Disaster Preparedness and Your Dog

By: DogTrekker Staff
Rhonda Stallings

Vet Buzz, by Rhonda Stallings, DVM
Arroyo Veterinary Hospital, Sonoma, CA

If you had to evacuate your house quickly, what would you take with you? Of course, your beloved pets and their emergency kit! Emergencies can happen at any time so we need to be prepared, both for ourselves and for our pets.

Just follow these 5 easy steps to get ready and be prepared.

1) Have a strong, portable hard-sided crate for every one of your pets easily accessible. Also, have extra collars and leashes, food and water bowls. These items are important should you have to evacuate.

2) Be sure that each of your pets is micro-chipped and wearing a collar with appropriate identification tags. Micro-chipping can be done at your local shelter, or veterinarian’s office.  It is a simple and quick procedure. ID TAGS should be legible and have your name, pet’s name and phone numbers – both home and cell. If possible, include your address. Be sure your dog is wearing its local city/county issued dog license.

3) Always keep an extra bag (two weeks supply) of dog food ready in your emergency kit. You can always rotate this extra bag so that it never gets stale. If you are feeding a canned diet, remember to store a manual can opener in the kit. Be sure you’ve also stored an emergency supply of water for your pet.

4) Have your pet’s medical records, including vaccination records and RECENT PICTURES, (a picture showing you with your pet is preferable) ready and in a waterproof envelope. You may need to place your pet in a boarding facility at a moment’s notice.

5) Put together a pet first aid kit. If your pet is on any long-term medication, plan ahead to have extra on hand. Pets that are diabetic, have heart conditions, epilepsy, thyroid and/or kidney conditions will need their medication every day.

By doing all this, you will be in a better position to care for your pet should disaster strike. For more information, visit Prepare you pets for disasters on the ready.gov page and the California state pet preparedness site.


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