Emergency Prep for Dog Pawrents
Emergencies–they’re something that everyone would prefer not to think about. Yet, they do happen. With the changing seasons comes a spate of potential natural disasters, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Not sure where to start? Read on to find out what you need to prep to keep your fur baby safe during an emergency.
Photo by Justin Veenema
Make a Plan
Emergencies can throw anyone for a tailspin. It’ll be hard to gather everything you need at the drop of a hat, not to mention remember important information like your vet’s emergency number, should there be an accident. It’s wise to make a few different plans for different types of emergencies. That way you’re covered whether it’s a quickly-approaching hurricane, upcoming birth, or unexpected flight to take care of a loved one.
If preparing for potential human medical emergencies, then it may be as simple as giving a trusted caretaker (pet sitter, relative, friend, or trusted neighbor) a copy of your key so that they can come in to make sure your dog is taken care of while they’re home alone. Make sure there are extras of all supplies and stick some emergency numbers like your vet and microchip number(s) on the fridge. A list of wet and dry food brands and other regularly used items can also come in handy, in case you’re away longer than expected. On the other hand, a natural disaster will require preparation that makes it easy to grab and go quickly. Have a convenient bag–a backpack gives you the most flexibility–ready to take at a moment's notice.
Keep an Emergency Kit
While emergency kits may differ depending on a dog’s needs, there are some basics that all kits should have. Some emergency kit essentials are:
- Food supplies (food, bowls, utensils, water)
- Food and water bowls
- Pet potty supplies (poo bags, pee pads, wipes)
- Leash and/or carrier
- Medical info and emergency contacts
An emergency kit shouldn’t contain just basic necessities like wee wee pads, it should also contain copies of any important medical files and numbers such as your fur baby’s microchip number. Keep updated copies of medical and vaccination records, microchip numbers, identification (e.g. extra tag), and vet/emergency contacts numbers in the kit as well.
Whenever possible, stay on top of weather or other emergency-related advisories so that you know what precautions are necessary. If you suspect leaving home may be a possibility, place nonperishable items like the emergency kit and dog bathroom inside the car beforehand. Preparing beforehand will also allow you to get situation-specific stuff ready like blankets for the cold and towels for wet weather.
For the long term, check emergency kits yearly to make sure all food and medication hasn’t expired and so that you can update any numbers or identification if need be. Emergencies can be frightening, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared! Emergency prep is key to making sure that you and your fur baby are ready to weather the tougher, unexpected moments that life throws our way.