How to prepare to look after your pets in a Natural Disaster

by Dr. Francesca Matthews

Following the devastation of the Christchurch Earthquakes it is timely to remember that in addition to the  loss in human life and turmoil and upheavel left behind, there were many pets displaced and many others who are absolutely petrified.. 

The purpose of this article is to highlight the items required for a pet in a disaster situation to ensure everyone is prepared. 



You need to have a fresh water allowance for your pets too. If they are allowed to drink contaminated water, then they risk getting gastroenteritis just like any person.  Pets need approximately 50ml-100ml of water per kilogram per day.  So if you have a 10kg dog you should allow for them to drink up to a litre per day for at least 3 days. 



Ensure you have 3 days allowance for each pet available in your pets disaster survival kit.  if your pet is on a specialised diet, it would be advisable to have more as this may be harder to source following another major disaster.







If your pet is on essential medication (for example medication for heart failure or seizures) ensure you have at least a week or more supply of this in your emergency kit.

If you know your pet suffers anxiety, it may pay to talk to your veterinarian about medication you should have on had in your pet disaster emergency kit.

Other items


For cats it would also be important to have a litter tray and litter available, as it may be safer to keep your cat confined following another major emergency. Cats have a habit of disappearing (even though most reappear a day or 2 later), this will reduce the anxiety for you as the owner.

Also have easily accessible a portable carrier for your pet or in the case of dogs, a collar that can't be easily transported in a portable carrier, a lead and collar.


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