Keeping Your Exotic Pet Safe in Disasters


Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fire and so on can strike without much prior warning. That’s why it is so important to always be prepared before something happens.

Leaving your exotic when you have to evacuate can be a double disaster for your pet. You may not be able to enter your house for a long while. Rescuers may not be able to reach your house. If there is heavy damage to your property and your pets’ cages as well, they may have escaped or been injured or worse.

Preparing a bag to carry a first aid kit and exotic pet supplies can be a bit different from those for cats and dogs although they do need some of the same items. Contents can vary depending on the type of exotic pet you have.

Some pets such as reptiles require warmth, so include a heating pad in your disaster bag. Blankets, towels and bedding will help keep your pet comfortable.

Keep bottles of water and a week’s supply of food ready with feeding instructions.

Include your pet’s health records, your name, a phone number where you can be reached, your vet’s phone numbers, a photo of you and your pet together for identification, your permit showing your right to own an exotic pet, any medications with instructions. Place all in a secure, waterproof baggie in the disaster bag. Keep the bag in a place that is quickly and easily accessible.

Check food and water regularly for freshness. Check medications to make sure they have not expired.

If you are not at home when disaster hits, the ASPCA offers free window stickers where you can list the pets you have so that rescuers can look for them.

If you must leave your pets at home, make sure they have plenty of water and food.

You can house your exotic pets in cages that are portable making it easy to collect them. Or have separate smaller cages where you can transfer your pets quickly.

Purchase special capture bags for snakes. Or use pillowcases or escape-proof carriers.

Find out before a disaster occurs, which facilities will allow exotic pets with you. Some shelters will accept only cats and dogs. Ask at your local pet shop and at your vet’s for information on boarding facilities for exotic pets.

We hope you never have to face any disaster, but can feel secure that you are prepared for any eventuality.

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