The COVID-19 pandemic has taken most of us by surprise. It has spread much more quickly than most of us anticipated, and has completely changed our daily lives. Even when taking proper precautions, a lot of people are still at risk, and the number of cases is expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future.
What happens if you get sick and need to go to the hospital? Or what if something else happens that requires you to leave your home for a period of time? Specifically, who will take care of your dog while you're unexpectedly gone? Even if it seems unlikely, it's important to prepare for that eventuality. That's why you need to put together an emergency COVID-19 kit for your dog.
How to Prepare a Disaster Kit for Your Pup
An emergency kit is actually something you should have prepared, even when there's not a pandemic raging outside. If this virus has taught us anything, it's that you never know what life is going to throw at you, or when circumstances might turn on a dime. Here's what you should have in your kit:
- Food and water. In most circumstances, one week's worth of food and fresh water is the standard. During the pandemic, water isn't essential, as it's not in short supply. However, the typical isolation period for those infected with coronavirus is at least two weeks, so extra food is paramount. Change the food in the kit every three months to ensure freshness.
- A can opener. If your dog eats canned food, have this on hand.
- Medications. If your dog takes any medications, include a two-week supply of each, along with instructions for dosages, schedule, and how and where to get more if necessary.
- Medical history. This includes vaccination records, along with any other health issues for a temporary caregiver to be aware of. Have a printed copy, as well as an electronic copy you can access from your phone, to send to whoever might need it.
- First aid kit. Include things like hydrogen peroxide, gauze bandages, and antibiotic ointment, to treat your furry friend in case of emergency.
- Leash and/or carrier. If your dog needs to be taken somewhere while you're away, be sure to prepare a way to transport him safely. Also include one or two toys. Away from home unexpectedly, without his parents, he'll want something familiar to comfort him.
Other COVID-19 Preparations for Your Dog
Know where you can take your dog in an emergency. Do you have friends he can stay with for a few days, on a moment's notice? Is there a kennel or other place where you can board him while you're unavailable?
If you're leaving him with a friend, make sure it's someone your dog knows and gets along with. Talk to the friend about it first, and have a plan in place, so they know what to do when the time comes.
If you're boarding your dog at a kennel, make sure you have their name and phone number handy, and familiarize yourself in advance with all their policies, prices, etc. Make sure your dog is chipped as well, and that all your contact information on the chip is current. Also consider a Link Plus to track his activity and location while you’re away.
Hopefully, none of this will be necessary, and both you and your pup will stay safe and healthy throughout this ordeal. However, better safe than sorry. By making these preparations now, you ensure that if something does happen to you, your dog will be well cared for.