June marks the official start of summertime, and while it may be a season when “the livin’ is easy,” June has also been deemed the month for dog devotees to ready their four-legged loved ones for the possibility of days when living is rough due to a natural disaster. National Pet Preparedness Month marks a time for pet lovers to make preparations that be lifesaving.
As you know, the 2017 hurricane season was catastrophic. We spent three nights in a hotel (thank you, La Quinta, for being so pet-friendly!) with our dogs and cats as we waited out Hurricane Harvey. Our area received heavy rain but not flooding or storm damage; many areas were not so lucky. Just a week after Harvey struck, we adopted our cat Jetty, evacuated from a flooded animal shelter in a coastal town.
Preparations to Make for Your Dog
Pet parents can defend the members of their fur family against flooding, tornadoes, wildfire and hurricanes by planning ahead. The American Humane Association offers the following list of essential items to pack for your dog in the event of an emergency:
- To care for your canine companion’s nutritional needs, your preparedness kit should contain a 3 – 10-day supply of your dog’s regular food, along with plenty of water and food/water receptacles.
- Store any medications for dogs with health concerns, your pet’s current immunization records and a First Aid Kit to address any injuries that might occur during a crisis.
- A photo of your dog and a snapshot of yourself along with your dog will aid efforts to reunite you with your barking buddy if he or she becomes separated from your family.
- A leash and collar will help to keep your dog by your side, and a pet carrier will act as a safe sanctuary for your pet as he/she is transported to safety. Let your dog become accustomed to his/her pet carrier with pet preparedness drills.
- Store sanitary supplies, such as poop bags.
- Make a list of family/friends who live away from the affected area, veterinarians, the American Red Cross, the American Humane Society and hotels which accept pets. (Note: If your dog is not a small breed, check with hotels beforehand to ensure that they do not have size restrictions.)
- Although they may not be must-haves, your dog’s favorite toys will give him or her a sense of security in the days following a crisis.