June 21 is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Yes, there is such a thing. If you’re a dog lover, you’re probably gushing at the thought of being with your beloved pet at work. You get to show her off and the dogs get to make new friends. But are you ready in case something bad happens at work? Have you even given some thought on how to prepare dogs for disaster? Here are some important things you must know about pet preparedness.
Prepare Dogs For Disasters Before They Happen
Find out what particular disasters are likely to happen in your area. This should be one of the things you should know first when you’re moving to a new place. This important piece of information will help you with your emergency preparedness plans, including pet preparedness.
If you live or work near a nuclear power plant, for example, you should be wary of bringing your dog to work. More importantly, you should have a plan in case something goes wrong at the plant like what happened more than 20 years ago in Ukraine.
It’s interesting to note how the TV show Chernobyl is lording it over the ratings right now. Back in 1986, as many as 54 people died after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant exploded. Another 4,000 to 93,000 supposedly died from the after-effects of the disaster. And we’re only talking about human casualties.
A 2009 report by Reuters indicated that animals were also adversely affected by the nuclear power plant explosion. A study by the National Center for Scientific Research discovered that animal population in contaminated areas were way lower than in places not affected by radiation. A lot of the animals also showed deformities.
If you don’t want your pet dog to grow wings or something, you better be informed. Aside from knowing the possible disasters, you should be familiar with emergency preparedness plans of the local government.
Do your own research, as well. Map out the safest routes when you need to evacuate. Know what exactly you have to do during a particular disaster. Also, be aware of the needs of your dog so you can be better prepared in case of an emergency.
Include Pets in Your Emergency Plan.
When disaster strikes, we are not the only ones directly affected. Hurricane Florence, for example, claimed the lives of millions of animals.
Since many consider their pets as part of the family, it’s quite logical to include them in your disaster preparedness plans. Remember, if you leave your pets behind during a disaster, they are more likely to be lost or at least hurt.
If that thought doesn’t move you, check out these photos of dogs and other pets left behind by their owners during Hurricane Katrina. Now before you spew hate on the owners, know that it is difficult to think straight during an emergency.
Many of the owners probably forgot their pets in their haste to evacuate to safety. Another possible reason is that some animals get scared easy and they probably scampered off due to the chaos. Still, many of them were left behind because the owners didn’t know how to prepare dogs for disasters.
Once there is an announcement to leave for safety, you should set your evacuation plan in motion. Each member of your family will have a role to play. Ask one or two of them to be responsible for the dog. Ask a neighbor as well to check upon your pet in case none of you are available to do so.
An evacuation plan is not a well-though of plan if you don’t have a place to go to. Design a meet-up point where everyone will gather. Make sure you find a place that will allow animals in their premises. Pet-friendly hotels or relatives outside of town should be on the top of your list.
Prepare a Bug Out Bag For Your Pet
Prepare dogs for disasters as you would your family. Ideally, each member gets a bug out bag. Build a grab bag for your dog to make sure she has food to eat, water to drink, and other basics she needs to survive.
Make sure you have at least three days’ worth of dog food and water in her emergency kit. You should also include a first aid kit, medicines, and her medical records. Don’t forget to pack dog soap or shampoo, paper towels, old newspapers, garbage bags, and other stuff necessary for sanitation purposes.
Small dogs should have a carrier or crate. It’ll be easier to transport them and to keep them from wandering around, especially if you’re in an evacuation center. For bigger dogs, a leash will do. Make sure she also has a collar with identification and rabies tags.
Speaking of identification, you should keep at least one photo of you with your pet dog. Make sure distinguishing characteristics are noticeable in the photo. She’ll also need documentations such as adoption papers, registration, and vaccination documents.
Your dog may also experience trauma from the disaster. Help comfort her and relieve stress by packing her favorite dog toy, treats and other items that are familiar to your pet.
Prepare for Medical Emergencies
Animals may get hurt during a disaster. Make sure you have a first aid kit for your pet. Also, get some basic first aid training so you’d know what to do in case your dog gets hurt. Identify veterinarians and animal clinics near your bug out shelter or meet-up point. Check the video below to get more tips on building your dog’s first aid kit.
Microchip Your Dog
In case your dog gets separated from the rest of the family, it’ll be easier to find her if she has a literal chip on her shoulder, more particularly below the skin at the back of the neck and between the shoulder blades.
When A Disaster Is Imminent
One you get wind that a disaster is about to strike, you should take the necessary steps to keep your family, including your dog, safe.
Do Some Last-Minute Preparations
If a tornado or hurricane is about to hit your area, you may still have time to do some last-minute preparations to keep your home safe. Fortify your home by covering the windows with plywood, bring loose items inside and secure the ones that are too large to move. Most importantly, take your dog inside. That is, if you usually keep her on a leash outside.
Once you’re safe inside your home, listen intently to the news and wait for announcements from the local authority. Take note of any developments regarding the storm. If you stay up-to-date, you’ll know when it’s time to leave and head to a safer place.
Keep the communication lines open. If power goes out in your area, the only sure ways you can stay updated is to have a battery-operated or hand crank radio along with old school communication devices such as a HAM radio.
You can also use your smartphone as long as the communication grid is operational and you have enough juice in your batteries. It would be wise to have a spare battery pack and a power bank.
Once SHTF and the order to evacuate is given, everyone should know what to do. As mentioned, you should have a plan in place for such a scenario. Practice your evacuation until its second nature to everyone. That means whoever is in charge of the dog should automatically grab her and her emergency kit as you bug out.
You’ll likely be evacuating in your bug out vehicle otherwise known as your family car. Make sure you have the proper equipment for your dog such as a pet seatbelt or harness.
Disasters such as strong storms, floods, earthquake and fire are stressful enough. Having to deal with a lost pet after surviving the ordeal does not help at all. Lessen the troubles by knowing how to prepare dogs for disasters. If you’re confident that your pet dog will make it through, you can train your focus on keeping your family safe.
It’s easier to handle dogs during emergency situations f they are well-trained. Turn your dogs into obedient pets with the help of programs like Brain Training for Dogs.
To know more about pet preparedness, please visit The Gentleman Pirate. If you happen to know other tips on how to prepare dogs for disasters, please feel free to share them with other dog lovers out there.
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