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An Evac Plan For Your Dog

I have two dogs that are just as much a part of the family as my wife and kid are. They sleep in bed

with us and lay on the couch. In return they protect the house while we’re away and alert us when they hear  something go bump in the night. I don’t think you should have a dog if you lack that mindset. A dog will do anything for you and lives to make you happy so please remember to include them in the family evac plan.
The pros to having a dog in a crisis far outweigh the cons. Your dog will guard the family with its life and they’ll hear stuff long before you do so they are an excellent early warning system. Size doesn’t matter, even the smallest dogs will still alert you and try to protect you. My ma has a little Pomeranian that’s gotta be getting close to ten years old now and she still runs the pack which includes a pitbull, a lab, and a hound.
Dogs can be trained to help with hunting and tracking as well.
You wake up one night to your dog barking its head off. What’s going on? A fire, a tornado, an earthquake? Regardless of the reason the first thing to remember is DON’T PANIC. Dogs pick up on body language and are very receptive to their owner’s emotions. Now that the disaster is under way you need to keep your dog calm, quiet, and under control. If you have worked with your dog this should be easy. If you haven’t your dog may bolt. A dog has built in survival instincts and will normally seek shelter close to home until the commotion calms down. If your dog didn’t bolt and you have them under control where are you planning on going? Do you know where the pet friendly hotels are? Most shelters won’t take pets and red cross shelters do not accept them at all. Do you have an evac plan? If you don’t its okay this guide should help you figure out a very detailed plan for your pooch.
*** Please, never, ever, leave your dog during an evacuation. The emergency officials may tell you it will only be for a few hours but there is no way to know for sure. Police can prevent you from returning to your home for weeks. Don’t leave your dog behind he/she wouldn’t leave you.

Preventative measures
There are a few simple things that should be done as soon as possible.

  • The first and most important thing is to establish a plan and practice it.
  • Get your dog up to date on all their shots
  • Consider getting your dog micro chipped
  • Make sure their ID tag is current and that it has your phone number on it
  • Discuss a plan with a trusted friend or family member that can check on your dogs if you can’t make it home do to a car accident or injury. Give this person a key and instructions for your dog.
  • Make copies of all of your dogs paperwork. Put one set in your pack and one set in the dogs pack. I have a list below of all the info you need

Training tips
Training should be fun for you and your dog. Practice for a few minutes a day instead of once in a  while and remember to be patient with your dog. Your dog lives to make you happy so disaster training will be a good way to bond with him.
Knowing your dog wants nothing more than to please you, remember that positive reinforcement and treats yields better results than being overly forceful. While you are training keep your dog on the left side of you not in front or behind. Remember to use a low firm tone and give lots of praise for a job well done. It is a good idea to increase stress in the house before running bug out drills with your dog. The final thing to remember is to use your dog’s name before every command such as “Titan, Speak.”

Training exercises

A dog is going to learn a lot of commands when prepping for a bug out. This is just a few good training exercises and you may want to add or remove some.

  • Leash train your dog. Nobody likes walking a dog that pulls.
  • Teach your dogs “Speak” and “Quiet” these are two of the most important commands during a survival situation. The commands go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here’s a very helpful how to
  • Basic obedience training
  • Get your dog used to wearing their pack or vest. Start off by putting it on empty and givethem a treat every time they wear it. Once Fido is used to the empty pack start adding gear to it gradually so he can get used to the weight.
  • After the pack is second nature to your dog teach him that when the pack is on he is to sit by the door and wait for instruction. The instruction words should be easy terms like car, safe room, crate.
  • Train your dog to return when called

Choosing a pack 
Not being used as a go bag but come on its cool

 Do some searching on amazon and find a nice go bag for your dog. He can carry most of the supplies he’ll need, so that’s one less thing on your own back. Remember to keep it light and simple. Consider the size of the dog when buying and planning their go bag. You don’t want to strap 20 pounds of gear to a 15 pound dog. More weight means slower travel, more food, more water, and risking injuries to your dog. When funds allow I want to get my dogs black, tactical, molle capable go bags. Gotta wait a little while on that though. Now onto the gear list. All of these items are handy and can be used for humans or dogs but again consider the size of your dog. My pitbull or lab won’t have a problem carrying their own gear but a pug or Chihuahua won’t be able to carry all that much. So as I said consider the size of your dog as well as the types of disasters and terrain you might face.

