  • List of evacuation shelters that are pet friendly including address, phone number

Keep these paper copies in a plastic sleeve to protect them from water damage. You can keep digital records in a folder on your phone along with all the data points listed above in a “note” or Word document, for example.

First Aid Supplies for Pets

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Bandages are various size

  • Gauze pads -- sterile, absorbent and non-stick; large and small sizes

  • Adhesive tape, gauze rolls, splints for your pets limb length

  • Oral medication dosing syringe, bulb syringe or teaspoon/tablespoon set

  • Hydrogen peroxide 3% (within the expiration date) for inducing vomiting in dogs in the event of poisoning. Use only for dogs.

    • Never for use for cats

    • Never for use it for an animal with labored breathing

  • Blanket

  • Small and medium size towels

  • Corn syrup (~⅛ cup to be used in case of hypoglycemia)

  • Diphenhydramine (e.g., Benadryl®) 25 mg tablets or liquid 12.5 mg/tsp (5mL) concentration (with NO other ingredients)

  • Ear-cleaning solution

  • Instant Ice packs

  • Liquid hand or dish detergent (e.g., Dawn) without a bleach additive

  • Pet nail clippers

  • Scissors (with blunt ends)

  • Rectal thermometer and lubricant

  • Rubber gloves and/or Latex-free exam gloves

  • Saline eye wash/rinse

  • Triple antibiotic ointment (with NO other combination ingredients.

    • Never use this ointment for cats!

  • Penlight or flashlight

General Pet Supplies for Emergencies

You don’t want to be racing around the house looking for these items when you have to evacuate your home.

  • Pet food for at least 7 days. If you are in a disaster-prone area, 14 days supply

  • Extra leash, collar, and harness

  • Items for pet to chew (dogs) or scratch (cat) to cope with anxiety

  • Water bottle you can refill for your pet

  • Water dish

  • Food dish

  • Medication your pet takes regularly or an extra Rx for it

  • Flea and Tick prevention medication your pet uses

WARNING: Never initiate first aid or give your pet an over-the-counter human medication without speaking to a veterinary professional.

No matter how much you think you know about your pet or what happened to them leading up to an emergency, human medication--including herbs--should never be given to a pet without medical guidance.

WARNING: NO Home Remedies for Pets

Unless you have been instructed by a veterinarian to use a home or 'alternative' remedy DO NOT give your pet any such form of treatment.

Plan Ahead or Risk Saying Good-bye to a Beloved Pet

The time you take to properly stock your pet emergency kit could mean the difference between saving your pet’s life in the face of an emergency, or saying good-bye to a beloved animal companion, forever.


Downloadable Checklist for Pet Emergency Kit from the CDC

Pet First Aid Supplies from the American Veterinary Association

Pet Disaster Preparedness from the Humane Society

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