So, we recently had a tornado watch with some bad storms that came through. At one point in the storm, I actually got concerned because the dogs got very quiet and attentive to the door and windows. (I trust their instincts, especially with mother nature!!)
In light of this, I decided to review my emergency preparedness kit, as well as ideas to help stay as prepared as possible if a disaster or emergency does hit.
My disaster kit stays in my day hiking bag, which hangs on a hook by the door, so its available to grab for a spontaneous day hike or an emergency. The things I included in my kit are:
3-4 days worth of dog food
I have 3-4 days worth of dog food for each dog, individually packed and labeled. (Cleo is my brother’s dog who is staying with us for a while). She gets more food than Cricket or Cheyenne because she is larger, so her’s is easy to tell apart from my girls. Cricket and Cheyenne only have one scoop of food difference though, so theirs can be difficult to tell apart. Labeling them individually helps make sure I have each dog covered, as well letting me know how many days I have prepared.
This is a generic first-aid kit I bought at the local drug store. I have added any personal medications for myself to this, but it had the basics covered well. I am also working on putting together this great Mini Dog DIY kit, and a full-size version for emergencies, to include. In addition to these great tips from Life With Mutts, I would recommend that you ensure you have enough supplies to cover the amount of dogs you have and will need to be prepared for. I also recommend including any medications your dog may need for any health issues they may have to your dog first-aid kit.
I keep a copy of both girls vet records in plastic sheet protectors, folded up in the day hiking bag. I also keep a copy in my dog kit in the car. In the event that something happens to them, or you need to board your pup, or anything at all, you have a copy of their records for reference for any medications they take, prior health issues, proof of vaccinations, etc.
These stay in the hiking bag, and I have a separate set in my dog kit in the car, they are perfect for food and water. I simply keep mine in a gallon ziplock bag, although you may want to separate them out into smaller bags for each dog. My girls don’t have any kind of health issues right now, but if they got sick, I’d definitely do this. The ziplock bag helps keep any drool or water off of the rest of the contents of my bag, in the event that I can’t wipe the bowls down before packing them back up.
In addition to these items, some other things to include would be:
collars and tags – my girls don’t wear collars in the house, so I put them on them when I knew we had potential bad weather coming. Or you could easily stuff them in the bag, although you may not have time to put them on them if you have to leave suddenly. You definitely want your pooches to be able to be returned to you in case they slip out of their collars, you drop the leash, etc. This is likely to be an emergency, emotionally charged, and dramatic situation. Rule out no scenarios and try to prep as best you can.
leash(es) – after the scare of the dogs becoming super quiet and focused on the weather outside, I put their leashes on them, in the event that we needed to run, all I had to do was grab the bag (which was sitting by the door) on our way out. I gave them chew toys/Kongs to keep them busy while they were tethered to me until the storms passed. But having leashes handy is important to keep your dog(s) close during a chaotic and stressful event.
poop bags – you never know where you may end up, be prepared to be a responsible pet owner. You may also end up in a small space, such as a basement or small indoor room, and you don’t want to be sitting in a small space with your dog’s business in the floor. I also keep a gallon sized ziplock bag in my bag to put full poop bags in, to prevent the ripping of a poop bag resulting in poop all over everything.
water – ensure you have enough water to get through at least a day or two, For us, this is about 3-4 regular bottles of water.
favorite toy/blanket – in the event of prior knowledge of the potential for bad weather or disaster, you may want to pack your pup’s favorite blanket or toy. Being in a new environment during a stressful situation can be really hard for them. While having you near will help them through it, having a favorite comfort item can help, too. In addition, if for some reason you DID have to leave them with someone else or separate from them, the toy or blanket can help them through it until you are able to reunite.
treats – this is back to the comfort and easing the stress of that type of situation for your pooch. Especially if you have a dog who is training in any form, having treats can help reinforce their training even in an emergency. I also made sure to include a few of Cheyenne’s calming treats. She gets these treats for separation anxiety as we are working on crating separately from Cricket. They have helped immensely, and I included a few days doses, according to the packaging recommendations, for each dog. They are all natural, so I don’t have any fears to letting them have them within the packaging’s recommendations, and can help keep the pups calm in a chaotic situation.
jackets – this would totally depend on the time of year and where you live. But if it’s possible that you may end up outside for any length of time during wet or cold conditions, you may want to consider packing any jackets you may have for them. This could even include any life jackets, if you may be facing a flood, hurricane, etc. that could result in high water.
You would, of course, want to prepare an emergency kit for yourself as well. But these are the items included in my doggie emergency kit. Do you have an emergency kit? What’s in yours, or have ideas of what could be added to mine? Let us know!
~Ashton, Cricket, and Cheyenne