Pet emergency is an important aspect to include when you plan for emergency. When disaster strikes there are a number of things pet owners need to prepare for. Learning first aid for dogs and other animals, along with knowing pet CPR, will help you know what to do if your pet is injured in an earthquake, tornado, or other disaster.

Of course you’ll need to put together a disaster preparedness kit that includes food, water, and any medications your animal may need. Have copies of paperwork, such as current prescriptions, Coggins paperwork for your horse, and a recent photo of you with your pet. Your emergency plan should also include a list of important contact numbers you may need to access such as your veterinarian, the state veterinarian, pet or feed supply, etc.

During disaster hundreds of thousands of animals are displaced. Proper identification is one of the most important steps you can take when you are making your disaster preparedness plan. Make sure your pet has an identification tag on its collar that includes your cell number, as well as an additional number of someone outside of the area.

Microchips are an excellent way to provide identification for your pets. A microchip is implanted just below the skin between the shoulder blades and can be read with a scanner.

Proper identification is extremely important for horse and livestock owners. In an emergency situation you can add your contact information to a luggage tag and attach it by fastening it to your horse’s halter or braiding it into the horse’s mane. Another method would be to use a livestock marking pencil and write your contact information directly on the side of your horse or livestock.

In the event you face an evacuation, you’ll need to be prepared with carriers for your pets, not only for transport but also for temporary housing if you need to stay at an emergency shelter. Make sure the carrier is large enough for your pet to be comfortable for a few days. If you’re a cat owner, you’ll want to have enough room in the cat’s carrier to accommodate a litter box. A makeshift litter box can be made by lining a cardboard box with a plastic bag and adding litter.

Horse owners will want to be prepared in advance with the locations of stables that offer temporary shelter. When a disaster occurs, the state’s veterinarian’s office will also have information available of temporary shelters for horses that have been established in parking lots, campgrounds, farms, and other surrounding areas. Many local stables form emergency networks and have disaster preparedness plans in place. Make sure you have a halter and lead rope for each horse and if you don’t have your own horse trailer be sure to plan in advance for emergency transportation for your horse.

In the video above, Dr. Heather Case who serves as the Head of Disaster Preparedness of the American Veterinary Medical Association, has provided key elements in meeting the needs of these very special members of our families during a disaster situation.