In light of recent natural disasters, I interviewed Christine who was taking the “bull by the horns” to be paw-pared for an emergency.

“I need to plan ahead for several reasons,” said Christine Ballantine, founder of the Western Canada Pekingese Club, whose reasons were, “My artificial hip, seven flights of stairs and saving my seven-and-a-half-pound Pekingese, Dolly. So, I took a Humane Society pet emergency class. Everyone hopes they will never have to use their emergency kits, but it is better to be prepared and not use it. Having a list on hand in case of a natural disaster is paramount because once an evacuation is ordered, panic supersedes normal thinking.”

And those with pets need to paw-pare extras.


“I can endure hardship, but knowing I was not prepared to help my dog would add to the devastation of an evacuation,” said Christine.

Her “flight” bag is an airline under-seat “Sherpa” bag with an over-the-shoulder strap. She placed crate pads, pee pads and a dog blanket on the bottom. She included clean up items such as: A small terry towel, paper towels, poop bags, grooming brush, collapsible dishes, a plastic bag with a week’s worth of dry food, treats, biscuits, a couple of leashes tied to the handle and a pet first aid kit.

The extra leashes are in case you find a roving animal to help. Dog toys were included along with a safe chewy to keep her busy and her teeth clean and her spare doggie water bottle with attached dish. Christine includes bagged water in her own grab-n-go bag for them both; and both bags are in her front hall closet near the door.

In a plastic Ziploc bag, include the following: Copies of your pet’s vaccination certificates, vet’s address, photographs of both your pet and you together, pet’s microchip number and an identification tag attached to a light buckle collar to place on your pet. The Sherpa bag also has home information in it.

You and your pets can be housed separately at an evacuation center, so ID is a paramount requirement with proper fitting buckle collars. Make your own by using a black marker and cardboard wrapped in heavy see-through packing tape. Include an out-of-the area friend’s contact information in case you are incapacitated/hospitalized.

“I also have a small collapsible, fold-up exercise pen with a floor,” said Christine. “I also included Dolly’s medications and children’s liquid Benadryl for any allergic reaction, Polysporin antibiotic cream, non-steroid veterinary eye antibiotic and saline solution plus Kaopectate and measured medicine syringes. I keep exercise pens and ‘Vari-Kennel’ crates in my car. I am prepared to help other pets if needed. A Rubbermaid tub in my car holds canned pet food with pull tab tops (and a can opener.)”

Internet pet First Aid classes, emergency kit ideas and supplies for both pets and people at or online at

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