Some people seem to be magnets for lost pets and some feel like they’re always finding them. If you’re one of those people, or just want to be prepared for the day you do find one, keeping a “Found Pet Kit” in the back of your car can come in handy.
You can also prepare for the day you find a lost or stray pet just by adding a few items to the emergency kit you keep in your car for your own furry family members (you have one of those, right?).
Below are the things you should keep on hand and all in one place -- like in a plastic bin -- so they’re quick and easy to find when you spot a lost pet wandering the streets.
Local “Lost Pet” Contacts
If you don’t already know, research the local folks to call if you find a pet that looks lost. Write the phone numbers for animal control, the local shelter (or humane society) and a 24-hour emergency vet clinic on a card and stick it inside the bin.
Also, know the local laws. In some counties, it’s legally required that you call animal control BEFORE you contact the pet’s owner (assuming the pet has a current ID tag).
Pet First Aid Kit
If you have a pet first aid kit on hand, you may be able to address some of the animal’s needs before you transport them to an emergency veterinary clinic or shelter (but be sure you know how to handle an injured pet first).
Extra Collars and Leashes
A lost pet will not always be wearing a collar or harness. Even if they are, it’s rare that they will be dragging a leash.
You’ll need a way to secure the lost dog or cat once you catch them so keep an extra leash and a few extra collars (of different sizes) in your kit.
In a bind, you can also turn a simple leash into a dog harness.
Blanket and Towel
If the pet you find has been outside in the elements for a while, they may be cold, wet, dirty, or bleeding.
A blanket can be used to warm them up but it can also be draped on a seat, or in the back of your car, to help keep your car clean and to help keep them comfortable.
A towel can also serve multiple purposes. Besides drying a pet off, it can be used as a sling to carry an injured pet. Also, combined with some duct tape, a towel can be used to create a make-shift splint for broken bones (Take a pet first aid class to learn how).
Food and Water
If you find a pet, they may be dehydrated. They’re also likely hungry.
Make sure to keep an extra bowl or two, an extra jug of water, and some easy-open dog/ and cat food in your kit.
In regard to the food, tuna and liver flavors are best because their strong smell is more likely to attract a scared dog or cat in case you need to lure them.
Both dogs and cats love freeze dried salmon treats. Often dubbed, “Kitty Crack”, they’re usually irresistible to dogs as well.
Keep the treats inside of their original bag if it’s “crinkly”, or put them inside of one if not, since dogs and cats that can hear you opening a bag of treats are more likely to come near to see what you’re doing.
Be sure to place that bag inside of a sealable plastic bag to keep the treats fresh and smelling strong.