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Emergency Preparation for your Dog

Here in South Florida, we are all keenly aware of Hurricane Season preparation. But did you know that you need to also prepare for your pet in case of an emergency?

Pets whose owners fail to have an emergency plan, can end up abandoned, injured or worse. That's why planning ahead can make everyone happy and healthy if a crisis strikes.

There are generally two types of emergencies you should plan for. The first is an emergency like a storm that can leave you without external sources of supplies such as water, food or gasoline. The second is the kind of emergency where you need to immediately evacuate your home such as a fire.

For all emergencies, it is important to have your dog's information in a safe and handy place. This includes a photo of your pet, microchip information, medical history and feeding instructions. This will help if your dog ever is lost or separated from you.

For storm emergency preparation, the key is the have enough supplies for your family AND your pet should you be stranded for an extended period of time. This includes enough food, water and medication to last up to three weeks. If your dog is on a raw diet or requires refrigeration for their food, find a healthy dry alternate that you can switch to in case you have no electricity or refrigeration. Have a number of the dry dog food bags stored safely through hurricane season and as the season ends, go ahead and allow your dog to eat the food before it expires. If you do not want to give your dog that food unless there is an emergency and it is about to expire, consider giving it to a dog shelter or rescue as they always need help. Also make sure that you have supplies for your pet in your First Aid kit. This should include an extra collar, leash, water and food bowls. You should also have a dog crate or kennel on hand in case you need a safe place to put your pet if doors or fences break.

For evacuation emergencies such as a fire, plan ahead for what you and your family need to do to also make sure your pet is safe. Write down your plan and rehearse it with everyone and designate one person who will be responsible to find and secure your pet. If each person has a role to play and they know it well, you will increase the chances of everyone coming out safely.

For more information or helpful advice, check out the HealthyPets article by clicking here.

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