What farmers and ranchers can do to protect their pets during floods
Posted 8/29/2017

Floods can impact animal health as well as human health. Make plans for your pets in the event you will need to evacuate your home or farm. 

Before a Flood

  • Create an emergency supply kit for your pet:
  • Leash, collar
  • Transport carrier
  • Food and water (5-7 day supply)
  • Any medications
  • Vaccination history, rabies certificate
  • Waste disposal supplies
  • A blanket
  • Favorite toy
  • Your veterinarian’s contact information
  • Special supplies for pets such as birds, pocket pets or reptiles (e.g., heat lamps)

Make sure pets are current on all vaccinations.

Develop an evacuation plan for your pets.

  • For public health reasons, evacuation shelters will not be able to accept pets.
  • Identify pet-friendly locations in case of the need to evacuate. 
  • Check with boarding facilities, per-friendly hotels, veterinary clinics, or relatives or family friends outside the impacted area.


  • All pets should have some sort of identification (collar with tag, microchip).
  • Take a photo of the pet and keep it with the medical records.
  • Include any proof of ownership materials (e.g., registration, proof of purchase, adoption records, microchip information)

During a Flood 

Bring your pets inside immediately.

AVOID leaving pets behind.

  • If there is no other alternative, leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.
  • NEVER leave your pet chained outside or enclosed in a way they cannot escape danger.
  • Place a notice on the outside of your home with the location and type of pets inside, their names, your contact phone number and the name and number of your veterinarian.

After a Flood

Be aware that a pet’s behavior may change before, during and even after a disaster.

Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.

  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside.
  • Always maintain close contact.
  • Reintroduce food in small servings, gradually working up to full portions, especially if animals have been without food for a prolonged period of time.

Pets can be poisoned by exposure to harmful chemicals, products, or foods.

  • If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, call the Animal Poison Control Center toll-free 1-888-426-4435 (calls answered 24 hours a day, every day).

Development of this educational material was by the Center for Food Security and Public Health with funding from the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture, June 2010.