By William Given
Dogs are an important part of our lives and many of us consider them a member of the family. They depend on us for so very much. It is our responsibility to keep them safe and that includes during emergencies and natural disasters. In the event of an emergency such as a fire, tornado or other natural disaster, you may be forced to evacuate your home. Being prepared is often critical to survival. Assembling your dog’s survival kit today will give you some peace of mind and save precious minutes if or when an emergency does occur.
- A leash and collar or harness.
- Bottles of fresh water, enough for three days.
- A several day supply of dog food and treats, a long with information on your dog’s eating habits and food allergies.
- Any medications your dogs is on, in a waterproof container plus information on dosage and frequency.
- Clean bedding.
- Grooming supplies.
- Cleaning supplies including plastic bags, a roll of paper towels and a small bottle of disinfectant.
- A canine first aid kit tailored to your breed and the number of dogs you own.
In your kit, keep a file of important documents that may prove helpful in an emergency. Include copies of vaccination records and any treatments records on existing medical conditions, copies of registration papers, adoption papers, bill of sale or proof of purchase, microchip or other identification information. It is especially important to remember that having your dog microchipped is useless unless it is also registered with the company. Also include a few recent photographs of you and your dog in case he or she becomes lost or separated. Write the breed, age, sex and color on the back. The photographs can also be used to help prove ownership of the dog.
It will be helpful to include a list of emergency contacts, such as friends and relatives, especially someone who lives outside of the affected area. Include your veterinarian’s name, address, and telephone number. It may also be helpful to include information on pet-friendly motels that are a good driving distance from your home.
Once you have placed all of your items in the box, if you have room, I recommend putting one or two duplicates of your dog’s favorite toys. They help put a dog more at ease in a time of heavy stress. Store the kit in an easy to access location next to or near his crate or kennel so that you can grab it quickly if you need to evacuate your home. Please make sure the crate is labeled with the dog’s name and your name, address, and telephone number.
We may not be able to prevent a disaster from occurring, be we can minimize the impact. A little planning can help reduce injuries, loss and suffering.