Emergency Preparedness for Your Dog


Let’s say you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, floods or even wildfires, and you suddenly need to evacuate your home due to an evacuation order for a few days or more. Are you ready to evacuate your dog? Emergency preparedness for your dog should be part of your prepping inventory. Your dog’s list of evacuation items should be listed in your disaster binder with your list of evacuation items. Your dog is devoted to you, so please be devoted to him/her.

Along with your storage of food, make sure you have food stored for your dog. We have extra dry food for Sampson as well as dehydrated food for him. Make sure you have some in your house as well as your bug out bag. Sampson has a bag of stuff we would bring with us during an evacuation (or when going somewhere for a visit). All in one bag, it’s easy to grab and go. Your dog’s leash, medications, etc. should all be in this bag. Set the bag on top of his crate, so all that stuff is accessible and in one place.

Remember to have his/her recent vet papers ready, and easily accessible, to take in an emergency. Our vet papers are already in Sampson’s bag, ready to go. Your vet papers will be your proof of up-to-date vaccines and whether your pet was spayed or neutered. More than likely, you may need to show these papers if you are staying at a dog friendly hotel right outside your evacuation area. I recommend you choose your dog friendly hotel/motel ahead of time and include it’s information in your evacuation plans.

Dogs are actually a very good defensive member of your family. Dogs will usually smell or hear someone before you will, so they will be an excellent alarm for you with their barking as well as a warning to the intruder. Your dog loves you, which means he’s ready, in a very instinctive way, to help protect you.

…although Sampson looks like he’s not in the mood for security at the moment

Dogs are also great companions to their owners. This can be helpful to you by relieving a little stress during an evacuation situation. So remember, being prepared ahead of time for an evacuation will make thing easier for you and your dog.



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  1. Commented elsewhere recently on a similar pet preparedness article… Storing and rotating a couple months of extra pet food allows you to find out about pet food recalls before you feed your mutt(s) tainted food.

    And don’t forget licenses. In my state, an unlicensed dog is a public nuisance per se, and they can be shot by police for just about any reason. Also, while we haven’t done it, might consider writing a check to one of the many “service dog certification” services on the web. No questions asked and any dog can (appear to) be a certified service animal. For $150 bucks, a little homework on your part, and a hard sell / poker face to the guy behind the counter, “No dogs allowed” might not be a problem at all.

    Geez, your dog looks almost as spoiled as ours. ;)

  2. If your dog is a bit (or a lot) larger, than Sampson, you can get them their own BOB. Something like this:
    Not an endorsement of any particular product.

    If you end up having to bug out, please keep in mind that your dog will ‘know’ something is wrong. So will you. Difference is that you will know what is going on. Take some time comforting your pet.

    Be well.

  3. A very helpful tip on having your dog’s records handy. I had not thought of that. I have extra dog food and medicine stored here, but really have not given much thought to bugging out with pets.

    It is so true that dogs (even little yappers) can be a valuable security asset. My dachshund (her name is Muffin) lets me know if anything comes onto our property. And she sees someone before they can spot her. She’s also good for chasing small animals/birds out of our garden. They are tough little dogs. They were bred to hunt badgers. Can you tell I LOVE dachshunds? :)

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