Thursday, August 12, 2010

The American Kennel Club® Offers Tips on How to Assemble a Disaster Preparedness Kit for Your Dog

A surge of wildfires, floods, and record-breaking tornados this year have proved that hurricane season isn’t the only time you should be prepared for the worst. If you own pets, the likelihood that you and your animals will survive a natural disaster depends largely on being prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. TheAmerican Kennel Club® (AKC)offers the following tips on how to assemble a pet disaster preparedness kit.

Food and water. Keep at least three days of food in an airtight, waterproof container and at least three days of water specifically for your pets in addition to water you need for yourself and your family.

Medicines and medical records. Keep an extra supply of medicines your pet takes on a regular basis in a waterproof container.

First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what is most appropriate for your pet’s emergency medical needs. Most kits should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment; flea and tick prevention; latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution; pet first aid reference book.

Collar with ID tag, harness or leash. Your pet should wear a collar with its rabies tag and identification at all times. Pack a backup leash, collar and ID tag. Keep copies of your dog license, vaccination documents and medical records in a clean plastic bag or waterproof container. You should also consider a permanent identification such as microchipping, and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. Visit www.akccar.org to learn more about microchips.

Crate or other pet carrier. Be prepared to take your pets with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting your pet. The carrier should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down.

Sanitation. Include pet litter and litter box if appropriate, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and basic household chlorine bleach.

A picture of you and your pet together. If you become separated from your pet during an emergency, a photo will help you document ownership and allow others to assist you in identifying your pet. Include detailed information about species, breed, age, sex, color, distinguishing characteristics and microchip number.

Familiar items. Put favorite toys, treats, or bedding in your kit to help reduce stress for your pet.

Additional tips on how to prepare your pets for emergencies can be found on the AKC Website at http://www.akc.org/news/disaster_preparedness/.

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