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Emergency Preparedness for Dog Owners

by Coach Lilly

June is National Pet Preparedness Month. This is a great reminder to check your home’s personal emergency plan and make sure that you are considering your pet. Disasters can come in multiple forms. Depending on where you live, you could be at risk for floods, fires, hurricanes, tornado, or wildfires. Owning a pet is a real responsibility. Your dog is a member of your family—you should make preparations to keep your dog safe and healthy during an emergency just as you would for other family members.

One of the best things that you can do to make sure that you and your furriest family member are prepared for a natural disaster is to make a 72-hour kit for your dog. You’ve heard of how important 72-hour kits are for you and your family. To be prepared for a natural disaster, your dog needs one too!



Not sure what to put in your dog’s 72-hour kit? The American Humane Association recommends that you include the following items in your dog’s kit:


  • Food – This is critical! Store at least a few days’ supply and ideally a week’s supply of your dog’s regular dog food in a waterproof container.
  • Water – Try to store at least a gallon or more. Dogs need about a gallon of water for three days. Your dog may need more depending on his or her size.
  • Food and water dishes
  • Blankets or bedding
  • A photo of your pet and a photo of you with your pet – Keeping a copy of these identifying documents could help you reunite with your pet in case you happen to get separated during a disaster.
  • Veterinary records (including immunizations)
  • A supply of your pet’s important medications
  • A pet carrier
  • A dog-friendly first aid kit (including bandages)
  • A list of key contacts including local pet-friendly hotels, animal shelters, veterinarians, and friends and family – Many emergency shelters cannot take in pets. Before disaster strikes, do some research on the hotels and motels in your area and the area where you would evacuate in the event of an emergency.
  • Toys ­– This isn’t a must-have, of course, but a small toy could help bring your pet a lot of comfort in a time of emergency.
  • Sanitation bags and newspapers to clean up after your dog


Your food and water storage and medications should be replaced regularly. It’s a good idea to make sure the other items and lists of information are up-to-date regularly. If you are missing any of these supplies, remember that you can find many of these items on! National Pet Preparedness Month is a great reminder to check on your kit if you already have one or create one if you don’t have a kit for your dog yet!


You could store most of these items in a small backpack that is easy to grab and go in case of an emergency. One that is brightly colored may be the easiest to find in a hurry. If you have to evacuate, don’t leave your pet behind! Knowing that you have an emergency kit to grab can help you and your dog get to safety calmly and quickly. And even if you don’t have to use it, having an emergency preparedness plan for you and your dog and a 72-hour kit ready can give you peace of mind.



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