We are everything to our dogs. They look to us for love and guidance. We are their whole world. A dog’s love is unconditional, they would never abandon us.
So, why do some people leave their dogs behind during a natural disaster? To avoid this scenario, take the time to include your dog in a disaster plan.
Here are 14 ways to prepare your dog for a disaster.
- Get A Free Pet Safety Pack
The ASPCA encourages you to include your dog in a disaster plan. The safety pack contains a rescue sticker that can be put on a window or door. This sticker is to alert rescue workers that you have pets in your home. A Poison Control Center magnet is also included in the pack. I urge you to use this free resource, for your dog’s safety.
2. Assign Everyone A Safety Role
Plan ahead. Before an emergency strikes give everyone in your home a job. One adult can be in charge of leading children to safety. Another adult can oversee getting the dog and his emergency kit. Don’t forget to practice your safety plan regularly.
3. Emergency Kit
Another great way to include your dog in a disaster plan is to create an emergency kit, not just for you but for your pup. These kits are important for evacuation and shelter in place emergencies. Here are some important items to include in your kit.
4. Recent Photograph
You read this right. In case you become separated from your dog include a recent picture (physical copy) of your pup. This will come in handy if you need to make lost posters.
5. Food, Medication, & Water
It’s advisable to store at least seven days of emergency food and water for your pets. If you use canned food, keep a manual can opener in your kit. Be sure to rotate food and water every two months. Don’t forget to include food and water bowls. If you feed your pup a raw diet, have freeze-dried meals on hand.
Store a 14-day supply of your pet’s medication in a waterproof container. Remember the medication needs to be rotated out of your emergency kit, otherwise, it may go bad. Keep a cooler and ice pack handy for meds that require refrigeration. You may want to consider including some calming CBD oil or anxiety meds for your dog.
Equip your kit with a list of vet records, medications, dosages, and medication instructions. Include a list of behavioral or medical concerns and an emergency contact list. This way emergency personnel will know how to care for your dog if you are unable to.
6. A Place Your Dog Can Relieve Himself
This is often overlooked in emergencies. Keep potty pads and trash bags in your kit. If you are sheltering in place, designate a safe spot for your pup to relieve himself if going outside is not an option. This area should not be near windows or debris.
7. Leashes, Harnesses, & Carriers
Keep your pets safe and secure. Dogs can become frightened and slip out of their safety gear, so include an id tag, extra leashes, and harnesses.
Make sure you have a transport carrier for your dog. Practice crate training. If he becomes comfortable in his carrier, securing him in a disaster may be less stressful for your dog.
8. Blankets & Toys
Other items to store in your emergency kit are an old blanket and some of his favorite toys. These items could help your dog relieve some tension.
9. First Aid Kit
In the event, your dog becomes injured a first aid kit is essential. Ask your vet what items to include.
10. Pet-Friendly Evacuation
Scout out pet-friendly places to stay in advance. In case you must evacuate your home, take your pets with you. If your home is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your dog. When evacuating secure your dog in a pet crate or carrier.
If you need to board your dog, you will need proof of vaccinations. Technology makes it easier to keep your dog’s records stored on your cellphone. I discovered a free app, Tail Trax, that allows you to record your dog’s health and medical information on your phone.
Begin searching out of your immediate area for hotels and boarding facilities. Below is a small list of accommodations you can look into.
Most Red Cross shelters do not accept pets because of health and safety issues. They do however accept service animals that assist people with disabilities.
Consult with your vet and plan out emergency boarding. You can also check out your state’s pet emergency plan. Over 30 states have shelters that accept pets, so plan before disaster strikes.
11. Where Does Your Pet Hide
If your dog is scared, he may run to a spot where he feels safe. This could be under the bed, in the bathtub, behind a cabinet, or if he’s crate trained in his kennel. It’s important to know where fido hides, so you can bring him to safety.
12. Emergency Vet Care
Be prepared before a catastrophe happens. Dogs may become injured during a disaster, so know how to access an emergency veterinarian. You can check with vcahospitals.com to locate a pet hospital or ask your vet if they have an emergency plan set up.
13. Lost Your Dog
In case you become separated from your dog, it’s important to know the local shelters and their phone numbers. Keep this information handy on your phone and also in your dog’s emergency kit. Be sure your dog is microchipped for a safe reunion.
14. Comfort Your Dog
Your dog may become very distressed in an emergency. Reassure him everything’s going to be alright by using a calm and comforting voice. Give your dog his favorite blanket and a toy to help him relieve some stress.
If you would like more ideas for your dog’s emergency kit, check out this article by Layla’s Woof.
Let’s start a conversation in the comments below! Have you ever faced a disaster with your dog? Are there any items on this list you haven’t thought of?