Pet Care Tips and Articles

Packing for Emergencies: Dog Disaster Supplies

No one ever wants to be put into an emergency situation, but they do happen. Dog disaster supplies don't cost much and only take a few moments to put together. So do your furry pal a favor and start gathering some emergency supplies, including:

Food

Pack enough to last at least one week for each dog. Make sure it's the same type of food your pet is accustomed to eating so that he doesn't get an upset stomach. If you feed canned food, try to find small cans that are suitable for single feedings only since you may not have access to a refrigerator for leftovers. Store the food in airtight, waterproof containers. Every 2 or 3 months, replace the food with fresh food.

Water

When disaster strikes drinking water is sometimes unavailable, and the water that is available is probably not sanitary. Again, pack enough drinking water to last each dog at least one week and store the supply in a cool place. Replace the water every few months.

Bowls, measuring cups, can openers and spoons

Make sure you have what you need to properly feed your dog.

Travel Crate

Dog travel supplies are widely available at pet supply stores. Get a crate that's large enough so that your dog can stand up and lie down comfortably. Many types of crates are available - some are airline approved, others are collapsible for easy portability.

Leashes and Harness

Keep extras on hand in case your dog chews through one. Frightened dogs may attempt to run. Harnesses are a good option in this case because it's much harder for a dog to escape from a harness than from a leash.

If you have to tie your dog up, make sure you keep an eye on him in case he starts to show signs of stress (in which case he might try to escape). Also ensure you tie him in an area where he cannot fall or slip off something and choke himself.

Do not leave your dog outside or unattended for extended periods of time. Aside from the possibility of escape, there are other dangers such as vehicles or wild animals.

Up-to-Date ID for Each Pet

Some form of visible ID such as a collar with license tag and/or a tattoo is a good start. Microchips are available from your veterinarian too.

Keep a couple of spare "writeable" tags with you too. If you have to stay elsewhere during the emergency, write your contact information on the tag and attach it to your dog's collar.

Always keep your contact information up-to-date.

Important Documentation

This includes vaccination records, a recent photo (just in case your pet gets lost - a photo makes ID easier), the name and number of your veterinarian, a record of medications and dosage.

Also look up a list of nearby veterinarians and keep a list of their addresses and telephone numbers, just in case your regular vet is unable to assist during the disaster.

Medications

Try to keep a couple of weeks worth of prescription medication on hand. In an emergency situation your vet may not be able to re-fill a prescription.

A Pet First Aid Kit

Our furry friends can get hurt too, especially in the noise and confusion of a disaster situation. You can easily assemble a pet first aid kit if you don't have one, or buy a pre-assembled kit.

Cleaning Supplies

Pack a supply of waste bags, paper towels, cleaning disinfectant, and soap. Clean your dog's kennel and dishes regularly to help keep them free from nasty bacteria.

Places To Stay With Your Pet

This might just be friends or family, or even a list of nearby hotels or other accommodations. Check their pet policies to ensure they really will allow your pet (if you have a big dog, make sure this won't cause a problem - some hotels only allow smaller dogs).

As soon as you know you will need a hotel room, call in advance to make reservations. Other people may also be trying to get rooms as well.

If you do not currently have dog disaster supplies ready, take a few moments to do it now! It could be the difference between losing your pets or having them come home safe with you.