Dog Disaster Supplies: Preparing for an Emergency Situation

No one ever wants to be put into an emergency situation, but they do happen. Putting together an emergency supply kit doesn't cost much and onlys take a few moments. So do your furry pal a favor gather some basic , 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 have any stomach upsets. 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 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.

  • Several bowls, measuring cups, can openers, and spoons. Make sure you have what you need to properly feed your pooch.

  • Travel crate. Dog travel supplies are widely available. 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 an extra 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.

    And finally, do not leave your dog outside, unattended, for extended periods of time. Aside from the possibility of escape, there are other dangers such as wildlife.

  • Proper identification for each dog. Some form of visible ID such as a collar with license tag, ID tag, and/or a tattoo are all great. Pets should also be microchipped, which can be done quickly and easily through your veterinarian.

    It's also a good idea to 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.

  • Additional 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, ideally in their original vials. 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. Pet first aid kits are sold at some pet supply stores, or you can assemble your own kit. Click here for several pet first aid kits available online.

  • 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.

  • A list of places you can stay with your pet in case of emergency. This might just be friends or family, or even a list of nearby pet-friendly 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 small dogs).

    As soon as you know you wil 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 on hand, take a few moments to do it now! Put everything together in a portable tote bag and place it near the door. If an emergency situation occurs, gather your pets and grab the bag and be on your way quickly. It could be the difference between losing your pets or having them come home safe with you.