Gear list

  • All  paperwork and photos you need in a waterproof bag. I’ll cover paperwork next.
  • Three day supply of food in zip lock baggies.
  • Three day supply of water. The bottles can be hung from your dogs go bag.
  • Water and food bowls
  • A pair of women’s panty hose or stockings. These can be used as an emergency muzzle, a bandage, an ace bandage, water filtration, and numerous other things.
  • Sandwich bags instead of poop bags. You can use them for poop and other stuff that way.
  • A muzzle. I hate muzzles but unfortunately anytime I go to the vet my dog needs one. He doesn’t like the vet and this is the easiest way to be sure no one gets bitten.
  • Treats
  • A favorite toy
  • A small blanket or towel
  • ID tags for your dog’s collar, crate, and go bag
  • Allergy meds and any other daily meds with instructions
  • Glow lite sticks to help you and your dog be more visible at night
  • Flea and tick control
  • Nail clippers
  • A brush or comb if your dog has long fur
  • One of your unwashed t shirts in a ziplock baggy. You can put the t shirt on the dog’s bed to help calm them.
  • several tubes of Nutrical concentrated dog food. This is a highly concentrated dog food that is fed to animals who cant eat. It provides enough nutrition to keep them alive. 1tsp per 10lbs of body weight.

Here’s some extra stuff that can be added if it won’t weigh down your dog too much

  • Compass and map
  • A small flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water purification tablets
  • Hand warmers
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • A reflective dog vest
  • Bic lighter
  • Extra collar and leash
  • Tie out leash or chain.
  • Rain coat and boots for the dog. Sounds dumb but this can provide some protection from nuclear fallout. The boots can also help if your dog hurts their foot.
  • Crate or kennel

Replace food, water, and meds every 6 months. If you use a crate or kennel know where it is at all times. Write your contact info in permanent marker and duck tape a photo of your pet to the carrier.
Pet first aid kit

  • Small scissors
  • Gauze pads and cotton squares
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Insand cold packs. As an alternative you can put cold mud in a sandwich bag.
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers
  • 1 small bar of soap
  • 1 small tube of antiseptic
  • 1 small bottle of eye drops
  • 10-20 cotton balls
  • large tea bags. These help stop bleeding
  • Vet wrap. Like an ace bandage but self adhesive.
  • Tampons. Work well for deep punctures or bullet holes
  • Peroxide. Clean wounds and induce vomiting if your dog eats something he shouldn’t
  • Benadryl 1mg per pound for bug bites and bee stings
  • Aspirin good for dogs but it’ll kill a cat

Paperwork and phone numbers

  • Dog ID
  • Health records
  • Multiple pictures of your dog and family members together
  • Vaccination records
  • Contact info for yourself and a few friends and family members
  • Ownership papers
  • A list and photo of each pet including breed, sex, age, color, markings
  • City license
  • Pet insurance policy
  • Vet contact info
  • A list of pet friendly hotels and boarding kennels in your area
  • Phone numbers should include veterinarian, emergency vet, animal poison control center, pet friendly hotels, area animal shelters, etc.
  • An unfilled drug prescription for your pets meds or a 2 week supply.

Food and water
You will want a three day supply of food in your dog’s go bag but if it runs out there are alternatives. 
Pretty much whatever you eat your dog can too. There are exceptions like no onions, garlic, chocolate, gum, grapes, and a few others do some research before you give your dog something. A good way to find out alternative food sources before a disaster is to add a food item to your dogs food for 2 weeks. If there is no upset stomach or allergies you have found a new food the dog can safely eat. A dog needs two sources of nutrition, a protein and a carbohydrate. The protein part is meat, eggs, poultry, or fish. The carbohydrate part is the filler such as oatmeal, rice, macaroni, and bread.  The only other thing is water. Dogs will drink from puddles, nasty muck water, streams, they don’t seem to care but use caution. Even though a dog has a faster digestive tract than a human they can still get diarreah from contaminated water. The better option is to have water bottles just for them. The minimum amount of water for a dog is 8 oz of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. 

As long as you have a plan in place you can keep the whole family safe including the hairier members. Your dog will do anything to make you happy so don’t leave him behind to starve and die. If you are considering adopting a dog only do so if you plan to treat them as a person and include them in any bug out plan. 

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