Disasters, whether human-triggered or natural, can be devastating to all of us. Hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, house fires, floods, and gas leaks and explosions happen without a warning. It’s important for a dog owner to have a disaster preparedness plan that will help your whole family (including your pets) get through the crisis with minimal stress. If you don’t have one, continue reading to find out what you should include in your plan:
ID Your Dog
You never know when a disaster will strike. That’s why your dog should have proper identification at all times to help with the reunion process in case the two of you get separated during the disaster. Make sure your pet has a microchip, an ID tag or both to help identify him. The tag and chip should have your name and current contact information.
Have An Emergency Kit Ready
It’s also important that you create an emergency kit for your dog in preparation for disaster. This should include things like blanket, poop bags, crate, pet first aid kit, toys, collapsible water and food bowls, airtight containers with at least 7 days worth of dog food, medications and water, extra leashes and collar, as well as temporary ID tags.
Have Emergency Contacts Ready
You should also list the emergency contacts you’re likely to need in case of a disaster. This includes the phone number of your vet’s office among others. Also, keep your pet’s veterinary records and proof of ownership where you can find them easily.
Make Arrangements For Accommodation
Where will your pet stay in case of an emergency? A pet-friendly hotel, a boarding kennel, or with a family member or friend? Plan in advance where your family and dog will stay when disaster strikes.
It’s also a good idea to talk to a neighbor or friend who can take care of your pet in case disaster strikes when you’re not at home. Ideally, this should be someone you trust who lives close to you; someone who has access to your home, and can act fast in rescuing your dog in case of an emergency.
Rehearse Your Plan
Once you’ve come up with a plan for different emergency scenarios, you need to practice everything you’ve listed there. An unrehearsed plan may not help you very much in case of an emergency, so rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again to make everything realistic.
Go through every step you’ve listed in your plan, and if possible, know them off head. Know the time it will take your family to pick their emergency kits and meet in the car. Know how long you’ll take to drive to the evacuation center bearing in mind traffic and other resources along the way. And most importantly, know where your dog will go in case you can’t come with him.
By practicing, you’ll be able to find the loopholes in your plan and seal them in time. This will go long way in preventing unforeseen problems.
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I hope that this article has helped you know how to prepare your dog for a disaster. The key here is to identify the calamities in your local area, come up with a suitable plan for each scenario, and rehearse to perfect your plan before disaster strikes. This will help you and your entire family be well prepared for any emergencies.