Everyone that’s ever been in a natural disaster knows how trying it can be on yourself and your family members, including your dog. A lot of news sources and websites explain how to safely get out of dangerous situations for yourself but many don’t tell you what to do with your dog! We must not forget our precious pooches. They’re just as important as humans, if not more important. Here is detailed information on what to do with your dog in an emergency situation. Strap in, buckle up…let’s begin.
- Put together a disaster pack
A basic disaster pack includes the following:
– Food and water for at least 5 days
Don’t forget to pack a can opener, a bowl for each animal you own, and at least a gallon of water. The water will be important for cleansing an animalafter a flood and overall access to fresh drinking water.
– Medications and medical records
This should be stored in some sort of waterproof container and a medical first aid kit.
– Garbage bags to collect your dog’s waste
Although this may seem unnecessary because dogs can go outside, it can be helpful in a shelter or at a friend or family member’s home.
– Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers
This is a very important item to have in your emergency kit. The carrier is a safe and secure place for your dog and the leash will keep your dog from running away out of fear or pain. It will also calm your nerves to know your dog is in a secure location. Make sure the carrier is large enough for the dog to fully stand up and turn around. I would also recommend bringing a blanket or towel to put inside the carrier.
– Current photos of you with your pets and description of your pets
This will be the easies way for other people to identify your dog. Also, many people claim ownership over pets that are not there’s, this will prove you’re the rightful owner.
– The name and number of your veterinarian
This will be important in case you have to board your dogs or place them in temporary foster care.
- ID your Pet
This is one of the most important steps because without tags or microchips it’s virtually impossible to find your pet. Make sure your dog is wearing a secure collar with dog tags that contain information about your dog and you. Provide your cell phone number and a friend or family member’s number as well. If you do microchip, remember the average person does not check for micro chipping. Make it easy on yourself and get a collar for your dog.
- Find a Safe Place to Stay Ahead of Time
According to the Humane Society, “Never assume that you will be allowed to bring your pet to an emergency shelter. Before a disaster hits, call your local office of emergency management to see if you will be allowed to evacuate with your pets and verify that there will be shelters in your area that take people and their pets.”
– Contact hotels to make sure they are dog friendly. Don’t waste the time or energy going door to door to hotels without double-checking their rules and regulations first.
– Call friends and family members and ask if they would be able to house you and your animal or animals.
– Call vet offices and kennel locations to secure a safe place for your dog while you handle the emergency.
– Always check the local animal shelters. Remember animal shelters will fill up quickly in natural disasters. Plan quickly and efficiently.
- Plan for Your Pet in Case You’re not Home
Show your dog sitter where to find the emergency kit. Give them emergency contact information and information on where to go and what to do incase of an emergency.
- If you Evacuate Take Your Pet
Always, Always, ALWAYS take your pet with you if you are evacuating. Remember you cannot go back to get your pet once you’ve evacuated. The police and fire department with prohibit it.
– Always evacuate early. When told to evacuate, don’t wait around and hope for the best. Leave your home and find a safe place away from danger immediately.
- If you choose to stay home, do it completely safely
– Find a safe space in your home for you and your dog to hide out. I would recommend a closet, a basement or a room with no windows.
– Make sure your dog is on a leash at all times. Frightened dogs could run away at any moment.
– Make sure your emergency kit is close by at all times.
I know this list may be made for the extreme worrywart but you can never be too safe! Especially if it’s involving the well-being and safety of your doggy!
For more information and tips check out the Human Society website here.