Recent World Events brings to mind the peril facing domesticated pets in natural disasters.
A disaster does not need to be on the epic scale of the tsunami in Japan or Hurricane Katrina to put people and animals in dire distress. We’ve all seen images of the dogs from Katrina and remember stories from other disasters. In the last year alone I can think of a huge number of disasters worldwide, Floods, Hurricanes, Forest Fires, Ice-storms, Extreme heat, Extreme cold, earthquakes, tornados whatever; having a plan and making provisions for yourself and your pet in an emergency is more than responsible it is essential. Some things can’t be prepared for, but doing everything you can to protect yourself, your family and your pets will never be a wasted exercise. There is no better website to suggest than the Disaster Preparedness Guide from the Borzoi Club of America. No matter where you live there are tips, guides, info and suggestions that can be applied to any pet anywhere. Print out the kit list and get it put together you will be so glad you did.
Most of us hopefully won’t ever have to face a life and death emergency where evacuation is necessary. There are less serious events such as a bad storm or a tornado that can cause prolonged loss of electricity. Having food on hand that is portable and easy, requiring no refrigeration is essential for you and your animals. Whether or not your dogs are on a raw diet having an emergency supply of fresh good quality kibble on hand is a good idea. I would suggest esp. if kibble use is only occasional to buy grain free & a protein percentage of about 22-24% (it is a little difficult to find grain free that doesn’t have an extremely high protein percentage, I use a kibble that is wheat,corn & soy free but does have brown rice.) Use as a training treat or cookie treat to prevent it from going stale or bad. Kibble keeps well in the freezer and should be kept there if you are only feeding occasionally. The more variety your dog is accustomed to the easier it will be in difficult circumstances to take care of your dogs dietary needs. There are a number of good options including dehydrated food just needing water to be reconstituted and usually with a long shelf life with the added bonus of being light in weight.
Make a list, set up the Dog’s Comprehensive First Aid Emergency Kit from an earlier post on this blog copied here and added to for your convenience. A couple of items which I think should be added are an X-pen or soft crate with lightweight bedding and shade cloth.
- Vet Contact information, record of dog’s immunizations (I always keep at least a copy in car’s glove box)
- Surgical gloves non latex
- Bandages, sterile gauze pads, gauze rolls, and hypo-allergenic adhesive tape for treating wounds.
- Vet wrap Sticks to itself, won’t absorb water. Available in many colours. Take care not to wrap too tightly
- Hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
- Electrolytes eg. Pedialyte (powder or liquid) useful for humans and dogs to help prevent or treat dehydration
- Roast baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
- Saline eye solution does double duty, treat eyes & cleanse wounds
- Artificial tears gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
- Mild dish soap (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
- Hand sanitizer (can be used to clean wound in a pinch)
- Lubricant (such as KY® Jelly) – helps hold fur away from wound
- Tweezers (eg. to remove stingers)
- Scissors (blunt ended if dressings need to be removed)
- Styptic powder Styptic powder is an antiseptic clotting agent. When a dog or cats nails are trimmed they can easily be cut too close to the blood vessels. Much like a styptic pencil which is made of alum, styptic powder stops bleeding by contracting the blood vessels. Most pet groomers and veterinarians keep styptic powder on hand. Styptic powder causes the vessels to contract further back into the claw and also clots the blood. Often sold as ‘Kwik Stop’
- Muzzle to keep dog from biting during treatment
- Soft Cold pack
- Syringe liquid medicine dispenser
- Nail clippers
- Food- cans of your pet’s favourite food, favourite treats
- Charcoal capsules Activated Charcoal taken internally relieves gas and diarrhea. When given for internal poisoning, it adsorbs toxins and prevents them from entering the bloodstream
- Pepto bismol Bismuth subsalicylate – use to treat mild vomiting and diarrhea in dogs If vomiting and/or diarrhea persists for 48 hours or more; Caution: if the dog has a fever, is listless. appears to have abdominal pain; or does not continue to be alert and active, contact your veterinarian. Dosage Pepto-Bismol reg liquid: Dogs: 0.5-1ml/pound every 6-8 hours Regular strength tablets (often preferred by dogs): 1/4 tablet/20 pounds every 6-8 hours. Treatment should only be needed for 1-2 days.
- Analgesic (Deerhound safe) such as Rimadyl, Metacam, Tramadol (Ultram) Available from vet- use as directed
- Antibiotic ointment
- Manuka honey has high sugar content and produces an antibacterial molecule called hydrogen peroxide, which can be used as a disinfectant. Manuka Honey in particular is especially effective in treating infected wounds and other skin conditions (look for UMF levelof 16+)
- Thermometer Digital much easier safer than glass (marked exclusively “Dog”) (Normal temperature range 101-102.5)
- Slippery Elm capsules Useful for digestive upsets of all varieties as well as diarrhea and constipation, Slippery Elm soothes and tones tissues while drawing out and eliminating toxins from the body. From mouth to colon, it acts as a lubricant and protectant, making it an excellent choice for any inflammation or ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Water At least 2 litres drinking water
- Pen light
- Paper towel & Wetwipes
- Poop bags
- Xpen, soft crate or like below dog sun sheltering tent
Dog Haus (Dog Tent) available from Amazon.
If you have the time and the inclination you might like to participate with the Noah’s Wish organization.
Noah’s Wish has one mission: to save animals during disasters with our rescue and recovery services and to mitigate the impact of disasters on animals through our educational outreach programs. Like the American Red Cross does for humans, Noah’s Wish shelters, feeds and heals animals who have been affected by major disasters in the USA and Canada, like hurricane Katrina, floods in the Midwest, or wildfires in the West. A not-for-profit organization, Noah’s Wish depends on donations and volunteers to do its lifesaving work. There are 2 day training sessions scheduled in many areas. Visit the website to check for future dates.
Princeton, British Columbia July 9 &10
Loveland, Ohio August 6 & 7
Stillwater, Oklahoma October 1 & 2
Fresno, California October 22 & 23