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Prepping For Pets

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Pet Emergency Preparedness

Make a Pet Emergency Plan Prior to an Emergency

  •  Identify shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers. They might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
  • Pack a “Pet Emergency Kit” which could be easily deployed if disaster hits. See the Checklist below.
  • Make sure your pet’s rabies and other vaccinations and vet records are up-to-date and keep copies with your Evacuation Kit. Most kennels, many shelters, and some hotels can’t accept your pet for boarding without these records.
  • Have your pet micro-chipped with his identifying information. If you become separated, every animal control officer, shelter, and veterinarian can read the information on these tiny and inexpensive chips.
  • Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.
  • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes. Keep a photo saved on your mobile phone, a digital copy saved “in the cloud”, and a hard-copy print-out for your Evacuation Kit.
  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier and leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.
  • Make or purchase a sign or decal for your doors and/or windows to notify firefighters and first responders of “Pets Inside”, and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

Prepare for Shelter for Your Pet

Take the following steps to prepare to shelter your pet:

  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities are closed. Begin typing up a list and include it in your “Pet Emergency Kit.” Also put the names, addresses, and phone numbers in your mobile phone.
  • Check to see what local and regional hotels and lodgings are “pet-friendly”. Be prepared to pay extra. Add these to your emergency shelter list to put in your “Pet Emergency Kit.” Add the hotel names, addresses, and phone numbers in your mobile phone.
  • Find out in advance which family and friends would be able and willing to shelter you with your pets. You’ll want both local contacts and some outside your area. Discuss the ramifications of different emergencies and how they might affect each family’s situation and their ability to host you and your “furry family.”
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians, animal shelters and even some hotels will need your pets’ medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your “Pet Emergency Kit” along with a current photo of your pet.
  • Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.

Emergency Pet Information

Copy and paste the following information to Word, complete it for each of your pets, and print it out for your Pets’ Emergency Kit.

Name of Pet(s):




Sex: M or F

Neutered / Spayed:  Yes    No






Rabies tag #:

Date rabies shot expires:


Veterinarian Name:

Phone Numbers:

Address & Cross Streets:

Office Hours:

(if not 24 hr., please provide Emergency Vet info)


24-hour Vet / Hospital Name:

Phone Numbers:

Address & Cross Streets:


Pet Sitter Name:

Phone Numbers:

Address & Cross Streets:


DayCare/Kennel/Boarding Location:

Phone Numbers:

Address & Cross Streets:

Pet-Sitter Considerations

If you use a pet-sitter, discuss options, procedures and instructions for the evacuation of your pets in the case of an emergency. However, do not expect your pet sitter to put herself in harm’s way to rescue your pet.

  • Be sure to make an emergency contact and meet-up plan with your pet-sitter; don’t expect her to keep your pet with her for any extended period of time. If you are out-of-town and can’t return, discuss whether your pet-sitter will be able to keep your pet(s) with her or will take them to a kennel.
  • Know what your pet-sitter’s emergency evacuation plans are and how to find her during or after.
  • Consider signing an “Emergency Consent for Veterinary Treatment” form for your pet-sitter, and making arrangements in advance with your veterinarian to keep your credit card on file for any charges.
  • Even if you normally use a pet-sitter, consider making standing arrangements with a boarding kennel. Sign the waivers and consent forms in advance, give them copies of current vet and vaccination records, and get your credit card on file.

Protecting Your Pet During an Impending Disaster

  • Bring your pets inside immediately. If they aren’t wearing their ID collars, put them on, even if they resist.
  • Have newspapers or “pee pads” on hand for sanitary purposes.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.

Leaving Your Pets at Home During an Emergency

If you have no alternative but to leave your pets at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

  • Bring your pets to a safe area inside – NEVER leave your pet chained outside!
  • Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.
  • Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so larger dogs can drink. If you have cats or smaller dogs, get a gravity-fed waterer that will provide many days of fresh water.
  • Place a notice outside in a visible area, and another one immediately inside the door in a highly visible place, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

Evacuating Your Pets

  • Secure your pets in their carriers even if they are used to traveling loose in the car.
  • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.
  • Feed pets moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.

