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Disaster Plan for Pets

Written by Mara Brown, Master Dog Behaviorist.

Things are crazy these days. We never know when we might be faced with a big problem. Earthquakes, fires, floods … or worse. The best way to deal with potential issues is to have a plan. We often have a “disaster plan” for ourselves and our families, but it is important to include our furry family members in that plan.

Have water and canned goods for your human family members, and remember that your dog (or cat, bunny, hamster, bird etc.) will also have water and food needs. So be sure to pack extra water for your pet and some of your pet’s favorite kibble, seeds, pellets or canned food. And have water and food bowls for your pet. Don’t forget a can opener – or even better…be sure all the cans have the self-opening tabs.
Many of our pets may be on medication (especially our seniors). Be sure you have their medications and medical records stored in a sealed container along with yours, and a first aid kit. If you have a cat, be sure to have a small litter box, litter and a litter scooper, and for both dogs and cats you need some poopy bags to dispose of their waste. Have an extra leash and a pet carrier for transportation. Ensure that your pet is microchipped with current information, and have them wear a collar with their identification information on it.

Include blankets and towels and have a printed current photo of you with your pet for identification or printing purposes should the need arise. Ask your vet for some calming medication or have some herbal remedies (Rescue Remedy by Bach is good) for your dog or cat should they become stressed and anxious. If your dog has aggression issues, have a muzzle.

Since Hurricane Katrina it is not legal to force people to evacuate without their pets, so know your rights. It is also a good idea to buy a book on Pet First Aid and have that as a resource.

We never want to think about potential disasters, but in case the unthinkable happens, be prepared. I pray we never have to use this. I wish you all peace, happiness, and good health!

Call Mara Brown, Master Dog Behaviorist, at
310-467-2334 and visit



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