15 Ways to Prepare Your Dog for a Natural Disaster
Did you know dogs can also feel extreme stress during a natural disaster?
Just like us humans, they also feel panic and confusion during such times.
Hence, we must also prioritize our pet's well-being and safety in these scenarios.
Here are 15 tips to prepare your dog for any disaster or emergency!
1. Enroll your dog in obedience training.
A stronger bond between you and your dog helps prepare your dog for a natural disaster. Learning simple commands makes it easier to control your pet and ensure they are safe during disasters and any other potentially dangerous situations.
This bond can be fostered and nurtured with obedience training. This training builds trust, cooperation, and calmness in stressful situations.
When natural disaster strikes and your dog feels scared or disoriented, basic commands can help it regain composure and focus on its owner's voice and commands.
2. Create an emergency and evacuation plan.
When preparing a dog for a possible natural disaster, it is critical to have a safety plan in place for both your protection. These are the things that must be thought of in advance:
- choosing meeting points
- escape routes
- and who will care for the dog in your absence.
You better teach these plans to your dog by including them in your training. For example, when you play outside, stay a while at your supposed meeting points so your dog will get familiar with the place.
A list of essentials must be included in the plan in case of an unexpected evacuation, including:
- and any critical documents
So, having a well-thought-out plan in place for times of emergency will help keep both dog and owner calm and safe.
3. Always keep up-to-date identifications.
In preparing dogs for natural catastrophes, updating their identification tags is absolutely necessary.
To increase the possibility of reuniting with your dog in the event of separation.
Options for identification includes:
- a collar
- and a GPS tracker.
These identifications above should be checked and updated regularly, especially with your contact details. It would also help to keep an updated picture of your dog in case you need it.
4. Prepare adequate supplies of food, water, and medications.
During natural disasters, you must ensure that your pets have access to sufficient food, water, and any necessary medications that would last for at least a week to a month.
After a natural disaster, most establishments will be closed, and it may be impossible to obtain these necessities quickly. When resources are scarce, keeping at least a week's worth of dog food and supplies can guarantee that your dog still receives the necessary care and nourishment.
To guarantee that there are always usable supplies on hand, constantly monitor their expiration dates and replace anything that has gone bad.
5. Always keep your dog's leash, crate, and favorite toys nearby.
In a natural disaster, having a dog's leash, kennel, and favorite toys on hand is crucial. When the dog is in a new or stressful environment, a leash can assist in keeping them and the people around them safe.
Your dogs will surely benefit from having their own safe and comfortable toys in a crate, especially when evacuating during an emergency. The dog's favorite toys can ease his anxiety and make him feel more comfortable in dire circumstances.
Having these things on hand and ready to go can help you respond swiftly and successfully in the case of a natural disaster.
6. Make sure your dog undergoes protective mask training.
In a natural disaster where the air quality becomes toxic and dangerous, training your dog to wear a protective mask is essential.
Because a protective mask can shield the dog's respiratory system from hazardous chemicals or toxins in the case of a disaster.
And if your dog isn't accustomed to wearing one, the mask can be the source of their anxiety and discomfort instead of helping them. It would be so much easier for them if they were trained to wear one from an early age.
Beginning this training early will give the dog time to get used to wearing a mask before an emergency occurs. You can incorporate it with their playtime and shower them with treats so they can have a positive experience.
7. Perform evacuation drills with your dog.
Drills that simulate having to evacuate are essential and must be part of the training your dog receives for emergencies since they acclimate both the dog and the owner to the evacuation process. This also helps alleviate anxiety and instill a sense of security in preparation for a real emergency.
How to do this?
First, familiarize your dog with a container or vehicle, train it to walk on a leash, and familiarize it with an escape plan. The dog's chances of experiencing disorientation, panic, or resistance during an emergency may be reduced the more often it participates in evacuation drills.
In the event of an actual emergency, constantly assess the situation and make any necessary improvements before it's too late.
