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DOG / health & care

When floods threaten, be ready

Pet Emergency Preparedness

Sheets of rain pour down. Nearby rivers or lakes rise. Suddenly you and your family are forced to evacuate, but what about your pet?
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND in the event of an evacuation due to flooding. If you must leave your pet behind, do not tether, crate or restrain them. If you live in a two-story house, keep them in a secured room, upstairs, with plenty of food and water. If you don’t have a two-story house, do not tether your pet—allow them escape routes with access to higher ground.
Pets left in areas affected by natural disasters may not survive on their own and are difficult to locate and reunite with their families after a disaster. Below are emergency preparedness steps and supplies you’ll need to keep your beloved pet safe.

Pet Emergency Supplies

A pet emergency preparedness kit should have the supplies below to help keep your pet fed and secure during evacuations due to flooding:


  • pet tag with your cell phone number
  • vaccination/medical records
  • veterinary contact information
  • a current photo of your pet



  • 1 week supply of food (in waterproof container)
  • bottled water


  • puppy pads
  • any medication
  • pet first aid kit
  • flea & tick preventative

Emergency Pet Housing

Emergency relief shelters often cannot accept pets due to public health concerns. Below are some housing or boarding options for evacuees and their pets.

PetSmart PetsHotel

Our PetsHotel can help ease the stress of an evacuation. We provide much needed boarding and care for up to several days—for both dogs and cats—and our trained staff dispenses medication and provides walks. Plus, we also have 24/7 care and a veterinarian is always on call.
Find a location near you.

Pet-friendly hotels or housing alternatives

If you have a guide dog, service animal or would rather not be separated from your pet, find pet-friendly hotels near your emergency-shelter site or a safe area away from disaster zones. While these can be good alternatives remember that fees, additional deposits and pet size restrictions may apply.
Here is a list of pet-friendly hotels

During a disaster

Always follow the advice of your local emergency management agency; if you stay indoors with your pet during a flood, take these safety precautions:

  • Bring pets inside immediately and keep them indoors until the threat has passed.
  • If possible bring pets upstairs and keep them in a secure pet carrier.
  • Have newspapers, litter boxes and trash bags on hand for sanitary purposes.
  • Feed animals moist or canned food, this way they’ll need less water.
  • Separate dogs and cats, even if they usually get along. Emergency situations can cause pets to behave unpredictably. Also keep small pets away cats and dogs.
  • NEVER leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.

Pet Emergency Preparedness Resources