Planning for an Emergency When You Have a Dog

Weather’s been much on everyone’s mind, particularly in the past several years—state-wide, country-wide, world-wide—as we witness a seeming increase in natural disasters. It’s tough enough to observe, much less experience, the toll on living beings of all kinds. Of course, when disasters happen, we likely observe communities and government agencies primarily (or, a matter of priority) rushing to the aide of humans. Yet, many pet-owners, particularly, feel an initial blow to the heart when they’re also thinking about animals injured, starving, or abandoned.

We’re not in Tornado Alley, nor do we New Jerseyans live on a fault, but there are plenty of reasons nature or other forces can cause emergencies to occur. As a vigilant pet-owner, what can you do to prepare for an event in which you needed to swiftly evacuate your home, furry-family member included?


Hit the Computer & Take Notes/Print on Real Paper:

Online diligence serves for tons of advice and resources for any emergency. But don’t wait for ‘it’ to happen, lest your internet go down during said emergency.  Research and then equip yourself with hard copies of the most useful information.


The ASPCA will help you cover your bases as you make emergency plans. And FEMA speaks to pet safety, rescue, and care in regard to pets and preparedness. And then there are local resources that you can tap-into ???? .


Checklists and Duffels:

In order to get your ‘just in case’ strategies and supplies in order, here are a few suggestions we’ve gained from such organizations, gleaned by experience, and/or might simply be matters of compassion and common sense. Part and parcel is really TWO parcels—1 ‘go bag’ for you (and perhaps each human member of your family) and 1 ‘go bag’ for your dog:


Fresh Doggie Bag Contents:


  • A photo of you with your dog(s) and any other pets (for identification)
  • Dog collar WITH tag; leash, collapsible bowl
  • 3-days of food and water
  • First aid kit with at least 3 days of basic medications (including antibacterial ointment) & bandages
  • Pooper scooper baggies
  • Documentation of current rabies vaccination (and any other relevant medical information) PLUS your vet’s name and number
  • Blankets & toys
  • Names/addresses of hotels that take pets


Communication Keys

Add some padding to your family AND dog emergency prep plan by sharing your strategy with friends and family…And, maybe, best neighbors and those you know and trust who live close –by in case you are not in an ideal position if a catastrophe does hit home. In addition to giving them access to your pre-packaged supplies, arrange for a meeting place post-emergency so that you can reunite with them and your dearest doggie.

Don’t forget

You’d never forget your precious pup. So, please don’t forget to anticipate disasters of any kind that might affect her—harm her or separate you from her. In addition, remember to check all of your ‘go bags’ and checklists to ensure information and expiration dates remain current.


It’s no fun to talk trouble, but it’s less fun to NOT address potential emergencies and suffer dire or traumatic consequences, right?


Pups@Play wishes you and your pooch safety in good times and bad.


Written by Julie L.