Like many pets, my elderly dogs were absolutely delighted with my constant presence at home during the Covid-19 lockdowns. However, pet food shortages and the temporary closure of our veterinary clinic were big sources of anxiety for me. For all the gloves, masks and water we had stored in our emergency kit, we forgot to plan for the dogs!
Here are five tips to keep your pets safe in an emergency:
1. Make sure your emergency supplies include enough water, food, medications and sanitary items (poo bags, pet litter, etc) to care for your animals for three days.
2. If you have to evacuate, taking your pet with you is the best option: pack a lead/harness/muzzle/carrier or cage with your evacuation supplies.
3. If you are unable to take your pet with you, notify Auckland Council Animal Management (09 301 0101). They will make every effort to care for your animals if you are unable to.
4. Make sure your pet is identifiable in case you get separated: Microchip and register your pets and keep the details up to date. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tag with your details.
In the 2011 Canterbury earthquake 80 percent of microchipped animals were reunited with their owners versus 20 percent for non-chipped animals.
5. Put your name and contact details in a waterproof bag along with a photo of your pet and any special needs they have. Evacuation centres are not always able to care for pets but they can be diverted to animal shelters. You will be reunited after the emergency has passed!
For more information, including how to plan for livestock or service animals, visit: