Emergency Preparedness for Dogs

Today is The Great California Shakeout and in that spirit I wanted to go over dog emergency preparedness in case such a disaster would strike. The big one is coming and we need to prepare for our safety and that of our furry family members.

My pet emergency preparedness kit includes the following:

  • 2 Travel Tainers with kibble for Argos and Ellie.  I like these Travel Tainers because the end caps double as bowls.
  • 2 extra leashes, collars and tags with emergency phone numbers where to reach me as well as the Los Angeles Animals Services who license the dogs in my area. My dogs are also microchipped and carry their city license tag at all times.
  • Pictures of both my mutts
  • Copies of vaccination records and veterinarian information in resealable plastic bags
  • 1 small case with baby wipes
  • 1 case of water
  • 2 small blankets
  • 2 squeaky toys, you know the ones that are so worn out and are almost ready to be chucked.

It’s a very compact kit and is as it should be because in an emergency you need to be able to easily pick up and carry this stuff if need be.

As for a pet first aid kit the things that are usually suggested like cotton balls, gauze, tape, scissors, antibacterial soap and hydrogen peroxide are already part of my bigger first aid kit I’ve put together for the family.

It is also highly recommended that one include medications for dogs that need them. My dogs fortunately do not require medication but if they did that would be the first thing included in the kit.

I have also heard about stickers that people place on their front windows indicating to emergency rescue personnel how many pets live inside. Now, I can see the value of something like this but my dogs spend a lot of time outside of my home, usually on play dates with nephews, visiting my mother or visiting my boyfriends family. I would never want rescue personnel to endanger their lives simply because I forgot to cross out the sticker letting them know that the pets that are usually inside, are in fact, not inside. This is my main concern and I will have to research this further and see what rescue authorities recommend.

Lastly, it is important to have a clear understanding and make note of places where you can keep your pets in case of an evacuation, such as shelters, boarding places, neighbors, and/or family members. For health reasons, quite understandably, pets are not usually allowed in emergency shelters set up after disasters to help those that have been displaced.

Putting a kit together is only the first step in emergency preparedness, it is just as important to perform drills  and prepare contingency plans and make sure everyone in the family knows their roles in case of an emergency.

While researching on how to best put together a pet emergency kit of my own I visited www.ready.gov as well as www.shakeout.org

Happy Shakeout!