HOUSTON S – You’re probably aware by now that there’s a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico that’s headed straight for Texas.
It’s a great reminder to prepare ourselves and our dogs for hurricane season.
“It’s not that hard, but it is something that we typically tend to forget,” said Stephanie Bennett, owner of Believe in Dog Training, who shared 5 things you can do now before a disaster hits, to keep your dogs safe in case of emergency.
1. Prepare a pet emergency kit
“All these items could easily fit into a backpack, just depending on how much you need,” said Bennett, who recommends a two-week supply for food and medications.
“I always like to make sure to include my Heartgard and my flea preventative, because when it rains the mosquitoes are really bad, and heartworm does come from mosquito bites. So, make sure you always have your preventative,” said Bennett.
Here’s the checklist of the items you will need in the kit:
• Non-perishable food (can opener, if needed)
• Portable bowl
• Prescription medications (2-week supply)
• First Aid Kit
• Proof of Vaccinations
• Current photo of your dog
• Slip lead
• Poop bags
• Portable bowls
• Comfort Items (blanket and toy)
If you can’t get all these items by yourself, you can get a pet emergency kit on Amazon.
“It makes really easy for you. Just make sure that you have the basics, grab that bag and run with your dog,” she said.
2. Microchip your dog and always have them wear a collar with identification
“Even if they have a microchip, make sure they wear a regular collar with ID tags on it just in case because that makes things a lot easier,” said Bennett.
3. Keep your pet’s vaccinations current
“If you go anywhere, almost everyone is going to require proof of vaccinations if they’re going to have dogs around, so that’s really important. Keep that update now, because we never know,” said Bennett, who suggests not only keeping the vaccinations record on your phone, but also on your emergency case in case you lose power.
4. Familiarize yourself with pet-friendly hotels, emergency shelters, and possible friends or relatives that can board your pet.
“We all learned, especially with Hurricane Harvey, making sure that you’re aware of what’s around you, because if you’ve got pets, you’ve got to go somewhere where they accept them so you’re not stranded with your dog,” said Bennett.
5. Crate train your pet and keep an appropriately sized travel crate easily accessible.
“That’s a real big one. If they do have to go to a shelter, a hotel, or any Airbnb or any relative’s home, they’re going to have to be in a crate. So, it’s important because they’re going to go crazy and we’re going to have an emotional emergency going on that can also freak out our dogs. If they are very familiar and safe in a crate with a blankie that smells like home, it’s going to help them so much,' said Bennett.
To see Bennett’s complete interview, watch the video above.
To connect with Bennett, click here.
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