Pets in emergencies

Planning for how you will manage your pets during an emergency situation is important to make sure they are kept safe.

RSPCA Tasmania provides a detailed guide of how to prepare for your pets in an emergency:

Ready Pet Go

Be prepared

  • Include your animals in your household Personal Emergency Plan.
  • Properly identify your pets.
  • Your dogs and cats must be microchipped.
  • Ensure your pet's collar carries your contact details.
  • Include some pet food and medications for a couple of days in your emergency kit.
  • Have a strong, secure pet carrier box/cage handy It should be large enough to allow your pet to be comfortable for a couple of days and be clearly marked with your name and contact details.
  • Be aware that some evacuation centres may not accept animals so plan alternatives accordingly.


  • If you are directed to evacuate, take your pet with you.
  • Do not leave animals unattended or in a motor vehicle during an emergency.
  • Discuss arrangements with your neighbours and have an agreement about the management of pets should an emergency occur. 
  • Make a plan for where you will house your pets should you have to leave your home.


  • If moving livestock to a safer place, do so early to avoid unnecessary risk.
  • Before bushfires, prepare and maintain fuel reduced areas onto which stock can be moved and held.
  • Before floods, ensure that there is high ground nearby and organise feed supplies for the duration of the flood.
  • Feed - have emergency supplies of fodder as part of risk management preparedness.

Handling difficult animals

  • Cats: a difficult cat can be handled by holding the scruff of its neck and placing it in a carry box.
  • Dogs: use a muzzle as a restraint. If a muzzle is unavailable, tear up a bed sheet and place around the muzzle of the dog, crossing under the neck and around the back of its ears and secure. Use only as a short term measure.
  • Horses: place a blindfold (e.g. a towel) across the head and lead from the left side with your hand and elbow close to the horse.