How to make an earthquake kit for your dog

Depending on where you live in the world, earthquakes can be a big cause for concern. At Fuzzy, we’re based in San Francisco so we know the dangers and hazards of earthquakes first-hand. We created this guide to help you think about and prepare for earthquakes. However, this guide can easily be applied to a variety of natural disaster and emergency situations. With this post, our goal is to help educate you on preparing for emergency situations with your dog, and help you be ready for those “just-in-case,” situations. You may have read our blogs: “How to create a first aid kit,” and “Disaster Preparedness 101 for Pets,” and this is a more focused piece on earthquakes to help you if you’re located somewhere where this is a concern.

We’ll start by going through different items 1 by 1 and then breaking everything up into a checklist so that you can go through it easily. We recommend that you decide which items you want to include before purchasing a backpack for your dog or a bag for you to carry along. By compiling all the items first, it will help you determine what you will need.

Educate Yourself About Earthquakes

Before you even begin to assemble your pet’s earthquake kit or your own take the time to learn about earthquakes, along with the potential hazards and risks. The best thing you can do is know what to do in an earthquake, where the safest places are to wait until the shaking is over, and what to do after an earthquake stops.

Want to learn more about earthquakes? Read here:

  • USGS Earthquakes: Information on the latest earthquakes, the science of earthquakes and much more all brought to you by the USGS.
  • Earthquake Safety: this is the Red Cross’s guide to earthquakes and what to do if you’re in an area likely to experience tremors.
  • Preparathon: America’s program on earthquake preparedness, hosts earthquake drills and provides resources to companies and families.

If you’re located in San Francisco, like us, here are some local resources to learn about earthquakes and prepare for disasters:

  • SFFD NERT Program: San Francisco’s Fire Department has what they call a “NERT” program, or Neighborhood Emergency Response Team. It’s an organization that offers free classes to SF residents and teaches you the basics of preparedness. It’s a great way to learn about preparedness and engage in your local community.
  • SF72: This organization is brought to you by San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and offers resources and information on disasters and preparedness within the city.

Food & Water for Your Dog in Emergencies

Many of us remember to pack enough food and water for ourselves during emergency situations, but what about our pets. Typical guidelines suggest enough food and water for 7 days. Water will be used for everything from hydration to cleaning.

Research and record the suggested amounts of water and food for your dog’s particular breed, size, and age. If you have any questions, ask your veterinarian for their suggestions. Each dog is different and some dogs may need more or less water and food than others.

Keep their food consistent with what they eat on a day to day basis to avoid upset stomach and diarrhea. If your dog eats canned food, be sure to include this in their emergency kit.

Finally, consider purchasing travel-friendly water and food bowls for easy transport and carry.

This dog bowl is great for travel, but also emergency situations. Pack this in your dog's emergency kit. Just in case.

Treats

Treats are a great way to help calm your pet during emergency situations as well as work on behavior modification. They can also be a great distraction tool if they’re particularly stinky. Try out various training treats with your dog that are low in calorie to use as rewards, pick out something extra stinky for when you need their attention, and consider a treat toy to keep them distracted.

Treat Toy

Carrying Case, Crate, Muzzle, Leash

Items to make sure that you can secure your dog in emergency situations are a must. Some pet shelters will require you to have a case/crate or muzzle on your dog. In these situations, you want something that you can restrain your dog in the event of emergency. For some dogs of a larger size a crate or carrying case may not be feasible to transport. In these cases a muzzle is a good alternative.

Dog Carrying Case

Proper ID Tag and Microchip

Have an ID Tag or collar with tag with updated information so in the event that your dog is separated from you you can be re-united. Tags for Hope is a great option for a highly durable and customized tag with all of your dogs information.

In addition, we highly recomend that you get your pet microchipped, or if they have a microchip keep that information up-to-date. In the event that they lose their collar or their tag, you’ll want to be able to be re-united with them.

Tags for Hope Dog Tag

Favorite Toy

A favorite toy that you don’t have to go searching for is a key item for an earthquake kit. Make sure you have something prepacked in your dog’s kit that you know they’ll love to play with and that will keep them distracted.

Kong Bear Toy

Hygiene Items

Anything that you need to clean your dog, pick up after them, and keep them in the best sanitary conditions is important. Some items include:

  • Poop Bags
  • Crate Liners
  • Wet Wipes
  • Dog Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Dispos

Earthbath Wipes

Veterinary Records

It’s important to have copies of your pet’s veterinary and vaccination records. Most shelters and kennels will require proof that your dog’s vaccines are up-to-date. If you want a free copy of your medical records, download the Fuzzy app, we’ll contact your previous veterinarians and upload your dog’s medical records to our app.

Fuzzy Pet App

Medications and First Aid Kit

If you haven’t already read it, check out our “How to make a pet first aid kit” blog, to see everything you can and should include in your pet’s first aid kit. We also have this detailed video below to help explain first aid kit basics. The important thing is if your pet is currently taking any medications (including flea, tick, heartworm, and intestinal parasite meds) make sure those are ready to go. You don’t want to run out without the chance of resupplying.

Have a plan for your dog

One of the biggest pieces of your kit, is your plan for your pet in an emergency situation.

  1. If your dog is home alone: In the event that your dog is left home alone, make sure that appliances, cabinets, and furniture are secured and won’t injure your dog.  In addition, get a sticker for your door or window that alerts first responders to the presence of your dog.
  2. If you’re unable to get to your dog: Have a backup caregiver for your dog who can take care of them until you’re able to reach your dog.
  3. If you’ve been injured: Include something in your wallet to let first responders know that you have a pet at home.
  4. Arrange a safe haven: If you have to evacuate have a plan of where to go. Many hotels may not take dogs. Research kennels, hotels, and other places to stay so you know where to go in an emergency.

Dog Earthquake Kit Checklist

  • Food for 7 Days
  • Water for 7 Days
  • Food and Water Bowls – Preferably collapsible and easy to transport
  • Can Opener (For Canned Food)
  • Treats
  • Carrying Case, Crate, Muzzle, Leash
  • Proper Identification for Your Dog – ID Tag & Microchip
  • Favorite Toy
  • Hygiene Items
  • Veterinary Information and Records
  • First aid kit and medications
  • Have a plan for your dog
  • Carrying Case for Kit or Backpack for Dog

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Please keep in mind, this is just a basic guide. We highly recommend contacting your veterinarian and local animal shelter for information on preparedness if you’re in an area that has earthquakes. If you include anything else in your pet’s earthquake kit, please share them with us! We’d love to see your pet’s kit.

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