Preparing a Pet Go Kit

Whether you are fleeing an abusive situation, or are facing emergency evacuation due to weather, planning ahead is the best way to prepare to move your family and your pets.  Just as you would pack a Go Kit for yourself and your family, you can prepare an emergency Pet Go Kit, which includes the basics for your pet(s) survival, particularly food and water.  Consider assembling a lightweight bag you can grab if you and your pets have to get away quickly.  Review your kit regularly to ensure that it’s contents, especially foods and medicines, are fresh.

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Recommended supplies for your pet’s Go Kit:

Food and Water

  • Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container.
  • Store at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to the water you need for yourself and your family.
  • Pack their food and water dishes

Medicines and Medical Records

  • Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.
  • List the name and contact information for your pet’s veterinarian.
  • Talk with your veterinarian about permanent identification for your pet such as micro chipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. If your pet has a form of permanent identification, include the recovery’s service’s name and contact information in your kit.
  • Keep up-to-date copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container in your kit.

Medical Requirements for Animals That Need Kenneling


  • Rabies vaccination.
  • DA2PP (Distemper Combination) given every 3 years.
  • Bordetella vaccine given every six months.
  • A negative heartworm test within the past year if they are on monthly heartworm prevention. This should be in your vet records. If no proof is available, testing should be performed prior to the surrender.

Cats:  Kennels often require that cat guests must be vaccinated against Rabies and FVRCP.

Collar with ID Tag, Harness or Leash

Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag in your pet’s emergency supply kit.

First Aid Kit

  • Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs.
  • Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution.
  • Include a pet first aid reference book.

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Crate or Other Pet Carrier

  • If you need to evacuate in an emergency situation, take your pets and animals with you provided that it is practical so do so. In many cases, your ability to do so will be aided by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet.
  • The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down.


  • Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags, and household chlorine bleach to provide for your pet’s sanitation needs.
  • You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach).
  • In an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.

NOTE: If using bleach as a disinfectant or to purify water, do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

Picture of You and Your Pet Together

If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include information about species, breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar ItemsSmoosh Facebrth

Put favorite toys, treats, or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress for your pet.

List of Contacts

  • Prepare a list of neighbors, friends or family that may be willing to provide pet “foster care” if your pet can’t go with you to a shelter.
  • Find a safe place ahead of time by preparing a list of pet boarding services, or hotels and motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.