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Emergency Preparedness for Dogs | Pupford

December 27th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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Our hope is that you never have to use this information about emergency preparedness for dogs.

Even with that being said, the most important step to be ready for an emergency is to prepare now. Not when the emergency is happening, but now!

In this article (podcast audio and video versions found below), we will break down what you need to do to be ready for an emergency.

Here's what we will cover ⤵️

  • Things to do NOW (biggest section)
  • What to do when the emergency comes
  • What to do after the emergency


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ID your dog, and be sure that there are at least 2 methods of contact on your dog’s tags at all times

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Physical address

Also, be sure to microchip your dog. In an emergency, your dog may lose their collar, tags might get destroyed, etc.

Put together a disaster go-bag for your pet (or as part of your own go-bag)... it is best if all or at least the most important items are in a waterproof container (food, medications, etc.)

Here are some items to include in a dog go bag:

  • 6-foot leash (30 foot as well if you have one)
  • A strong harness
  • Food and water for at least 5 days (dehydrated food is lighter)
  • Be sure to include some lightweight chews to keep your dog engaged as needed (bully sticks are a good option)
  • A collapsible bowl
  • Medications for your dog
  • Dog first aid kit
  • Current printed-out photo of your dog with a description on the back
    • Include specific characteristics that might help them be identified
    • Name they respond to
    • Estimated weight, etc.
  • Written information with your pet’s feeding schedule, medication schedule, health issues, etc. in case you have to leave your dog with someone
  • A favorite toy for comfort/distraction
  • Towel/blanket for your dog
  • Poop bags
  • Light/light-up collar or something similar
  • Vet/vaccination records if possible

Have a plan (use your notes app on your phone and share it with a trusted friend or family member) and have an emergency helper as part of the plan if you are out of town when a disaster hits

  • That plan should include where you will try and get to
  • If you are able to get out, where you will make a new home base
  • Some people choose a church, a stadium, or a large landmark in their area but of course, this will depend on the severity of the disaster
  • Include a list of pet-friendly places in your surrounding area (ie hotels, etc.)
  • Get a Rescue Alert Sticker or make one on your own
    • It should include the animals in your home
    • Display it in a window or on your fridge
    • If you have time, write evacuated across the sticker so people know not to search for your pets



If possible, evacuate early and take your dog with you. If it’s too dangerous for you, it is too dangerous for your pet

If you are unable to evacuate, consider the following:

  • Close off areas where your dog may try to escape to
  • Keep your dog close on a 6-foot leash… you do NOT want your dog to be able to escape from you or get loose, no matter how scared they get
  • Keep your pets indoors, no matter what
  • Have a safe room with your “go-bag” in case you are unable to get to other parts of your home

Related Reading: Pet Insurance 101 - How to Choose Pet Insurance

AFTER THE EMERGENCY (and you are still in the area)

Be patient with your dog. If you are scared/nervous, they probably are as well!

Don’t let your dog roam free if there is still debris, fallen down homes, etc. There likely will be glass and other dangerous items. So keep your pup near you!

In some cases, wildlife will end up near where you are. Do your best to keep a distance from them.


Above all, have a plan, keep your dog's ID and vaccines up to date, and prepare a go-bag for your dog!

Preparing NOW is the best action you can take for disasters or emergencies.

Anything we missed? Tell us in the comments!


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