Keeping your dog safe in a disaster

When disaster strikes, it may be days before you can return home. I found that out from personal experience during a major blizzard.  Thinking I’d return in a day or two,  I went to a friend’s house, after leaving kitty with enough rations to last for several days. Three days later when I went to visit her, I was stopped by the State Police for being on the road.  Although they ultimately let me through the blockade, that taught me an important lesson.

Here is what experts at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have to say about keeping your dog safe: And many of these recommendations are just as pertinent for cat owners:

• stay up-to-date on vaccinations especially rabies, so your pet will be accepted at a kennel or emergency shelter.

• microchip your dog or cat and update relevant information with the microchip company when you move.

• securely fasten an ID collar to your dog with his name and phone numbers.

• choose a designated person as stand-in to evacuate your pet in case emergency strikes when you’re at work. 

• identify pet-friendly motels and/or friends and relatives outside your immediate area area who could take you in.

Keep an evacuation kit handy with the following:

• 4-14 day supply of water, food, and medication

• food and water bowls

• flashlight

• battery powered radio

• photo of you and your pet to help prove ownership

• photocopy of veterinary records to prove your pet’s current vaccination status

Always keep a disaster kit ready in case the unexpected happens. For more information, click on “Saving the Whole Family” at



About Cambridge Canines Pet Sitting Service

I'm a Cambridge resident who has written about feline behavior and body language for WebMD and Catnip, the Tufts Veterinary School newsletter. In a parallel universe, I also write about healthcare and have won awards for news reporting. A passion for animals led me to start my own pet sitting business in 2004. While the information in my posts has been researched, it is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.
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