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Emergency Preparation for Dogs

Emergency Preparation for Dogs

AUBURN, Ala.—Emergency preparation for families includes the family pet. When preparing for severe weather, dog owners need to take several steps to prepare their animals for the weather. The following are measures that can be taken to keep your dog safe and prepared in an emergency.


Make sure that your dog wears a properly fitting collar that includes current identification, license and rabies tags. An appropriate identification tag should include your name, address and phone number. In addition, put a temporary identification tag on your dog with the phone number of your veterinarian or out of state relative or friend. There is a good chance that phones may not work after a disaster.

More permanent forms of identification include tattoos and microchips. Do not keep a choke collar on a dog since it could get caught on something and possibly strangle your dog to death. In addition, keep a properly fitting dog harness and leash in your emergency kit. A frightened dog can slip out of a collar, but not a harness.

Keep Current Pictures of your Dog

Include pictures of any distinguishing marks that would make it easier to identify of your dog. Include yourself in some of the pictures in case you have to show ownership. You may also want to send duplicate of the picture to your out of state relative or friend.

Train your Dog

A well behaved dog is easier to handle in an emergency and is a welcomed guest. It is also a good idea to crate train your dog. Make sure the crate is large enough for food and water and has enough space for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. The crate should be a source of comfort, not stress.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Owners should always keep a kit of essential items in case of an emergency. Owners should keep:

  • extra collars, leashes and a harness
  • a muzzle, which may be needed if your dog becomes agitated and aggressive during the confusion.
  • plastic airline crate or wire collapsible crate
  • current pictures of your dog in case your become separated
  • a list of places you can get food, boarding kennel space and health care for your dog in an emergency.
  • motels and hotels listings in communities outside your area that will accept dogs in an emergency
  • a listanimal shelters in case your dog is missing after a disaster
  • extra dog food, at least a weeks’ worth
  • a supply of drinking water, at least a week’s worth
  • extra food and water bowls
  • scooper, paper towels, newspaper, plastic bags and cleaners to handle your dog’s waste
  • a first-aid kit
  • regular medication
  • blankets and toys that are familiar to your dog.

Be sure to check the contents of the kits twice a year. Rotate all foods and water and replace every two months.

Emergency Preparedness iBook

This information and more is found in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System iBook. This iBook is to help families, businesses and communities prepare for storms and clean up after they pass. The Emergency Handbook is a comprehensive resource for emergency planning, preparation and storm recovery. It is available as a free download from iBooks.

Featured Image: Rohappy/shutterstock.com




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