In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well as the mass evacuation going on in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma, it got me thinking about what I would do in an emergency. And just as you need to create a family’s emergency supply kit, you also need one for your doggy. I did some research and here is what FEMA and veterinarian experts suggest on creating an emergency kit for your dog:

Food: Keep at least three days worth of food in an airtight, waterproof container.

Water: Store at least three days worth of water specifically for your dogs in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.

Medications and Medical Records: Keep an extra supply of medications your dog takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.

First Aid Kit: Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Include a pet first aid reference book and the telephone number of the nearest emergency animal clinic.

Proof of Ownership: Place copies of your dog’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container in case your family needs to evacuate to a shelter and you need to board your dog elsewhere.

Proof of Recent Vaccinations: Some animal clinics and boarding facilities will offer shelter to dogs, but require your pup to have up-to-date vaccinations.

Collar with ID Tag, Harness or Leash: Your dog should wear a collar with his or her identification at all times. Also include a backup leash and collar in your kit. You should consider talking with your veterinarian about permanent identification such as micro-chipping and enrolling your dog in a recovery database.

Crate or Carrier: You may need to evacuate your dog in a safe, comfortable crate or carrier.

Sanitation: Include paper towels, newspapers, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for your dog’s sanitation needs. You can use bleach as a disinfectant (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to purify water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented or color safe bleaches, or those with added cleaners.

A Picture of You and Your Doggy Together: If you become separated from your dog during an emergency, a picture of you and your pup together will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pup. Include detailed information about breed, age, sex, color and distinguishing characteristics.

Doggy Comforts: Put his or her favorite toys, treats or bedding in your kit. Familiar items can help reduce stress.

Plan: If you plan on going to a hotel or motel make sure it is “doggy friendly.” Further, if you go to a public shelter, remember that your doggy will not be allowed inside so you need to secure other accommodations, such as an animal shelter or friend or family member’s home.

Stay Informed: Pay attention to update news. If there is a disaster pending, evacuate early with your dogs and do not wait for a mandatory evacuation order. It is always better to be on the safe side and ahead of the crowds.

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