Decontamination - Pets
- If you are instructed to stay inside during a radiation emergency, pets should be inside too.
- If your pet was outside, bring your pet inside.
- Wash your pet carefully with shampoo or soap and water and rinse completely.
- Wear waterproof gloves and a dust mask (or other material to cover your mouth) if you can.
- Keep cuts and abrasions (both yours and your pets) covered when washing your pet to keep radioactive material out of the wound.
- Wash your hands and face after washing your pet.
- Pet food in sealed containers (cans, bottles, boxes) will be safe for animals to eat. Wipe off pet food containers with a damp cloth or clean towel before opening them. Wipe off pet bowls, dishes, and mats too. Put the used cloth or towel in a plastic bag or other sealable container and place the bag in an out-of-the-way place, away from other people and pets.
- For pet sanitation, put newspapers or other absorbent material in your pet's area so your pet can relieve itself indoors.
- Do not touch soiled material with your bare hands.
- Place soiled material into a plastic bag or other sealable container
- Place the bag in an out-of-the-way place, away from other people and pets.
More information on sheltering-in-place, visit
More information on evacuating with pets, visit
- Page last updated August 8, 2014
- Page last reviewed August 22, 2013
- Content source: Radiation Studies Branch (RSB), Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects (EHHE), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention (CCEHIP)
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