How to Plan for a Pandemic with Pets


Preparing for a pandemic like coronavirus is a little different than preparing for another emergency. In other situations, you would be with your pets and might have an outside situation, like a fire or flood, but in a pandemic, you have to worry about lack of supplies or becoming ill yourself. Here we specifically talk about ideas to prepare for these situations!

1. Collect supplies

  • You do not need huge stocks of food in a pandemic, but definitely restock a few days in advance.
  • If the food you normally purchase is not available, you will be able to spend a few days transitioning to new food. 3-4 days is usually enough for most dogs and cats, but if your pet has a sensitive stomach, always keep enough for a slower transition.
  • If your pet needs special or hard-to-acquire food, keep a few weeks supply on hand. Talk with your supplier to see if they anticipate having a shortage in the future and stock more if necessary.
  • Keep at least a week’s worth of medication on hand at all times.
  • If you are concerned about going out to purchase these items, check to see if anyone in the area will deliver these items to you. Many companies are willing to deliver for a fee or you can pick up and they will bring the items out to you. (We are beginning to offer this service if you are interested, just contact us.)

2. Have clear instructions

  • Assume the worse and prepare instructions for pet care for an extended period if you were to become ill.
  • Make a full list for all of the pets in your home including:
    • Feeding and medication instructions
    • Types of food and where to purchase it
    • Medical history and copies of vaccinations
    • Contact information for veterinarian and other helpers
  • A great way to do this is to create a document in the cloud (thinking Google docs) and share the link with the people who will be able to care for your pets, just in case. Then it is easy to keep up to date.

3. Choose who will provide care in an emergency

  • Make sure these people have access to the instructions you wrote up.
  • Provide written permission for these people to seek out medical care for your pets if needed.
  • Design a system for these people to be notified if you become ill.
  • Add instructions for pet care and passing of ownership in your will (or an addendum for a temporary solution).
  • Find a way to financially provide for your pet’s care in the case that you become ill. Leaving money with instructions or access to a credit card are good ideas.


We provide more ideas every day on how to get through the coronavirus outbreak. 

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We will all get through this together!

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