Your emergency pet evacuation plan

An emergency evacuation plan prepared in advance of flood or fire could save the life of your pet. Put this 10-point action plan into place now and ensure your pet’s long-term safety.

ID your pet

Ensure your cats and dogs are wearing collars and identification tags. Identification tags should have your updated phone numbers. EberVet Vetshops can create an ID tag in-store in minutes, while you wait.

Have your pets micro-chipped

You have a far greater chance of being reunited with them if they run away. Most veterinary clinics and some animal welfare organisations offer micro-chipping. It’s a quick and relatively cheap procedure.

Check your pet carriers and leads

Are the carriers sturdy yet light enough to carry? Are the leads still in good condition? Are they the right size for your pet? Are they kept in an easily accessible area? Ask the EberVet Vetshop team for advice on the best carrier or lead for your pet.

Source a shelter

Never assume you’ll be allowed to take your pet to the nearest veterinary clinic or animal welfare shelter in case of emergency. Before disaster strikes, check with your local clinics and shelters what their emergency services are. Keep a list of emergency numbers on hand, and a typed list together with your pet’s first aid kit. Keep handy a list of animal-friendly hotels or guesthouses outside of your immediate neighbourhood. You may wish to evacuate with your pet.

Prepare a first aid kit

• Self-cling bandage (bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur)

• Muzzle or strips of cloth to prevent biting (don’t use this if your pet is vomiting, choking, coughing or struggling to breathe)

• Absorbent gauze pads

• Adhesive tape

• Antiseptic wipes or ointment

• A foil emergency blanket

• Cotton swabs, gauze rolls

• Disposable gloves

• Blunt-ended scissors

• Sterile saline solution (sold at pharmacies)

• Tweezers

Keep calming medication on hand

There is a wide range of calming medications available from veterinarians or over-the-counter at EberVet Vetshops. Try Calmeze for dogs and cats, in beef and salmon flavours so it’s easy to administer, or Nutricalm, a natural remedy.

Plan for your pet in case you’re not home

Sign up a neighbour or friend who is aware of your Pet Evacuation Plan and can act on your behalf. They must have access to your home.

Pack a pet travel kit

If you must evacuate you will need to take pet supplies with you. Include 3-7 days’ worth of food (dry, to be rotated every two months); disposable litter trays (aluminium roasting pans are good); litter; disinfectant; garbage bags; food/water bowls; blankets; medications (keep an eye on use-by dates); toys; bottled water.

A water/fireproof container

Include photocopies and/or USB of medical records and chronic medicine your pet requires (keep this updated).

Designate an emergency room

Pick one room in your home, known to the family and to your neighbour or friend in which to store your pet’s emergency kit so it can be accessed immediately.

In high stress situations, pets are either forgotten or run away in panic. Plan now and protect them for them for the future –

Article written by veterinarian Dr Hilldidge Beer. Dr Beer is CEO of the EberVet Pet Care Group and EberVet Vetshops