8. Provide your dog with socialization with unfamiliar people and animals.
To better prepare them for difficult situations, especially during natural catastrophes, you must socialize your dogs with various people, other animals, and even situations. This will prepare them for the stress of an emergency and build up their tolerance and familiarity with new situations and people over time.
Examples of socialization include:
- Taking your dog to the vet.
- Taking him to a dog park.
- Enrolling in a dog obedience course.
It reduces the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behavior and helps ensure the dog's safety and those around it in the event of a natural catastrophe.
9. Train your dog to be less sensitive to loud noises.
Because many natural disasters involve loud and unexpected noises that can create fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs, desensitizing them to loud noises is essential in preparing them for natural disasters. Your dog needs to be familiar with loud noises, such as:
Your dog can learn to be less anxious and scared of loud noises by being exposed to them gradually, regulated, and positively. You can start by playing recorded examples of loud noises at low volumes, then increasing them over time while rewarding the animal with goodies if they behave well.
Carefully observe the dog's behavior, and make any necessary adjustments to the exposure to prevent unnecessary anxiety or stress.
10. Install a location-tracking device in your dog.
One of the most helpful things you can do to be prepared for a natural disaster is to equip your dog with a location monitoring device. This is wise because your dog may be separated accidentally when disaster strikes.
A microchip or GPS tracker can greatly improve the prospect of finding them quickly when lost or separated from you. There are many trackers and chips that you can monitor using your phone, some even have cameras in them.
A location tracker gives you peace of mind during disasters.
Because it increases the likelihood that the two of you will be reunited sooner in the event of an emergency.
However, it should be tested and updated regularly to ensure the gadget functions well, and your contact information is always accurate.
11. Always carry a first aid kit.
In the event of a tragedy, having a dog first aid kit on hand for you and your dog is crucial. An emergency places your dogs at risk for injury from random dangerous things like flying glass, sharp objects, and animal bites.
You can immediately treat your dog's wounds with the right supplies, especially if no veterinary care is nearby or even open. Contents of the kit should include:
- sticky bandages
- hydrogen peroxide
- a muzzle
- a thermometer
- your dog’s prescribed medicine
- flea and ticks treatments
- and heartworm preventative.
12. Keep familiar scents close to your dog for comfort.
Bringing a blanket or a toy that smells like home to a dog after a natural catastrophe can help them to calm down and curve the anxiety that they are feeling.
This is because familiar items help the dog feel more relaxed and at ease in new and possibly stressful settings, such as during an evacuation or a natural disaster.
It is even recommended that when you get separated from your dog, you leave a familiar object, like your shirt, where you last saw it so they can easily find their way back.
13. Get your dog used to a carrier.
Getting your dog used to riding in a dog carrier is crucial to preparing for a natural catastrophe. Having a carrier on hand helps ensure that your dog is transported safely and securely during an emergency, ensuring they remain calm throughout the journey.
It might be challenging to transport dogs afraid of or uncomfortable in carriers. It is much simpler if the dog is familiar with the carrier and has a less negative reaction to it.
Providing food and positive reinforcement can help your dog become accustomed to being in the carrier over time.
14. Give your dog regular exercise and mental stimulation.
Preparing a dog for an emergency includes giving it plenty of exercise and mental stimulation on a regular basis. A dog's ability to deal with stress, boredom, and anxiety can be greatly enhanced by a regular exercise routine, puzzle toys, and other forms of mental stimulation.
15. Bring your dog to regular vet checkups.
The best way to ensure your dog is ready for a natural disaster is to take it in for regular medical checkups. A dog that receives regular veterinary care will ensure that your dog is in good shape to handle the stress and physical hurdles that may arise in an emergency.
By visiting the vet, you can:
- determine your dog's general health
- diagnose any preexisting illnesses
- and administer preventative measures such as immunizations.
Ensuring that if a calamity were to strike, you could take care of your dog's medical needs.
Being a responsible pet owner means taking all the necessary steps to ensure your dog's safety in the event of a natural disaster. Do not forget that you will be in the best position to handle a disaster and look out for your dog's best interests if you are both well-prepared for anything!