From Microchips to Pet Friendly Hotels: Tips for Preparing Your Dog For Evacuations
March 8th marks National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. It’s a time for all pet parents to assess their disaster plans and ensure their pets are prepared too! Emergency disaster situations, such as fires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes, come with little warning. Being prepared and having a plan can make a huge difference in an emergency situation. Are you and your pet ready for unexpected emergency events and disasters? Check out these smart ways you can prepare your dog for a disaster, starting today.
Microchip Your Dog
If you have yet to microchip your dog, make that appointment right now. The ID data on the chip corresponds to your contact information in a national database. If your pet gets separated from you in the chaos of an emergency, any animal shelter worker can use a scanner to read the chip's information, look up the contact information, and reach out to you so you can come get your dog.
Microchipping has proven highly effective at reuniting lost dogs with their owners. Research shows that 52.2 percent of microchipped dogs get reunited with their families, as opposed to just 21.9 percent of dogs without microchips. Which of those statistics would you want your dog to fall into?
Create a Pet Emergency Plan
Before you can respond to an emergency, you must have an emergency plan. Check with your local government for their emergency response guidelines. Know your emergency exit routes, have ready access to any emergency kits (see below), and assemble your emergency contact list. If a natural disaster prevents you from leaving, lead everyone to the safest area of the home.
Any conditions unsafe for you will also be unsafe for your dog. This is why it is so critical for your emergency action plan to include your dog. Don't assume that you can come back for your dog later.
Follow Safe Pet Evacuation Practices
Evacuating with pets calls for some special considerations. Always play it safe by evacuating at the first clear sign of an emergency. By the time you receive an official evacuation notice, your pet may already face serious dangers from smoke inhalation, rising water, falling debris, or other threats. Early evacuation will also help to minimize the amount of fear, stress, and anxiety your dog experiences.
A disaster might affect your home (and therefore your housebound pet) while you travel or work. Allow for this possibility in your evacuation plan. Have a pet sitter, friend, or family member standing by with instructions on how to evacuate your pet from your home safely in your absence.
Know Your Pet Friendly Hotels and Other Safe Shelters
Where will you and your dog go in an emergency? You need to figure this out long before any disaster actually occurs. Locate all the pet friendly evacuation shelters in your immediate area. This knowledge will help you and your pet find shelter quickly and efficiently without having to travel long distances in dangerous weather.
Pet friendly hotels offer another option if you can travel safely to such a destination. These hotels know how to accommodate both pets and humans comfortably and safely. To boost your safety factor even higher, consult any emergency evacuation maps or procedures maintained by the pet friendly hotel. You can never tell when a disaster's reach might extend to your current accommodations.
Keep a Dog Emergency Kit
Don't assume that you'll have time to assemble emergency provisions and medical supplies for your dog when a crisis hits. Put together a dog emergency kit now, and you'll have less to worry about later.
You can get a head start on the process by purchasing a ready-made dog first aid kit, or you can make such a kit yourself. Include plenty of bandages, adhesive tape, a thermometer, a nice warm towel, syringes (if your pet has a medical condition that calls for them), and other health care items. Add a list of your pet's medication prescriptions and other important first-aid tips. Last but not least, include food, water, supplements, collapsible bowls, a few toys, and your vet’s contact information.
Once you've settled into a pet-friendly hotel or other safe spot, you'll want to keep giving your dog the ongoing wellness care he needs and deserves. Reserve a section of your dog emergency kit for nutritional supplements and other wellness products, ensuring that you never run low (or run out completely) at a critical time.
Disasters may happen, but you can prevent them from having disastrous effects on your dog. Implement these smart strategies today so you can feel prepared for whatever tomorrow may bring!
- Holly W