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The Emergency Preparedness
Tip o'da Week

Disaster Preparedness for Dogs
By Tammy Baltazar, Baltazar Enterprises - Canine Preparedness

A dogSome 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."


Cookout with dogPreparing 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?

Lady walking the dogDisaster 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

Dog boneMost 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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