The Top 3 Things To Prepare Your Pet For An Emergency

In order to finish off our theme of disaster preparedness, here are top three of the most important things you can do to prepare your pet in case you are separated during evacuation.

Microchip them

Microchips are used as permanent, unalterable forms of identification for both cats and dogs. Using a sterile, pre-loaded syringe, your veterinarian will inject the microchip just beneath the surface of your pet’s skin in between the shoulder blades. The microchip is only about the size of a grain of rice. This procedure does not require any anesthesia and is similar to getting regular shots and vaccinations.  Microchips are made of biocompatible materials and have no internal power source, so they can last the lifetime of your pet.

The microchip stores a unique ID number but does not work as a GPS for your pet’s location. If your pet is found and taken to a shelter or a veterinarian, a scanner will be used between the shoulder blades to see if there is a microchip. The scanner will be able to read your pet’s unique microchip ID number, which the professional can enter into a national pet recovery database. You will need to register your information to your pet’s microchip ID number so that if your pet’s microchip number is entered into the database, your information will be associated with said number.

While collars and tags are still recommended for both your cats and dogs, they may fall off or become too worn down to read. Since microchips do not degrade, it is the only truly permanent form of identification of your pet.

Know that only about 22% of lost dogs that enter animal shelters are reunited with their families, yet over 52% of microchipped dogs are successfully returned to their owners.

Lost cats, on the other hand, were only reunited with their owners about 2% of the time. When microchipped, their return-to-owner rate jumped up to 38%.  

If these numbers are still not convincing, know that only 58% of microchipped pets had their microchip registered in the recovery database with their owner’s contact information. This means that there were many pets who had microchips, but their parent’s current information was not linked to the microchip ID number, so be sure to keep your information up to date!

Vaccinate them

Being out on their own, in a kennel or boarding facility, or even in a shelter with you puts your pet at risk for contracting deadly diseases.

For dogs, Rabies, DHLPP, Bordetella, and Canine Flu are all recommended.  Depending on where you live, other vaccines may be suggested by your veterinarian (like Lyme or Coronavirus).

For cats, make sure they’ve got the Rabies vaccine as well as the FVRCP vaccine.  We also recommend vaccinating against Feline Leukemia if your cat ever goes outside.


Protect them from Parasites

With simple once-a-month topical or chewable products, gross parasites like heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms can all be prevented.  For dogs, we recommend Trifexis, Advantage Multi, or Interceptor.  In our experience, cats do very well with Revolution, which also protects against ear mites and fleas.


Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, we want to keep your pet’s health in tip top shape while also making sure they’re prepared for anything.  We offer microchips, vaccinations, and a wide variety of diagnostic testing and treatment options.  We would love to meet your pet to set up a personalized health care plan and answer any questions you may have (regarding normal day-to-day activities to disaster preparedness)!  Give us a call at 216-688-3737 so we can set up an appointment to meet your furry family member!