Natural disasters are part of human life. They come in the form of earthquakes, floods, storms, and hurricanes. They take everyone by surprise — indeed, something beyond one’s control.
Each time any of the aforementioned happens, thousands of lives are lost, properties are annihilated, emotions are shattered and made unstable. Sadly, despite the knowledge of these natural disasters coming to a specific area, individuals still cannot be free of the former’s effects.
In times like these, almost everybody can get rattled and save himself first or his family members — then, pets come last, which is of course heart-wrenching. By the time things have come back to normal, pets, especially dogs, are in raging distress or worse nowhere near alive.
So, how should this be addressed? How should dog owners prepare their pets should there be an incoming disaster?
Here are steps on how to prepare your dog in any case of emergency.
1. Provide your pet a dog tag for identification purposes.
Here, you must secure your dog’s collar and tag. There’s also another way to let your dog be identified: microchips — which need to be updated. With microchips, there’s a higher chance that you would get your dog back easily. While with the former, a problem may occur due to the fact that objects may get tampered with at the drop of a hat. Still, microchips couldn’t be immediately discovered just by anyone. That is why it is safe to include your dog’s collar and tag first and foremost.
2. If there’s a need for you to evacuate, include your pets in the process.
This might be a challenging time because you are in panic mode, but remember, if you are panicking, so is your dog. While you can, evacuate as soon as possible. Look for safe places (such as hotels or a relative’s house — even a veterinarian clinic) that cater to people living in endangered areas.
Now, if you would stay at home, make sure to put away sharp and small objects lest your dog ingests them. Find a room where your dog (or if you have other family members living with you) could stay for safety purposes. Bring all food, emergency kit, phones, and radios. If all else fails, you can set up your car too.
Once the big enemy visits, put your dogs on a leash to avoid spreading diseases such as rabies and leptospirosis to your family members.
3. Handle the aftermath of the disaster with gentleness and fortitude.
Take note of your dog’s behavior because it might have trauma from the said experience. As much as you can, offer cuddles and hugs, and bonding moments wherein you talk with your dog in a sweet and calm manner. Moreover, give your dog time to rest a lot. It surely had been awake since its senses are more prone to sensitivity in times of distress. Lastly, if you observe that there is something wrong with your dog, immediately rush to a veterinarian.
But what if there’s no vet available? You have to be gentle with your pet. You should not do anything to trigger it, or you might get bitten. Fear is still there, so it is still something to take note of. No hugs and no near distance spaces. Avoid direct eye contact too.
Indeed, it is really difficult to face these kinds of adversities. As a pet owner, it feels like the obligation rested upon a true parent is on you too while you prepare and take care of your dog before, during, and after an emergency. While these disasters exempt no one, it is still a noble, heroic, and responsible act that should always be implemented.