Natural Disaster Preparation for Your Dog

September 29, 2017


Special Care for Pets During a Natural Disaster

People around the nation have watched hurricane after hurricane strike the Caribbean, Florida and the Gulf Coast in 2017. The resulting destruction is almost beyond comprehension. Preserving human life is always the top priority, but taking care of pets impacted by natural disasters is just as important. Glance at the news on television, and viewers see survivors carrying their pets to safety. With these stark reminders in mind, be proactive about pet care. Learn how to react and stay safe with a furry friend when the worst weather or calamity arrives.

Prep a Kit

The first step in any preparedness plan is creating a pet kit. Bottled water, canned food, can openers, leashes and other essentials should be part of this collection. Consider any special needs, such as medications, that the pet requires.

Don’t forget first-aid supplies that pertain to pets in particular. An experienced dog daycare might have gauze, tongue depressors and bandage tape in the event that the pet becomes injured on their premises. Include familiar items too, including one or two toys and blankets. The pet can calm themselves with these items as the owners deal with the disaster in real time.

Research Pet-Friendly Facilities Nearby

Floods, fire and tornadoes aren’t unheard of in Golden, Colorado. Safe facilities for people may pop up during a disaster, but pets aren’t always welcome. Do some homework now. Be aware of a dog boarding facility that opens up its doors during disasters. Contact the facility before any issues so that a pet’s name might be added to a priority list. Any preparation steps taken now will pay off if disaster strikes tomorrow. Ideally, pet owners don’t want to scramble for shelter involving their furry friends.

Create Multiple Disaster Plans

Disasters have a tendency to be surprises with several variables influencing a pet owner’s decisions. Ideally, formulate and practice multiple disaster plans. Consider each disaster and the family’s escape routes. A Lakewood home may be flooded or threatened with fire, which forces the family to decide on two, separate plans.

Put these plans into action so that they’re easy to follow under stress. Solid, dog training allows the family pet to be extra calm during any scenario. Putting people and pets first is the priority in every disaster plan.

Keep a Crate or Carrier Handy

The family pet may be comfortable on a leash, including cats, but don’t overlook the importance of a carrier or crate. During some disasters, leaving the area with a stressed pet isn’t possible without placing it into a container. Taking a flight out of the area, for example, almost always requires a carrier for the pet. Don’t be stranded without a container because they’ll be difficult to find in dire circumstances.

A local, dog boarding facility may have information about disaster relief and carrier requirements. Err on the side of caution with a carrier placed near the escape route because the pet will be better served in a controlled space.

Update Pet ID Information

Before any disaster strikes, update the pet’s information on the collar. Verify that the microchips are also matched to current phone numbers and photos. If the pet becomes lost, all of this information can lead to its discovery. Double-check the collar for a secure fastener and readable ID tag. This simple task can mean the difference between finding or losing the pet during or after a disaster.

Document the Pet’s Image and Veterinary History

Take several photographs of the pet. Upload one to its microchip account, and keep a physical copy for the family. This image is useful if a lost-pet situation arises. It’s not uncommon for pets to take off during stressful periods. Ask the pet’s veterinarian for a printout on the current vaccinations. This information is critical if there’s an injury during the disaster that requires immediate relief.

Write Down Emergency Numbers

Family members may have every emergency contact saved in their smartphones, but this strategy doesn’t work during an emergency. Write down the emergency numbers. Keep this information handy in the event of a disaster. Make copies of the paper so that losing one won’t create a problem for everyone. Emergency numbers might include loved ones, poison control or local police. Add the family’s insurance information to this paper for even more convenience in the face of adversity.

Evaluate the Home Before Hunkering Down

If the family decides to stay at home during a disaster, evaluate the property before locking and boarding up the exterior. Verify that the pet’s interior area is free from any harmful substances. From household chemicals to potted plants, the family pet can easily get into these items during a stressful situation. Remove these items from the immediate area so that the pet cannot become sick or injured during a trying period for everyone.

Worst-Case Scenario

Pet owners don’t want to face the reality of leaving their furry friends. However, this worst-case scenario may arise. A kennel or dog daycare may not be open to disaster situations. Be ready for such a scenario by leaving plenty of food and water in a safe area at home. Don’t tie up the animals. Allow them to roam free within the home’s confines. Place a pet-rescue decal on the front door so that it’s in plain sight. The animals have a good chance of being rescued with these steps.

From hailstorms to tornado outbreaks, natural disasters aren’t uncommon in either Golden or Lakewood, Colorado. If pet owners have any questions about disaster preparedness, contacting a local kennel is a smart place to start. These dog training experts guide owners through a simple checklist so that every pet is safe and accounted for. Surviving a natural disaster is possible with clever preparation and practice well before the event.