Now that hurricane season is fully upon us, knowing how to plan for emergency evacuations with your dog and family is one of the most important ways of being prepared to keep everyone safe. Flooding, blizzards, tornadoes, wild fires and many other natural disasters can cause unexpected evacuations. Follow these tips in order to have everything ready and limit your anxiety if that time ever comes.
The first thing to have ready is a bag for your pets, including your English Bulldog puppy. Pack enough food for 3 – 4 days, collapsible water and food bowls as these take up less room than regular bowls, treats and/or bones to keep him busy and calm, and medications or vitamins that he is on, towels that can be used as pillows, beds or to dry off a wet, muddy pup, flashlight, and one or two of his favorite toys. Just like us, having something that is familiar in an unfamiliar place will make him feel at ease.
Second, plan where you are going to go with your family and your pup if there is an emergency evacuation. Most shelters do not allow dogs or other pets, except for service dogs. To most pet owners, leaving their animals behind is not an option. That’s why planning ahead is so important. Look up 3 – 5 different hotels that are out of the evacuation zone and are also pet friendly. Some hotels advertise pet friendly but only allow small dogs such as Yorkie puppies. Be sure to tell them the breed of your dog to ensure that will accept him. Keep these numbers and addresses of the hotels in your pet’s emergency bag.
If there are no hotels that will accept your dog, call a friend or family member that lives out of the evacuation zone and discuss the possibility of your family staying there for a few days in the event of an emergency. This friend or family member must be aware that you’ll be bringing your pets so that there are no surprises at the last minute.
Last but not least, if there is an evacuation ordered but it is not mandatory, leave anyway. If you go before it is mandatory, you’ll escape the crazy traffic, frustration and anxiety that comes with leaving at the last minute.
When everything is in place before there is an emergency, the emergency doesn’t seem as stressful because you’ll have the most important things with you – your family and your English Bulldog puppy. As long as they’re safe, you can get through anything together.