Protecting your pets during a wildfire emergency

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Being prepared for a wildfire includes having a pet plan in place.

Taking time to create a plan will greatly increase your animals’ chance at surviving.


It’s critical that you plan ahead for what you will do with your pets in a wildfire emergency.

Know where you are going to take them when disaster strikes and arrange a way to transport them. It’s also important to notify your neighbors of a plan should you not be home when an evacuation is put in place.

Before a fire even starts, make sure your pets have snug collars with identification and license tags.

Each animal should also have its own carrier or cage.

Include pet records, including proof of ownership in your emergency bag.

Pet Disaster Kit

Just like you would have one for yourself, remember to pack the essentials for your furry friends.

  • Pet carriers
  • Two-week supply of food and water
  • Non-spill food and water bowls
  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Medications
  • Cat litter box and litter
  • Bags for waste disposal
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectants
  • Leashes, collars and/or harnesses
  • Blanket
  • Toys and treats
  • Newspaper

READ: Preparing your home and emergency bag for wildfire evacuations

If you have to leave your pet

If you have to leave your pet, bring them indoors. Do not leave them chained outside.

Leave them in a room with no windows and adequate ventilation, like a utility room, garage or bathroom, that can be cleaned.

Leave dry food and fresh water. Consider opening a faucet to let water drip into a large container or partially fill a bathtub.


People with livestock should also create a plan should a wildfire come close to a farm or barn. The first step is to clear defensible space around your barn or pasture.

In an emergency, be prepared to quickly transport them and know where you can take them. Oftentimes, fairgrounds, veterinary colleges, racetracks and showgrounds will be able to take in your animals.

Keep records, registration papers and photographs of your animals in your emergency bag.

If you must leave them, do so in a pre-selected, cleared area. Leave enough hay for a few days and fill water buckets for them as power might be cut, losing access to an automatic water system.

Livestock Disaster Kit

  • Hay, feed and water for three days
  • Non-nylon leads and halter
  • First aid items
  • Wire cutters and a sharp knife
  • Hoof pick
  • Leg wraps Shovel
  • Water buckets
  • Plastic trash barrel with a lid
  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Pocketknife
  • Udder ointment
  • Duct tape
  • Latex gloves
  • Livestock marking crayon
  • Wire cutters


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Information provided by and the American Veterinary Medical Association.