The American Kennel Club offers tips for you and your pet during a natural disaster

Emergencies are often unexpected and happen without notice. From fires and floods to hurricanes and earthquakes, the worst can and does happen to dog owners all over the country. Just like you have a plan in place for humans, you also need a disaster plan for your dog:

  • Have a pre-evacuation plan. During an evacuation, you’ll have very little time to decide what to take. The last thing you want to worry about is what your dog will need.
  • Put together an evacuation checklist. Make sure anyone who watches your dog will know where to find your dog’s food, medications, medical records, leash and crate.
  • Create an easily accessible and waterproof tote with emergency supplies that you can access at home, in the car, or grab-and-go if you need to evacuate.
  • Remember to fill waterproof containers with a week’s supply of food, medications, and drinking water. Include a back-up leash, collar, ID tag, as well as extra food and water bowls. Have a sturdy, safe, and comfortable crate or carrier ready for easy transport.
  • Have a record of your dog’s up to date medical information, especially his microchip. Make sure you have all necessary information written down and ready to go in case of an emergency. This includes vaccination and medical records, proof of ownership, veterinarian contact information and insurance information.

If at all possible, never leave your pet at home. Most evacuations can last a few days but sometimes you may not be able to return home quickly. If you plan to go to a hotel or shelter, call ahead to confirm that pets are welcome. You can download a Pet Emergency Planning Guide at www.akcreunite.org.

This article was released by the American Kennel Club.