How to Create an Emergency Kit for Your Pets

golden dog and gray car with faces pressed together

When disaster strikes, you won’t have much time to prepare. You’ve made an emergency plan for yourself and your family, but what about your pets? Just like you, your furry companions will need the right supplies in a crisis — water, food, a first-aid kit, and other pet essentials. Stay ready with this guide on how to create a pet emergency kit! 

Why Does My Pet Need an Emergency Kit? 

You — and your pets — need to be ready for anything. From bad weather to losing electricity, crisis situations are extremely dangerous for both you and your pets. Your beloved furry family members can easily become scared, break loose, or hide during a crisis. 

When Hurricane Katrina struck, an estimated 250,000 dogs and cats were lost or killed due to the storm. While some pets were reunited with their owners, most were lost forever. According to the Louisiana Humane Society, a lack of preparation was to blame. Many owners weren’t ready to evacuate themselves, or their pets. 

Since then, better practices have been put into place to help owners reunite with their pets and prevent companion animals from being left behind. Still, It’s up to you to prepare yourself and your pets for a crisis situation. The best way to get started? Set up a pet emergency go bag and craft an emergency plan that includes your furry family members. Read on to find out what you’ll need to include! 


Like you, your pets need to drink water often to stay healthy — even when disaster strikes. A good rule of thumb for your pet emergency kit is to have enough fresh water to last each of your pets 7-10 days. 

The amount of water needed for your pet will depend upon its size and breed. Dogs need to drink about an ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. That means a 10-pound dog will need 10 ounces of water per day and a large breed 90-pound dog will need 90 ounces of water per day. 

On the other hand, cats drink often but don’t drink very much at a time. Cats need between 3.5 and 4.5 ounces of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. However, cats who eat a wet food diet may drink less because they’re getting water from their food, too.

Store your pet’s emergency water supply in a cool, dry place and replace it every two to three months.


You may be wondering, “How long can a dog survive without food” or “How long can a cat survive without food”? Dogs can go without eating for 3-5 days while cats can go without food for over a week. 

Though your pet can likely go a few days without eating, most vets wouldn’t recommend it. It’s best to stay prepared and stock your pet emergency kit with 7-10 days worth of food for each of your pets.

When stocking your pet’s emergency kit with food, keep in mind that traditional dry cat and dog foods will spoil over time. Keeping a long-lasting pet emergency food ready can help prevent your pet from going hungry. Emergency pet food supplies, like our long-lasting Survival Food For Dogs, can help make sure you can feed your dog in case of a natural disaster or emergency. 

It is best to keep wet canned food for your cat to make sure they get enough water. Plus, canned cat food will hold up better against flood water compared to dry food. Just be sure to also include pop-top options or toss in a can opener.

No matter what kind of pet food you choose to include, be sure to check the expiration dates from time to time.

A Pet Emergency Medicine Kit

Pet first aid kits are good to have on hand in case of natural disasters, emergencies, and any time they will be far away from vet care. Your pet’s first aid kit should include a weeks’ worth of any of their regular medicines plus these ASPCA recommended items:

  • Absorbent cotton or gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Artificial tear gel
  • Blunt-tipped scissors
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Disposable gloves
  • Lighter
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
  • Ice pack
  • Liquid dish soap for bathing
  • Oral syringe
  • Printed vet contact information and medical records 
  • Laminated vet information
  • Saline eye solution
  • Small flashlight
  • Special powder to stop bleeding
  • Towels
  • Tweezers

Keep your pet’s emergency first aid kit well-sealed in waterproof packaging and check it regularly to make sure nothing has expired.

Your Pet’s Essentials 

The main thing to keep in mind when stocking your pet kit is your pet’s safety and comfort. In addition to plenty of food, water, and a first aid kit, you’ll also need a few pet essentials.

Leashes, Crates, or Carriers

When there is an emergency or disaster, having a quick and safe way to contain your pet is a must. For your dog, that means you’ll want to be sure they’re wearing a collar and have an extra leash made out of tough materials tucked away in your emergency kit. Depending on the size of your pooch, you may want to include an extra harness or carrier. For cats, you’ll want to include a crate and a pillowcase. 

Clear Identification

Your dog or cat’s ID tags can make all the difference if your pet is separated from you. Your pet’s ID tag should be clearly marked with your pet’s name, your name, and your current phone number. In addition to including your pet’s ID tag on their collar, you may want to include any vaccination tags, like a rabies shot tag.

While ID tags increase the likelihood that you’ll be reunited with your pet if they are lost, they can fall off. Therefore, it is wise to have your pet microchipped. A microchip contains your contact information and can be scanned if your pet ends up in the care of a rescue or vet’s office. 

You’ll also want to have current, printed photos of your pets in case you are separated from them and need to make Lost posters. 

Potty Clean-Up Supplies

You’ll want to include some pet waste clean-up supplies in your pet emergency kit. For dogs, include extra dog waste bags. Attaching a dispenser to your dog’s leash provides an easy and convenient way to make sure you always have a bag ready without having to worry about storing them. 

For cats, you’ll need a disposable litter tray and their preferred scoopable litter. If you don’t want to purchase a dedicated disposable litter tray, a disposable aluminum roasting pan is a cheap solution that works in a pinch! 

Other Creature Comforts

Having a few toys, bedding, or blankets can help your stressed pet remain calm in unfamiliar spaces. Include blankets for them to cuddle up on and a few toys to keep them busy. If space allows, include a comfortable dog or cat bed. 

How (and Where!) to Store Your Pet Emergency Kit 

Your pet emergency kit should be stored in an airtight, water-resistant container to prevent water or other contaminants from ruining what’s inside. Store your pet emergency container alongside your family’s emergency kit, making sure it is easy to access. 

Some of your more basic items, like your pet’s day-to-day leash, harness, or kennel, should always be kept by an exit point. 

Once your pet’s emergency kit is complete, check it often. You may need to swap out the water or medicines so that they’re not expired when you need them. 

We’ve Got You Covered When it Comes to Pet Survival Food 

Being prepared for a crisis makes all the difference. Get prepared today with survival food for the whole family. 4Patriots can help ensure that you and your loved ones — including your pets — are ready.

4Patriots Survival Food for Dogs lasts 25 years* and is made with real chicken and vegetables. There are no added grains or fillers so that your dog gets the most bark for your buck. Plus, it’s perfect for both small and large breeds — every dog can chow down! Not to mention, our Dog Survival food is packaged with care in disaster-resistant pouches so that you can feel confident it will be there when you need it. 

Need to stock up or have multiple dogs? Check out our 150-cup supply and get an automatic bulk discount! 

*Your survival food is designed to last 25 years on the shelf. Storage conditions impact the shelf life of your food. For best results, always protect your food from heat, air and moisture. Avoid prolonged exposure to temps above 75 °F. Keep food sealed until ready to eat. Shelf life will vary based on storage conditions.