• December 6th, 2022
    Written by: Kimberly

    Over the past few years, many areas of the country have experienced emergencies following natural disasters. If this has happened to your family, you may already be familiar with the challenges of getting your family, including any pets, safely evacuated from your home. 

    If this has not occurred for your family or if you are looking for solutions to be better prepared should it happen again, these are the strategies that you can use to prepare your dog for an evacuation or other emergency.

    Preparing for an Emergency as a Pet Owner 

    You never want to be in the path of a natural disaster, but you should always be prepared should one occur. This can help make the situation far less stressful and dangerous for your family. Preparing for this situation for the human members of your family often involves creating emergency packs that contain important documents and having some pre-planning in place should you need to exit an area quickly.

    You will want to take the same steps to prepare your dog, including doing all of the following in advance:

    • Have a Go Pack for Your Dog - Like a human go pack, this is a bag or box of your dog's things that you can quickly grab and be sure that you have everything your dog needs. This should include vaccination documents, vet records, extra food, a toy, a leash and collar, and any medication that your dog might require.
    • Keep Your Dog Ready - Having your dog microchipped, up to date on vaccinations, and correctly tagged will help protect your dog in whatever situations that might arise after an evacuation.
    • Have a Plan - Considering the disasters in your area, do some pre planning for where you might evacuate to and take the time to look up any dog friendly hotels or family members you can stay with should you need to.
    • Train for Evacuations - There are a few training aspects that will help keep your dog safe and calmer during an evacuation. This includes ensuring your dog is familiar and comfortable in his crate, getting your dog comfortable around other people and socialized in a variety of different environments, and basic obedience like a down stay to keep your dog calm and in place while you need to deal with other tasks. This training can help your dog feel more comfortable in what is likely to be an extremely confusing situation.

    Although the best preparation may not always go to plan, having these pieces in place will give you a good basis and take care of the basis. This also makes it easier, when necessary, to rely on rescue groups like the Red Cross and others who will often have assistance available for any families with pets.