Written by Karma Cat + Zen Dog Foster, Socializer, Crafting Guru, and Blog Writer, Jacqueline R. with helpful content from 2020 KCZD blog post.
What is a Pet Preparedness Plan?
A pet preparedness plan is a set of simple but important steps you can take to ensure your pet’s health and safety in the case of a personal emergency (e.g., you are hospitalized, a family emergency comes up). Read on to learn more about how to develop your own plan.
Developing Your Plan
First and foremost, you’ll want to identify an emergency contact or two. Ideally, these are people who are local — neighbors if possible — that can be activated quickly to help provide access to your home and pet(s). If you have a trusted relative who is not local but can make decisions on your behalf, ensure that they are connected with someone local who will be able to help with any immediate needs (e.g. picking up a key to your home or dropping off pet food).
Pet Preparedness Checklist
You want to make it as easy as possible for someone else to care for your pet(s) if it becomes necessary; complete this checklist to prepare:
- Choose Emergency Contacts: Identify a trusted friend or neighbor to care for your pet(s) if members of your household become ill or are hospitalized, compile their contact info and keep it accessible
- Prepare Supplies: Prepare a two-week supply of pet food, medications, and pet care supplies (e.g., cat litter, carrier, enrichment toys, etc.) — have as much of this packed and ready as possible
- Gather Medical Information: Include copies of your pet’s vaccination records, medication schedule, and veterinarian contact information
- Create Care Instructions: Include detailed care instructions, e.g., your pet’s diet, walking routines and any important behavioral notes
- Confirm Tags/Microchips: Ensure your pet’s collar tag and microchip information are up to date. To register an existing microchip for free visit 24PetWatch.com or Free Pet Registry.
- Prepare First Responder Alerts: Print and fill out “Animals Inside” cards to put on your doors/windows to alert first responders that you have pet(s) in your home needing assistance in case of emergency.
- Give Emergency Pet Authorization Form to Emergency Contacts: Give the Emergency Pet Authorization form to your emergency contact in case you need the support of a local agency (e.g. animal care and control). This form authorizes them to access your home and take temporary custody of your animals if circumstances come up that make your emergency contacts unable to care for your animals.
Now that you know the basic steps to building out a pet preparedness plan, keep reading to download our free printable templates to put your own plan into action.
Next Step: Your Plan Template
Now, use the information collected in the checklist steps above to fill out the template for all your pets.
Give this information to your emergency contact(s) and/or have it easily accessible in your home. All members of your family/household should know where to locate this form. If possible, we recommend having at least a two-week supply of food and medications.
Please refer to the page 1 download to create your plan template.
Page 1: Emergency Contacts and Pet Supplies Information
Use this page to provide information that relates to your emergency contacts, family members, veterinarian information and, most importantly, where responders can find detailed information about your pet(s).
Page 2: Pet Details
Use this page to provide detailed information about your pet. Use one page per pet and keep their pertinent medical records with it. The more information first responders and family have, the better. Be sure to add a picture of your pet(s)!
Page 3: Emergency Pet Care Authorization
Use this form to let emergency responders know whom to contact about your pet(s). Keeping a copy of this form in your wallet/purse and in a prominent location in your home is probably a good idea.
Printable Plan Checklist
Printable/savable version of the Pet Preparedness Checklist.