Caring for Your Pet After a Disaster

  • If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and keep them in a safely fenced yard with no debris and access to shelter and water.
  • In the first few days after the disaster, always leash your pets when they go outside, even if they are used to running free and coming when called. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with fire or flood. Downed power lines are a hazard.

Pet Emergency Kit Checklist

Your pets will need comfort and familiar things when away from home, especially under high stress situations. Let your pet get their scent (and yours) onto a spare leash, extra blanket, toys and other items, then pre-pack these and the items below into a duffel bag or tote bag and stash it in the pet’s carrier to save storage space. NOTE: the items on this list will be useful even if you remain at home during an emergency.

  • A sturdy Carrier for each pet
  • Spare Non-Retracting 6-foot or shorter Nylon Leash (Consider harnesses and muzzles for dogs and harnesses and leashes for cats)
  • Extra Collars with Current ID for each pet
  • Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your dog’s collar when you travel)
  • Favorite Pet Food: at least a three-day supply of both dry and canned non-perishable food (in sealed airtight & waterproof containers, not standard bags)
  • Bottled Water: experts recommend at least 1 ounce per pound of pet’s weight, per day for 3-4 days
  • Favorite Treats to reinforce good behavior
  • Food & Water Dishes
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Pet First Aid Kit (see Checklist below)
  • Extra Supply of any Pet Supplements or Medications
  • Cat Litter/Pan with a Litter Scoop and several Liners or Jumbo Heavy Duty Trash Bags
  • Large Bag of Cat Litter (store in car at all times in the winter)
  • Comb, Brush & Nail Clippers
  •  “Puppy Pee Pads”
  • Dog Waste Bags or a collection of plastic grocery bags for “poop scooping”
  • Newspapers & Trash Bags for Sanitation
  •  Favorite Toys, Blankets & Beds (space avail)
  •  For larger dogs, consider a Collapsible/Folding Wire Crate to secure dog in a pet-friendly hotel room.

Documents to Keep in a Waterproof Container or Sealed Plastic Bag:

  • Current Photos & Identification Info
  • List of Phone Numbers: Veterinarian, nearest Emergency Veterinary Clinic (and know how to get there!), Poison-Control Center or Hotline (such as ASPCA poison control center at 1-800-426-4435)
  • List of Regional Shelters & Pet-Friendly Lodging     

Also, try packing these items inside a trash bag inside a cardboard box which in a pinch can be lined with the trash bag & filled with sand or dirt for use as a litter box.

Pet First Aid Kit

It is very important to have items necessary for treating your pets’ minor illnesses or injuries during an emergency. Your local vet and emergency vet may not be open or may be overwhelmed with critical cases and not be able to see your dog or cat. Add enough of these items to your family’s First Aid Kit to care for your pets as well.

  • Pet First Aid Book
  • Self-Cling Bandages: Fabric stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur—available at pet stores and through pet supply catalogs
  • Muzzle (or strips of cloth) to prevent biting (as long as pet is not vomiting, choking, coughing, or otherwise having difficulty breathing)
  • Absorbent Gauze Pads
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Antiseptic Wipes, Lotion, Powder or Spray
  • Small Blanket or Throw (preferably wool)
  • Foil Emergency Blanket
  • Cotton Balls or Swabs
  • Gauze Rolls
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (to induce vomiting when directed by a veterinarian or poison control)
  • Ice Pack
  • Non-Latex Disposable Gloves
  • Rectal Thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
  • Petroleum Jelly (to lubricate thermometer)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile Saline Solution (sold at Pharmacies)
  • Tweezers
  • Pillowcases and/or old towels to confine your cat for treatment
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) if approved by a veterinarian for allergic reactions. Vet must specify correct dosage for your pet’s size
  • Ear-Cleaning Solution
  • Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct mail credit card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  • Nail Clippers
  • Over-The-Counter Antibiotic Ointment
  • Penlight or Flashlight
  • Plastic Eyedropper or Syringe
  • Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) to clean Thermometer
  • Splints and Tongue Depressors
  • Styptic Powder or Pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals and pet supply stores and your local pharmacy)
  •  Needle-Nosed Pliers

In addition to the items listed above, include any items recommended by your veterinarian specifically for your pet. Check the supplies in your pet first aid kit occasionally. Replace any items that have expired.

