Your poodle is not just a pet but a cherished member of your household, providing you with love, loyalty, and joy every day. However, when a disaster strikes, such as a hurricane, flood, wildfire, or earthquake, your poodle’s safety becomes a major concern.
Many pet owners have experienced the devastating effects of natural disasters on their beloved pets, from injuries, illnesses, and separations to even death. Therefore, it is crucial to prepare and plan ahead to keep your poodle safe during a disaster.
In this article, I will discuss the problem of poodle safety during a disaster, share the potential risks and challenges, and provide some practical solutions and tips to ensure that your poodle stays secure and healthy in any emergency situation.
What Will I Learn? 👇
Stock and Store Necessary Supplies
Before any emergency arises, it’s always wise to have supplies stocked up inside your house or vehicle or in a portable travel kit to take with your Poodle! If you don’t have the space to stockpile such items, you should keep a list of them on your phone or at hand in case you need them at any given time.
While having a list isn’t ideal, it’s better to have it than nothing at all. Before proceeding with the supply list, just know that what I mention here may differ slightly with your Poodle. Certain factors like age, health conditions and preferences may change according to your Poodle, so don’t rely on this list to the fullest! So without further ado, here are my suggested items to hold onto:
Before any disaster strikes, you’ll want to ensure you have all the relevant documents in place concerning your Poodle’s medical and vaccination records, especially the rabies certificate. Obviously, you don’t have to carry them in paper form; simply having them scanned onto your phone, or Google drive or USB stick will do.
The point is if an emergency happens, you need to quickly be able to retrieve such info easily from one place. However, if you are leaving your Poodle in the care of someone else, you might want to include a hard copy of their records.
After all, if your Poodle needs to see an emergency vet, you’ll be able to provide the vet with accurate information about their medical history for them to receive better care.
Always ensure your Poodle has sufficient education and a collar with its contact details on it or a microchip. When adding such contact details, always ensure it has your and your veterinarian’s numbers on it.
Note: In today’s time, a home phone number is often useless if there’s an emergency and you’re not in your home. It’s better to include your cell phone number and a contact number of a friend or relative.
Food and water
To ensure your Poodle is safe, you’ll want to have at least three days of food and water supplies ready. For their water intake, it’s always good to have 2-3 gallons of jugs to hand. You should store these in your garage or house away from sunlight.
Top tip: If your Poodle eats canned food, always have a canned opener in the kit. Always rotate the food in your kit so it does not expire.
If the disaster is highly stressful, like an earthquake, hurricane, or traumatizing situation, you’ll want to comfort them. If your Poodle becomes just as stressed, it could cause detrimental problems to their health. Because of this, you should keep their favorite toy, easing the situation for them. Having their favorite object can allow them to settle down more easily and comfort them.
When you think of a potential emergency situation for your Poodle, there can be a range of things. Two possible situations that could arise are eating something toxic or hurting themselves outdoors. One great solution for this by keeping hydrogen peroxide in your supplies.
What’s great about this is that it serves a double purpose helping clean minor wounds and helping them vomit if they eat anything toxic.
Top tip: If you need to induce vomiting, always speak to a vet or professional first. You must become acquainted with the right instructions first and print them out on the bottle.
Towel or blanket
A soft blanket can be a lifesaver for your Poodle, especially if injured or stressed. It’s always good to have a soft microfiber blanket or towel to comfort and protect them in sticky situations. A towel can also double up, allowing your Poodle to rest on a soft surface, especially if the ground is hot, hard, or uneven.
First aid kit
Having a first aid kit in your supplies is a non-negotiable for your Poodle. You should have scissors, gauze, tape, and rubber gloves in the kit. Gauze is essential for helping manage bleeding and can double up as a makeshift brace. Whereas tape can keep items together in place and scissors can cut bandages.
Alongside this, you should keep antibiotic ointment on you in case your Poodle has a scratch, cut, or scrape. Antibiotic ointment can instantly help you relieve pain and reduce the risk of infection.
