Power outages, water shortage, and food inadequacy. These are some of the known effects of most disasters, which as we all know occur, sometimes without warning. Everyone has 20/20 hindsight, but it wouldn’t solve the aforementioned problems when they occur. Things happen that are out of our control, some natural and others man-made. And while we can’t stop them from occurring, we can always be prepared for the worst so we can mitigate the consequences.
When it comes to the family household, keeping a few articles at hand can make an unexpected disaster experience a lot less uncomfortable. And even as we go out of our way to be prepared we shouldn’t forget the four-legged members as well.
Be prepared for your dog’s sake
Perhaps one of the most common situations people face is that of having no power. This effectively means no lighting. While the feline breed can handle this quite well, we and our canine friends don’t cope nearly as well. Sure your pup could use their nose, but it’s more important that you are able to see them in order to keep them safe.
Avoid candles, since these can quickly become a fire hazard for pets. LED flashlights are small and very powerful, and are cheap (a couple of dollars at the thrift store). This will allow you to see and avoid any dangers, such as falling objects or even the annoying coffee-table corner that always gets you on the knee.
Staying warm is something else with the power out though. Wool blankets are perhaps the best and most cost effective means to keep both you and the pup warm (without the use of a fire). In extreme conditions, it is better that you stay together under the same blanket (a dog’s body temp is around 100 F) which will help keep both of you warm and safe.
Then there’s the importance of keeping your dog close to you. Keep a leash next to the door and one in a prepared bag, just in case you have to evacuate. A prepared bag should contain necessities for both you and the dog, but there are harnesses designed to help the dog carry its own supplies. Additionally, if there is more than one person in the home, designate one individual as responsible for your canine companion in order to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
Don’t forget the water
Perhaps the most important element for survival is water. When there’s no electricity, especially on a large scale, water is likely to stop flowing. No water? What are you going to drink? Both dogs and humans can go without water for up to three days, but that is when it’s cooler. In the heat, it will be necessary for a dog to drink more to cool their body (they’re most efficient at this through their tongues, which is the reason they pant).
Distilled water by the gallon is one of the best preparation methods. This water can be used to drink or wash with as well. You should also use pots and bowls to collect water from the tap as long as it’s flowing.
The importance of water brings up the subject of keeping the body clean and healthy. Medical supplies for you and the dog should be at hand at all times. Bandages and antiseptics (Hydrogen peroxide is favorable for dogs) should be kept nearby.
But, what if water is the issue, such as flooding? If you are in an area that is susceptible to flooding, it is good practice to keep a life-preserver on hand that is suited for your dog.
Food for the belly
Then there’s the need to eat. Keeping perishables when the fridge is out isn’t going to be effective, so how do you keep your belly, and the dog’s, full? Small bags of food kept in reserve are important. Avoid letting yourself run out of sustenance for the pup, make sure to have something for them kept away. Besides, it may not be possible to run down to the store and pick up fresh supplies.
On a related note, in anticipation for emergency situations the FDA has designated certain approved dog food brands to be human consumable. While it may seem a little strange, it is more important that everyone survive, even if it means sharing.
Share what you know
One of the most important things that you can do to prepare in case of a disaster is to interact with the neighbors you know and trust (fellow pet owners). Build a community that works and plans together for that just-in-case situation. Share what you know; you’d be surprised at what they could educate you on to help you be better prepared.
It’s important that every pet owner keep their dog safe, especially when there’s trouble at hand. While there’s not much you can do until the storm blows over, you can be prepared to keep both you and the dog safe.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!