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.