Dogs are part of the family, so when disaster strikes, you want to make sure you also have a dog disaster plan. With all the flooding in the U.S. lately, we want to make sure you know how to keep your dog safe during a flood.
We’ll begin with this important quote from the American Red Cross:
In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them too. If it’s not safe for you to stay behind then it’s not safe to leave pets behind either. Take action now so you know how to best care for your furry friends when the unexpected occurs.
Create a plan.
Knowing how to keep your dog safe during a flood starts with crafting a personalized emergency plan. Because you might choose to respond differently to each storm, it’s a good idea to have more than one dog disaster plan.
Here are a few emergency preparedness ideas to get you started:
When you hunker down:
If authorized emergency personnel have advised you to stay put, there are still steps you need to take to keep your dog safe.
- Bring your dog indoors. This might seem like a no brainer, but you need to ensure Fido is out of harms way. Even if his outdoor run is state-of-the-art, your home will be safer.
- Move poisonous items to higher ground and lock them up. If water comes into your home, you don’t want it to be contaminated.
- Block off any small areas where a frightened dog might try to hide and get stuck. It’s also a good idea to cover up fireplaces, vents, and pet doors.
When you evacuate:
If you need to leave town during a storm, preparing a dog disaster plan well before the waters start to rise is essential to knowing how to keep your dog safe during a flood.
- Leave early! If you wait until you have to be rescued, you might have to leave your dog behind. To avoid this heartbreaking reality, it’s best to be cautious and get out of town as soon as you can.
- Map out multiple routes to safety with dog friendly hotels along the way.
- Speak to a trusted friend or relative about collecting your dog for you if disaster strikes when you’re already away.
- Ensure you doggie emergency kit is accessible and ready to go.
After the storm:
Knowing how to keep your dog safe in a flood doesn’t end when the rain stops. Make sure to follow these steps when the storm is over:
- Keep your dog on a leash. Floods have a tendency to shift things around. Your dog could easily become disorientated or injured by debris.
- Be watchful for wildlife that might pose a threat to your dog, particularly snakes or fire ants that might be seeking higher ground.
- Be patient with Fido! Dogs feel stress too, so if your well-trained pup starts acting up, try getting him back into his routine as soon as possible. If problems persist, talk to his veterinarian.
Make a kit.
Having a dog disaster plan is only the first part of how to keep your dog safe during a flood. The second is having a pet emergency kit well stocked a ready to go. Your kit should contain the following items, at minimum:
- An extra set of tags for your dog, just in case. You’ll also need to get your dog micro chipped and keep its information current.
- Enough dog food for 4-5 days.
- Multiple doses of any medicines that your dog takes.
- An extra leash and collar.
- A toy or two.
- A photo of your dog in case he gets lost and you don’t have access to your phone.
Because of their nature, you can never be completely compared for a disaster, but following these steps will get you well on your way.