Pet Emergency Preparedness

Everyday safety

A pet-safe house

Keep pesticides, medications, household cleaners and poisonous plants where your pet can't get to them. Your pet is curious and can get into a lot of trouble even in your own home. Be aware of things that could be dangerous to them.

Weather conditions

When conditions outside are not good for you, they are not good for your pet. Your pet is sensitive to hot and cold temperatures and might also be scared of storms. The weather can change quickly so be prepared.

Emergency numbers

Post important phone numbers where you can easily find them. Be sure to include:

View and print our Pet Emergency Contact List.

Plan for emergencies

Include your pet in your family's emergency plans - they are part of your family. Plan for an emergency to keep your pet safe and to reduce the stress or fear they may feel. Bring your pet indoors as soon as an emergency happens or when you are warned about stormy weather.

Prepare your pet for an emergency

There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for an emergency including:

  • Contact hotels or motels in the areas around Richmond Hill to ask about their pet policy and be sure to ask if they change during an emergency
  • Make a pet evacuation emergency kit and include a list of pet-friendly places, with phone numbers
  • Ask people you trust if they would be able to shelter your pet in the event of an emergency where you cannot stay with them
  • Start a buddy system with a neighbour or friend who has pets and lives nearby so one of you can take care of the pets when the other is not able to stay home during an emergency
  • Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets during a disaster (this should be a last resort)


You might have to leave your home during an emergency so it's important to plan how you will move your pet to safety. Your pet may act differently in a stressful situation. They might panic, hide or try to escape. Some pets may even bite or scratch you. Keep these tips in mind during an emergency:

  • keep your pet leashed to keep them from trying to escape
  • move your cats in their carriers
  • do not leave your pet alone
  • keep your pet close and comfort them

Pet evacuation emergency kit

Make your pet an evacuation emergency kit with supplies that will last for 72 hours. Your kit should include:

  • your pet's medication, vaccination and medical records in a waterproof container
  • a pet first-aid kit
  • leashes, harnesses or carriers to move your pet safely
  • food, water, treats, bowls and can opener
  • cat litter and pan
  • lists of your pet's medical conditions, feeding schedule, behaviour problems and the name and number of your pet's veterinarian in case your pet must stay with someone else
  • current photos of your pet in case they get lost
  • pet bed and toys that can easily be moved and carried
  • towels and garbage bags
  • blanket
  • a container for your kit that is labelled and easy to carry - let all family members know where the kit is