Some background on this tip's submitter, in her own words:
"About me? Wow, OK, I originally became interested in emergency preparedness when while on the safety committee working for a former employer, I was looking into creating a document for our work area on supply kits and general 'tips' on what to do. Anyhow, it took off. I started doing the 'pet preparedness' stuff when it dawned on me that no article I had read, or seen mentioned more than a small blurb on the subject.
I'm employed as a Web Test Engineer at a Specialized Software Company and hope to do more with disaster preparedness in the future. I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids, I'm 32 and happily married. I'm very good at answering my E-Mail and can be reached best in that manor."
Preparing for a disaster, whether earthquake, flood, hurricane, or others, is never easy. Some don't even find it necessary. But those of us who have either survived through a major disaster or understand the reality of it, are prepared or we're getting prepared now. We put aside food, water, clothing, shelter, and other supplies; and put it all in a safe place. We make a rotation schedule and we train our children what to do when, not if, but when IT happens. But what about our dogs? The member of the family who most depends on us for his sustenance; nourishment, water, and companionship. Have we thought about his needs? Most of us have thought about food, but did we pack enough water for him? How about first aid? Protection from the elements? Does he have any special needs?
Disaster preparedness for you dog can be as easy as preparing for yourself and your family if you take a good look at what his needs will be. Imagine yourself after an earthquake. There is a gaping hole in the side of your house, repairable, but exposed. All the fences are down and you have no electricity, gas, or water. What will your dog need in this circumstance? Water is the one item no animal can live without. It will be the most necessary. He will need very near the same amount you do to remain comfortable; and his normal food. That hole in the wall and your non-existent fence means that your dog is not contained. Not all dogs need to be contained, but there are now hazards in his environment that were not there before. Broken glass and wood, no sanitation services (garbage pickup), and displaced wildlife. Without veterinary services, a good strong collar and a tie out chain can save his life. This is just an example of the many circumstances that can pop up, but all of them survivable IF you and your dog are prepared.
Below are items to keep in your family kit for your dog in case of disaster and an explanation where necessary.
ITEM EXPLANATION ROTATION Water 1 gallon per dog, per day (less for Rotate every 3 months small dogs; more for pups, high activity dogs, and elderly dogs) Dry Food A bit more than you are normally Rotate every year feeding as the calorie requirements will be higher Wet Food If you use wet food, remember a can Rotate every year opener! Collars/Leashes/Tie Check sizes of collars outs and condition of leads each year First Aid A good human first aid kit will have Check all items yearly most items needed. Make minor for expiration dates additions like Bag Balm and masking and condition tape (first aid tape doesn't stick to some dog's coats) Dog Boots Protect your dog's feet; he may be Make sure that the required to walk long distances in and boots are in good around broken glass and wood condition and that they still fit yearly Vet Records Keep a complete medical history on hand Update whenever necessary Thick Blankets Store whatever you think your dog would Check blankets yearly need if required to sleep outside for wear/moths/etc. and/or if his bed/crate was destroyed (especially indoor dogs) Flea Spray/Powder Check expirations dates yearly Brushes/Combs etc. Check condition of equipment yearly. Rawhide/Chewtoys For keeping his teeth clean with a Rotate rawhide yearly minimal amount of water. Fends off and check condition of boredom as well toys Prescription Meds Check expiration dates Special Dietary Needs
Most sources say to prepare to sustain yourself for about 3 days, but it is wise to prepare for a week or more. In a situation where stress will be high, you'll need your best friend to lean on and take care of you. Take care of him too.
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