This post is sponsored by Hill’s Food, Shelter, & Love® Initiative and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping Promote National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. #PetPrepared 

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is a perfect time to think about what would happen to you and your pets in the event of an emergency. What constitutes an emergency depends on where you live. For us in Seattle, earthquakes are a very real possibility. For you, it may be hurricanes, tornados, etc. But no matter what the cause, we all need to take a few steps to be sure that we safeguard our families, and that includes our beloved pets.

Pet Emergency Go-Kit

Every pet owner should have a waterproof Pet Emergency Go-Kit. This inexpensive and simple to create bag needs your pets essentials for the first 72-hours after an event. That includes basic pet first aid supplies like an antibiotic ointment, tweezers to remove foreign objects, and gauze wrap to cover wounds.

You’ll also need a 3-day supply of clean water or a water filter that cleans bacteria and other harmful things. They’re usually sold as backpacking or camping filters. They’re much stronger than water filters used in your home and can turn almost any water into drinkable water.

Your Pet Go-Kit should also have your pet’s favorite food, a manual can opener if necessary, a harness, collar, and leash, pet waste bags and disinfecting wipes. There should also be any comfort items your dog would enjoy – a blanket, toy, or treat that will help keep her calm.

The bag can be a simple gym bag or a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a lid. It’s less likely to get crushed and may be easier to find in a collapsed car or building. Adding reflective tape can also mean the difference of locating it in an emergency.

Special Needs Pets

But what if your pet has special health needs? Like a specific food or medicines? Having a way to track this information and share it quickly is a must. Think beyond saving it to your smartphone which may not work. Keep your pet’s health and medicine information on paper in the Pet Emergency Go-Kit so that even if you don’t have her meds on hand you can get a replacement quickly.

Gracie and Jewel Riding in the Car headed for Vacation
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Gracie and Jewel Riding in the Car headed for Vacation

Also, if your pet eats an unusual food due to health issues, then it’s imperative that you have that on hand. My Maltese has Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE). Eating the wrong protein can cause her belly to swell with fluids and she can be near death in just a few days. Additionally, should we become separated, she has a medical alert tag on her collar with her condition engraved on the back to let anyone who finds her know she has special needs.

My older dog, a sweet Pomeranian, is partially paralyzed, so for her packing potty pads, pet wipes, and ointment to soothe irritated skin is a must to keep her well cared for and comfortable.

Locate Pet-Friendly Shelters/Motels Ahead of Time

Searching for pet-friendly accommodations in outlying areas ahead of time is a must. I’ve read too many times that people have shown up at shelters with pets only to be turned away. Knowing where you can go that your pet will be welcomed is key. Keep a list of pet-friendly motels within a 50 miles radius in your to-go pet pack. Also, check when emergency shelters are established in your area for a pet-friendly locale, occasionally one is opened.

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Photo Credit: Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. – Used with Permission

But sometimes it’s not possible to find a location that can take both you and your pet.  So also create a list of veterinarians and pet care organizations within that same area which may be able to bring your pet in to. It can also come in handy if your pet becomes ill or injured.

Remember to keep these lists in your Pet To-Go Kit. They won’t do you any good if your smartphone is lost, broken, dead, or the Internet is unreachable. Keep the original on your phone and update several times a year, but print copies for your bag, so you’re covered.

When Your Pet is Lost During an Emergency

When an emergency happens, animal shelters can become overwhelmed and many are stretched beyond their breaking point with the influx of animals that are lost or injured. It’s so important to be sure your pet has identification, and that goes beyond a collar and tags which could get ripped off during a catastrophic event. Microchipping your pet it an excellent way to ensure he’ll be identified should he be found wandering after a storm. Microchipping is inexpensive and can be done at most veterinarian’s offices.

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Photo Credit: Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. – Used with Permission

Thankfully, socially responsible companies like Hill’s Pet Nutrition have stepped in to help care for animals during emergencies. With the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network, they’re ready at a moments notice to help take care of animals that have become stressed and upset. They provide these lost pets with proper nutrition which supports their health until they are reunited with their worried owners. This outreach of love and caring can make all the difference for a lost pet.

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About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

With over 75 years of unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, their mission is to aid in the lengthening and enrichment of the special relationship between people and their pets. They believe that the right nutrition combined with the expertise of devoted veterinary professionals can transform the lives of the pets they serve, and happier, and healthier pets can change the lives of pet parents.  They are dedicated to groundbreaking nutritional research for both cats and dogs which is based on a scientific understanding of their particular needs. Their popular HILL’S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL’S® Science Diet® and HILL’S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are available worldwide through pet specialty retailers and veterinarians worldwide. For more information Hill’s Pet Nutrition products and their nutritional philosophy check out their website at  HillsPet.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hill’s® Pet Nutrition, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.