Ten Ways to Help Your Poodle if Disaster Strikes

In This Chapter
  • Keeping necessary supplies at the ready
  • Planning for accommodations and transportation
  • Making preparations in case you can’t take your Poodle with you
In the United States, a disaster often is the result of a natural force like a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire, ice storm, or mudslide. And even if you don’t live in an area of the country where natural disasters occur, you can experience smaller, personal disasters, like a house fire.

Sometimes, you receive warning of an impending disaster. Depending on the type of disaster, you may have a few days, a few hours, or a few minutes to prepare. Play Boy Scout and be prepared for the unforeseen by following the tips in this chapter.

Stock and Store Necessary Supplies


In an emergency, it’s easy to panic and forget the essentials in the following sections. If you can’t stockpile these items, keep a list of what you need. Relying on a list isn’t ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Chapter Choosing the Best Poodle for You has full details on the supplies you need for your Poodle.

A crate


Keep a crate assembled and ready for your dog to use as shelter. A broken-down crate stored in the basement won’t help in an emergency. You may already have a crate in your car for rides, but if not, keep a crate in an easily accessible location — in your garage or carport, for example.
Tip
Depending on what size crate you own, you can use it to store other handy items, like blankets, old towels, and a first-aid kit.

Food and water


Have at least three days’ worth of dog food ready to go. If your dog eats canned food, keep a can opener with the food. Rotate the stock so it doesn’t spoil. Also, you should keep two or three gallonsize jugs of water handy. If you have room in your Poodle’s crate for these supplies, great. Otherwise, store them in rodent-proof containers or areas in the garage or house; a preferable location would be in a cupboard near the door.

Medications and vaccination records


If your dog is on medication, make sure you take it with you during an emergency. Keep a week’s supply in an envelope or bag, and rotate it just as you do the dry food (see the previous section). Store the meds near the emergency supply of food.

Make a copy of your dog’s vaccination records as well — especially his rabies certificate. Keep the copy in your car’s glove box.

Identification


Make sure your Poodle has the proper identification on his collar and/or is microchipped.
Tip
Keep in mind that your home phone number is worthless when an emergency forces you out of your home. A better option is to include both your home phone number and your cell phone number on your Poodle’s ID. If you don’t have a cell phone, list the number of a friend or relative outside your area. Your veterinarian’s phone number also may help.

An extra lead


Keep an extra lead in your car, or attach one to your Poodle’s travel crate. I, for one, frequently call my dogs to get in the car unleashed. If you need to get out of dodge fast and you forget your Poodle’s lead by the door, you’ll be glad you have a spare.

Make a List of What You Need


If you don’t have the room to store all your disaster supplies in one convenient place, you should make a list of what your dog needs. During an emergency, when you may not be thinking clearly, a list can help you organize the necessities quickly. Keep the list in a convenient place, such as the following:
- In an envelope pinned to a corkboard
- With the travel crate
- In your car’s glove box
- In an envelope taped to the side of a storage bin that contains food and other supplies

Consider Places Where You Can Go


While you have your wits about you and things are calm, you should think about where you can go in an emergency. Do you know of a safe motel out of harm’s way? Does it allow dogs? Do you have friends or relatives who are clear of the danger you’re in? Do they have room to accommodate you and your dog(s)? If you live in an area threatened by hurricanes, those friends or that motel may need to be in another state. Ask friends or relatives now whether staying with them would be possible. If you find a suitable motel, add the motel’s phone number to your emergency supply list, program it into your cell phone, or keep it on a scrap of paper in your wallet. Find a backup motel, too; you won’t be the only one searching for shelter.

If you can weather the threat in your own basement or storm cellar, you still need all the supplies listed in the earlier sections. Add newspapers to act as a potty area; you won’t be able to walk your Poodle in the middle of a storm. Purchase plenty of paper towels and plastic bags to hold waste, and have a flashlight or battery-operated lantern handy, as well as a battery-operated radio (so you’ll know when you and your Poodle are safe).

Examine Your Transportation Options


Do you have a vehicle big enough to hold all your dogs? If you have one or two Toy or Miniature Poodles, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you have multiple Standard Poodles, it may be time to buy a van. You should think now about how you can get all your dogs to safety. For instance: Do you know other dog people who would have room in their vehicles?

Plan to Leave Your Poodle with Other Folks if Necessary


You may run into a situation where you can’t take your dog with you to safety. Since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in August of 2005, many pet owners and animal organizations in many areas have worked together to get policies changed to allow crated pets to stay with owners at shelters, either in the same areas or in special pet areas that many shelters are creating. Of course, owners must bring their own crates, food, water, and other pet supplies. However, shelters in your area may not be on board with this movement. What do you do with your dog when you can’t take him along and no shelters will accommodate him?
- Consider friends or relatives who may be able to care for your Poodle(s).
- Look for a boarding kennel out of harm’s way that you can reach and that will accept your Poodle.
- Find out if your breeder can care for your Poodle.
- Locate an animal shelter that isn’t threatened by the disaster. Keep in mind, though, that they fill up fast with lost or abandoned animals.
Find out ahead of time whether any of these options are possible. The day of a storm isn’t the time to start making phone calls.

Succumb to Your Last Resort: Turn Your Poodle Loose


If you don’t have room in your car, you’re running out of time, and you can’t find anyone to care for your Poodle, you may have to leave him. Don’t shut him in the house, with no way to escape. Turn him loose and give him a fighting chance. However, you should plan ahead so this drastic measure is never necessary.


by Susan M.Ewing

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