Creating a dog emergency kit is the best way to protect your pets. Follow these steps to stay stocked up!
Be sure to choose a good storage container for your dog emergency kit. There are many types of containers that would work well. I recommend getting something that’s airtight, waterproof, and/or easy to travel with. Most of the storage containers I’ve seen tend to be plastic bins, but there are other ideas that would work well. Is your dog small and needs a carrying case? How about storing all of the emergency essentials in a backpack that is kept inside of the travel case? Consider what options would work best for your family, and you’re ready to begin.
Now that you have the storage container for your dog emergency kit, locate an accessible spot to store it. If you cannot get to your dog’s emergency kit in the time of an emergency, it isn’t going to help you very much! It’s best to store your kit in a cool, dry space. In case there is an emergency when you aren’t home, you’ll want to label the outside of your kit well so that the dog sitter or emergency workers are aware of its contents.
Tape a sealable waterproof storage bag to the inside lid of the dog emergency kit. In it, you’ll want a sheet of all important contact numbers. Make sure to list the contact number for any family members who live in the house, as well as a trusted family or friend in the case you are unable to be reached.
Other very important contact numbers to list are those of your veterinarian, pet insurance (if you have any), dog security centers (if your pet has a microchip), and also the local pet emergency center. You’ll also want to print directions to the nearest animal emergency clinic in case you need to travel there. Don’t forget to keep any of your pet’s important records in the bag, such as vaccination records and documents. The final item you need most in your sealable bag is a recent picture of your pet.
Pack food items for your dog in case your family gets displaced. I’d recommend an unopened container of dog food, a small unopened bag of treats, several bottles of water, and two bowls. If your dog prefers wet food to dry food, make sure to have enough containers to last your pet for multiple days. If possible, purchase pop-top cans, but if your cans come sealed, you’ll need to also bring a can opener.
Don’t forget to include an extra collar, leash, and temporary ID tags. If your pet gets separated from you, he might lose his collar, which is why you’ll want to have one on hand. In the unfortunate situation of your family being displaced from your home, a temporary ID will make all the difference in finding your pet.
Also, if you need to travel with your pet, you’ll want a leash to keep them close. Many temporary shelters will not take pets who do not have identification/vaccination papers or come unleashed.
Remember these last few essentials: Is there room in your dog emergency kit? If so, pack a blanket or at least a towel for your pet. If you’re displaced, your dog will likely be sleeping on the floor and would appreciate the extra warmth. Does your dog take any medications? Plan ahead with your veterinarian to get a one- to two-week stash of medicine you can add to the kit.
Depending on the room you have left, you may want to pack a small first aid kit or consider including some of the essentials, such as gauze. Pack a toy or a ball if there’s still space. I’m sure your dog will still enjoy playing if he didn’t get hurt in an emergency.
As some of the items in your dog emergency kit have expiration dates, and other important factors come into play (maybe the vet has changed his phone number), it’s important to go through your kit regularly. I’d recommend sorting through it once or twice a year. Be sure to replace any expired items with new ones, and don’t forget to update any official paperwork.
Have you created a dog emergency kit? What did you include? Let us know in the comments!
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