You’ll want to talk to your vet in advance to have a backup supply of any practical or useful medications in the kit. You might want to have some vet-approved over-the-counter medications like ones for ticks, fleas, and antacids. Just like the food, you’ll want to check the medications occasionally to ensure they’ve not expired.
If you can, keep a crate to hand as it can help provide your Poodle shelter. While you might have one already in your car, you should have a crate in an accessible place in your garage or store room. If possible, line your crate with blankets, towels, and other useful items.
A spare lead
It’s always good to keep an extra lead at hand in the car for your Poodle or attach it to the crate. If needing to vacate a place quickly, an extra lead can always help.
Include wet wipes in your supply kit; they’re fantastic for cleaning your car and Poodle’s paws and helping them in accidents. Wipes can help clear blood or dirt from a wound if they injure themselves wet or grooming.
Plus, feces, dirt, and outdoor waste can increase the risk of them facing bad bacteria and parasites. So these can act as an instant intervention to protect them from infestations and infections, stopping them from being sick.
Make a List of What You Need
A garage or storeroom is ideal for storing your disaster supplies. But, if you don’t have enough room in your home, it’s best to have a list of supplies at hand of what you have and require. After all, when an emergency arises, you might be unable to think clearly, and a list can help streamline your thoughts quickly. If you’re not sure where to store the list, here are a few places for inspiration:
- In the glovebox of your car
- Tapped to the refrigerator
- Pinned on your noticeboard
- In the travel crate
- On your mobile
Consider Places Where You Can Go
Before an emergency strikes, you must know where to take your Poodle if anything happens. One good place to consider is a local motel or hotel. You might want to research ones in your area to see if they’re pet friendly and disaster-proof. For instance, if there’s a hurricane coming, you’ll want to see if the hotel is at threat; if so, you might need to travel to another city.
If the motel is appropriate, keep their contact details on hand, and store their number in your mobile phone. In this situation, it’s always wise to have a backup accommodation in case multiple people are seeking shelter.
Similarly, if you have any relatives or friends who are away from danger, staying with them could be a good plan. If so, it’s always a good idea to check in with friends and family members to see if it would be ok to stay with them.
Staying at home
If you feel it’s safe to stay home during the disaster, you can always stay in your basement, attic, or cellar. But, in this situation, it’s good to have all the supplies stated.
Alongside this, you should have newspapers to cover the ground for their potty business, paper towels, and plastic bags for waste. Moreover, you should have a flashlight and battery operated radio so you can keep you and your Poodle safe.
Examine Your Transportation Options
You’ll want to consider transport depending on how many Poodles you own. You should consider getting a car or van if you have more than one Poodle. Similarly, if you don’t have any transport, you should consider who around you has it. Ask in advance if you can use someone else’s vehicle and store their contact details in case an emergency arises.
Plan to Leave Your Poodle with Other Folks if Necessary
There may be some emergencies where you won’t be able to take your Poodle with you. One example is when the disastrous Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of Southern Florida in 2005.
Back then, many owners had to flee, leaving their pets behind. Since, many animal organizations have collaborated to implement policies to enable crated dogs to stay with owners at shelters in special areas. However, if they allow it, you must bring a crate, food, water, and other supplies.
On the contrary, if you find them unable to accept pets, you have to see who else can keep your Poodle. To help with this, here are some suggestions:
- Friends or relatives
- A nearby boarding kennel that’s safe and can look after your Poodle
- A breeder
- An animal shelter that is safe from disasters
Remember: These places can fill up really quickly on the day with abandoned animals. So, it’s always a good idea to start making phone calls before the disaster strikes to know which options are best for your Poodle.
Succumb to Your Last Resort: Turn Your Poodle Loose
In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t have room for your Poodle, you might have to leave your dog. But don’t lock them in your home with no chance to escape. Instead, let them go and allow them to have a chance at surviving.
Note: Always plan ahead for an emergency disaster so this drastic option never becomes necessary.
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.