For your family’s safety, keep all medical supplies and medications out of the reach of children and pets.

Pet Friendly Hotels


Federal Center Area

Extended Stay America Denver – Lakewood West                   303-275-0840

715 Kipling St (6th & Kipling), Lakewood, CO 80215

Pet Policy – Our pet fee is $25.00 per night, but no more than $150 per stay. This fee covers a full professional room treatment, as necessary, and always includes carpet cleaning. Please contact the Extended Stay Hotels location directly to learn more about the pet friendly program.

Sheraton Denver West Hotel                                                                303-987-2000

360 Union Boulevard, Lakewood, CO 80228

Pet Policy – Dogs are allowed at no additional charge. Guest must sign a waiver at check-in before your dog may enter any guest area. Guest will be liable for the cost of excessive cleaning or repairs. Please note if you will be bringing a dog at the time of reservation.

Hampden & Wadsworth Area

Residence Inn Denver Southwest/Lakewood                            303-985-7676

7050 West Hampden Avenue at Wadsworth, Lakewood, CO 80227

Pet Policy – $100 non-refundable fee per stay

La Quinta Inn & Suites Denver Southwest Lakewood           303-969-9700

7190 West Hampden Avenue at Wadsworth, Lakewood, CO

Pet Policy – “Pets are welcome, however some restrictions may apply. Please contact the hotel directly for complete details.”

Holiday Inn Denver Lakewood                                                            303-980-9200

7390 West Hampden at Wadsworth, Lakewood, CO 80227

Pet Policy – Dogs accepted at 30lbs or under. $50 non-refundable cleaning fee is applied to each room. Pet rooms are located on the 2nd floor only. Contact hotel for additional policies.

Quality Inn & Suites                                                                                   877-424-6423

7240 W Jefferson Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80235

Pet Policy – Pet accommodation: 15.00USD/night per pet. Pet limit: 2 pets per room 40 lbs. or less.

Comfort Suites Southwest                                                                      877-424-6423

7260 W. Jefferson, Lakewood, CO 80235

Pet Policy – Pet Charge: 15.00/night per pet. Not all rooms are equipped with French dividing doors. Request for divided room must be made upon reservation.

Extended Stay America Denver – Lakewood South                 303-986-8300

7393 W Jefferson Ave, Lakewood, CO 80235

Pet Policy – Our pet fee is $25.00 per night, but no more than $150 per stay. This fee covers a full professional room treatment, as necessary, and always includes carpet cleaning. Please contact the Extended Stay Hotels location directly to learn more.

6th & Wadsworth Area

MOTEL 6 – Denver – Lakewood                                                             303-232-4924

480 Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood, CO

Pet Policy – No fees. All pets allowed unless prohibited by state law or ordinance. Pets should not be left unattended. If a pet is left unattended in a room, housekeepers are not allowed to clean your room due to safety concerns. Pets must be kept on a leash when outside your room.


La Quinta Inn Denver Golden

3301 Youngfield Service Road, Golden, CO, 80401

Pet Policy – Pets Welcome. Cats and dogs up to 50 pounds are accepted in all guest rooms (unless prohibited by law). Housekeeping services for rooms with pets require pet owner be present or pet must be crated. No fees or deposits are required

The Golden Hotel – an Ascend Collection Hotel

800 11th Street, Golden, CO, 80401

Pet Policy – Pet Deposit (Refundable): 100.00/stay, 2 pets per room. Pet Accommodation: 15.00 per night, per pet, up to 75 lbs.


One comment on “Prepping For Pets

  1. Fluffy Tufts
    February 16, 2013

    REally good information here, thanks! 🙂

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2013 by in Emergency Preparedness, Pets, Self Sufficiency and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

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