Samantha Belk says goodbye to her maltese, Gardolf until after the hurricane in a locker room at John Hopkins Middle School Sunday, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The American Kennel Club shares the following tips to keep your dog safe if disaster strikes. Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

How dog owners can prepare for emergencies

  • Sep. 11, 2017 3:50 p.m.

How dog owners can prepare for emergencies

Disasters and the unexpected can happen. Being prepared is essential in order to be sure that everyone, including your pets, is cared for. The American Kennel Club shares the following tips to keep your dog safe if disaster strikes.

— Emergency supplies. Create a portable and waterproof tote with emergency supplies and provisions that you can easily access if you need to evacuate. Remember to fill waterproof containers with a week’s supply of food, medications and drinking water. Also include a backup leash, collar and ID tag, as well as food and water bowls.

— Organize information. Make sure you have all necessary information written down and ready to go in case of an emergency. Have a photo and description of your pet, as well as any proof of ownership, veterinarian contact information along with your pet’s medical and/or insurance records, and feeding schedule information. The AKC also recommends a permanent identification, such as a microchip along with enrollment in a pet recovery service. Visit www.akcreunite.org to learn more about microchips.

— Take action. Remember, the safest place for your pet is to be with you. Be prepared to take your pets with you in an evacuation by having a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready for transporting. Always ensure that your pets are wearing collars with securely fastened, up-to-date information. Bring your pets inside so that you won’t have to search for them if you need to evacuate quickly.

— Evacuate. Never leave your pet at home. Most evacuations last only a few days, but sometimes you may not be able to return to your home quickly. If you plan to go to a hotel or shelter, call ahead to confirm that your pet is welcome. You can download the Pet Emergency Planning Guide at www.akcreunite.org

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