Study reveals most pet parents wouldn't leave home to escape disaster if they couldn't bring pets

American Veterinarian®American Veterinarian® July 2023
Volume 5
Issue 7
Pages: 3

In honor of National Pet Preparedness Month, this data plus additional information can help guide pet owners on what to do in case of an emergency

Сергей Мешков /

Сергей Мешков /

A new nationwide survey by PetSmart Charities has discovered that most US pet owners are prepared to evacuate their homes with pets in case of an immediate disaster. However, “they wouldn't leave home if they couldn't take their pets to safety with them and would even give up their spot in a shelter if they couldn't stay there with their pets,” according to an organizational release.1

According to the survey of pet parents1:

  • If there was an evacuation order but they couldn't bring their pets with them, 76% of respondents said they would remain at home with their pet.
  • If they evacuate but their pets can't stay with them at the shelter, 80% said they would give up their spot in the shelter.
  • Strong emotional bonds are keeping pets and their owners together, as 86% of respondents said the emotional support of their pet would be critical to them enduring a disaster.
  • More than half (63%) had doubts whether adjacent pet-friendly shelters were available to them in case of emergency.

More results found that pet parents, having information on what to do to evacuate with their pets and where they can go to stay together are a priority. Some of these items to keep in mind include1:

  • Keep a "go bag" – Keep a pet carrier, harness or leash ready to go at a moment's notice and have a recent photo of pets handy
  • Update information – Ensure pets are wearing a collar or tags and that microchip information is up to date
  • Take care – Ensure pets are up to date on all vaccinations and carry a list of the pet's medications and their veterinarian's contact information
  • Know where to go – Make a list of pet-friendly sheltering options nearby

This survey came out in tandem with National Pet Preparedness Month and the beginning of hurricane and wildfire season. This is a reminder for all pet parents to create an emergency plan for the all family members, including pets. Find information on preparing to evacuate to safety with pets and download a pet preparedness checklist here:


To evacuate or not to evacuate: majority of pet parents say they wouldn't leave home to escape disaster if they couldn't bring pets. News release. PetSmart Charities, Inc. June 6, 2023. Accessed June 6, 2023.

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