Hurricane preparedness for your dog can save a lot of panic and heartache if the unfortunate time comes when such measures are needed.
Anyone who has lived in Florida for any reasonable amount of time knows the importance of hurricane preparation. While it is often unnecessary to implement the plans and preparations, when it is, one learns the value all too quickly.
When making your plans, it’s critical to remember the furry family members too! Many people have learned the hard way that planning ahead makes all the difference. Pet owners have the added responsibility to plan for the animals. This means having extra pet food and necessities on hand in case you end up needing to shelter in place, as well as having a plan to take them with you in case of evacuation.
Never leave your dogs behind! This poses a risk not only for the animals, but for first responders and others as well. You may not be able to return to them fast enough once a hurricane has past to save your dog.
Hurricane Preparedness for Your Dog- Evacuation Kit
- Two-week supply of all required dog medication
- Dog food for a week or two. If feeding your dogs raw food, keep a small supply frozen in the back of your freezer and switch out as needed to avoid spoiling
- Bottled water for several days and bowl for drinking
- Pack an extra chew toy and/or dog treats to calm your dog in unfamiliar surroundings. Remember, if you are under stress your dog may also feel stressed.
- Make sure your pet has vaccines up to date and pack a copy into your kit. Include any information regarding special medical needs for your dog
- Microchip your dog and register and/or update your information with microchip manufacturer
- Antibiotic ointment (care for cuts and scrapes)
- Rectal thermometer (taking temperature)
- Tweezers (remove splinters, stingers, etc.)
- Bandages and padding
- Be sure you have leash and harness handy or pack an extra set
- It is usually good to have a crate on hand in case it is needed
- Store a few updated pictures with your kit in case the dog were to get lost in an emergency evacuation
- Old towels and bedding can come in handy and can be used for emergency first aid if needed
- Bags for dog walking clean-up
- Waterless shampoo and doggy deodorant can come in handy if you are stuck in a confined space (car or hotel room)
- Have a list of dog or pet friendly hotels within about 100 mile radius (depending on where you live) to make emergency evacuations easier. It can be a good idea to pick several hotel option – one north, south, east, and west. This is especially good for those who might need to escape the coast a couple of hours inland. Remember, you don’t often need to leave the entire state to get to safety
- Download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app to your phone. Not only does it walk you through a list of pet emergency care instructions, but it will locate the nearest accredited animal hospital or emergency center!