Disasters and emergencies come in a wide variety and there’s no predicting them. In many instances such as fires, flooding, earthquake or hurricane, you may have to evacuate from your home for a short time – a few hours or a day – or maybe for an extended period or even permanently. Also, who knows if you’ll have to shelter in place because there is no access to or from your home.
Being prepared is the best thing you can do for your household, and that includes making sure your inquisitive canine is disaster ready. It may seem like an overwhelming and daunting project, but starting with the basics is the best way to go. How about beginning with the following tasks? Chances are you have a lot of these items in place already.
- First, make sure your dog has proper identification. Microchips are the gold standard of pet i.d. Your name, address, and phone number along with your dog’s name should be on its collar, stitched or embroidered on it. Also on its collar should be its license and i.d. tag.
- Second, have an emergency supply kit ready – before disaster strikes. Bare bones items include 5 to 7 days worth of food and water, bowls, can opener, poop bags, toys, leashes, harnesses, carriers and bed (if easily transportable). Keep medications in a waterproof container. Have your veterinarian’s name and contact info handy and up-to-date.
- Lastly, create a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities in the event of evacuation. Not all shelters for humans accept pets, so be ready. Do not leave your pets behind. If it isn’t safe for you, it definitely isn’t safe for them either. Your veterinarian and local animal shelter can help you research places to bring your pooch. Also, look for lodging (including at friends and relatives) outside of your area that will host you and your pet(s).
Remember, pets get scared, too. When spooked, they can run away in an effort to be safe or become disoriented out of fright. At the first warning of a disaster or emergency, bring them inside.
The ASPCA has more detailed information on making your pets disaster ready. You may want to check out their rescue alert sticker too. Additionally, your local pet supply store probably has similar stickers for sale.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to face an emergency or disaster. The best way to survive whatever may come your way is to be prepared. Your life, and that of your inquisitive canine’s, may depend on it.
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