After hearing about all the devastation that the most recent hurricane left in its wake, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to be prepared in the event of an emergency evacuation with your dog.
Unfortunately, most of the time when an emergency evacuation is necessary, we don’t have a lot of time to get ready for it. That’s why a little pre-planning can be a real lifesaver – literally.
Today I want to share some tips for preparing for an emergency evacuation with your dog. Keep in mind that this is important information, because any of us could be forced to leave our home at a moment’s notice when faced with hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, fires, or any other natural disaster.
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3 Tips For an Emergency Evacuation With Your Dog
1. Locate a dog-friendly place to stay
Whether you’ll be staying with a friend or relative, or if you’ll need to find a motel or other lodging that will welcome your pet, this is definitely something you can plan for now.
Familiarize yourself with local motels and hotels that allow pets. Make a list of national chains that allow pets, and keep this in your dog’s emergency bag (see below). Be sure to include phone numbers.
If you’ll need to stay with a friend or family member, make sure in advance that your pet is also welcome.
If there are no other options, you can contact your local Red Cross for help finding a local shelter that will welcome your dog.
2. Pack an emergency bag for your dog
When you evacuate your home, you’ll want to make sure your dog has everything she’ll need for 7 days. Be sure to include:
- A spare leash and collar with ID tag: even if your dog is microchipped, it’s so important for her to have an ID tag with your current contact information, especially in an emergency situation
- Collapsible food and water bowls: These are great because they take up very little space in your bag
- Current vaccination records: ask your veterinarian for a copy of your dog’s most recent shot record and keep this in your emergency bag
- Poop bags: because, you know, you want to clean up after your pet no matter what the circumstances are
- A blanket and toy: these will bring comfort to your dog because they’ll remind her of home
- A pet first-aid kit: because it’s better to be safe than sorry
- Stress relievers: if your dog is prone to anxiety and fear, consider a Thunder Shirt or calming treats
- A photo of you and your dog: if the unthinkable happens and you become separated, a photo of your pet is essential and will also prove that you own the pet
These items can be added to your emergency bag in advance. I recommend packing a bag with these essentials and putting it someplace that’s easy to get to in the event of an emergency. I keep mine in the hall closet, so it’s easy to grab as we’re running out the door.
The following items can be added to your emergency bag at the time of evacuation:
- Food and bottled water for at least 7 days (use plastic containers to keep food fresh)
- Medication for at least 7 days (use a ziploc bag to keep meds safe and dry)
- Portable pet carrier (some motels and shelters will require these)
It’s important to pack only the necessities when there is an emergency evacuation. Take what you need, but make sure you actually need what you take.
3. Create a plan in case you’re not home
What if you’re at work or otherwise away from home when disaster strikes? I think this is every dog moms worst nightmare.
My advice is to ask a trusted neighbor or nearby friend or relative to check in on your dog in the event of an emergency. As part of the plan, you can agree to do the same for their pets if they’re away at the time.
Make sure this caretaker knows where your emergency bag is located, as well as the name and contact information of your veterinarian.
Grab This Free Emergency Evacuation Checklist
To help you plan for an emergency evacuation with your dog, I created this printable checklist. Click directly ON the image below to download your free printable now!
Do you have any tips for preparing for an emergency evacuation as a dog mom?
I’d love for you to share your experience in a comment below. Or better yet, why not click over to my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!