Disaster Preparedness for Dogs

We have three dogs in our home. They’re one layer of our home’s security system and they keep small animals away from the house and garden. Most importantly, they’re my eyes and ears when I’m outside, night or day.  They need to be prepared for the same emergencies that the rest of us face and, like it or not, you may be the only veterinarian that your dog will have if a disaster occurs since your local vet may have their own set of problems to deal with.Fortunately, dogs lead a pretty simple life so getting them ready for a disaster isn’t very complicated.

Keep a record of how much your dog eats and put away enough dog food for the same amount of time as your “human” pantry is prepared for. Do the same with any meds and flea repellants. In addition to their regular food, we stock extra rice to use as a back-up dog food supply. Our dogs enjoy a meal of rice with boiled chicken or turkey every now and then. The same could be done with any type of unseasoned meat.

Put together a K9 bugout bag with a leash, water bowl and a container capable of holding several day’s food and can opener if necessary. We normally just keep these items stored in the go-bag at all times, it’s just as easy to keep them in the bag as it would be to keep them elsewhere.
Your standard first aid kit will cover most dog injuries but there are some other specific items that you may want to add to your dog kit:

1) Natural pet sedatives such as Tranquil Tabs or Easy Dog will help ease anxiety. Melatonin may also be used with a vet’s approval.

2) Extra eyewash, swabs and anti-septic wipes.

3) Dog nail clippers

4) A tie-out cable. You may have other things to do in an emergency or evacuation besides hold a leash.

5) A photo of you and your dog together to help identify your dog if it is stolen or lost.

6) A copy of your dog’s vaccination certificates

Get some K9 first-aid training.
Contact your local American Red Cross, they now offer courses in pet first aid. A 30 minute DVD covering common dog first aid is available on their website  HERE

Learn K9 CPR…. here’s a great video

There’s also some good books available:
“Field Guide: Dog First Aid Emergency Care for the Hunting, Working, and Outdoor Dog”
“First Aid for Dogs: What to do When Emergencies Happen”
“The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats”