Watching the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused in Texas on the Internet , television, and hearing about it on the radio is so terrible. Now Florida is bracing for Hurricane Irma and everyone is trying to figure out where to go. It makes me worry for the people and pets that will be affected. Therefore, I see it as an unfortunate, but necessary time to share some things to help dog owners get ready for Mother Nature and the bad things that can come your way.
Having enough food for your dog as well as water is important. Just think of anything that you normally would use for your dog, especially if they are on a special diet, try to stock up as much you can. You as well as your dog are going to get stressed by having to evacuate or buckle down depending on where you are located. Emergency treats would be essential to make it a positive thing for your dog. Water is something that will be needed as well, not just for drinking but keeping you and your dog clean. The more you can get the better. Finally, Having leashes collars, harness, as well as extra ones of them will keep your dog secured and safe with you.
**Tip: put everything needed for your dog in a container and label it, this will make it easy for you to find or load it into your car. Also, create a smaller verison(like a bag) to have as a backup as well.
Medical Records/Microchip Information
Another thing to do is find all the veterinary paperwork for your dog. Is your dog current on all vaccinations? Being able to show proof especially if you have to evacuate as well as having the copies if your home is destroyed will hopefully make any transition you go through more smoothly. Also, is your dog microchipped? If he/she is then checking with your veterinary hospital as well as the microchip company to make sure your contact information is up to date is vital too. If your dog gets lost, it will help someone contact you sooner. Even in times of non disaster this is an important thing to keep current.
**Tip: Take pictures of your dog’s veterinary records as well as microchip information on your cell phone. That will give you a quick way to access it.**
**Bonus Tip: Check your cellphone to see if you have a cuurent picture of your dog to share or create a flyer if your dog gets lost. Besides, you can never not have enough pictures of your dog.**
If your dog is on medications, stocking up on them is important and planning how many days you have of them is important. Will you be able to get more from your veterinarian? Putting them in a ziploc bag and in your bag to carry at all times will help keep your dog’s medical needs met and stick to the time routine too. I would carry some extra kibble in that bag with your dog’s medications so you can maintain meals (some medications may be recommended to take after a meal). Also, if you need pill pockets to give the medication, try to get them as well.
First Aid Kit
Just like human first aid kits there are ones for pets. If you cannot buy one in person or order one, use what you have at home. Gauze, hydrogen peroxide, scissors, rubbing alcohol, tape, band aids, Neosporin, tweezers , just to name some things you may have to put one together. You can put it all in a ziploc bag and label it. If you have more than one dog in your house, make sure you pack enough. Also, let everyone in your family know about it so they know where to find it.
Backup Person to care for your dog
Having someone who knows your dog well and can take them in if you run out of options needs to be planned, even if you do not want to use that option. This person should know your dog well and can be trusted to not only make the best decision for your dog but keep you in the loop too. Communication may be hard in this situation so make sure to check that your information is current. Social Media might help you as well, like Facebook to be friends and instant message one another.
I feel for every dog owner who has to be put in this situation but I hope this post is helpful. In times of stress we can get overwhelmed and hopefully remembering to do these things for your dog will help to get through whatever natural diseaster comes your way. I created a quick Dog Owner Emergency Checklist to help if you are staying put or evacuating. Stay safe.