October in San Diego County has become a season of its own with the Santa Ana winds and the increased risk of wildfires. Everyone knows they should be prepared in case of a rapid evacuation order, but not everyone remembers to prepare their canine companions and other pets for evacuation as well. Thinking ahead can make animal evacuation much easier and safer.

For dogs, here is a short list of items to keep in an easy-to-reach location:

  • Extra leashes and collars with extra ID tags
  • A lost dog flier with current photo and contact info in case you get separated
  • A current copy of immunization records
  • Food in air-tight containers – a week’s worth per dog
  • Vitamins and medications
  • Water and water bowls
  • Treats and a favorite toy, blanket, or bed
  • Crates – collapsible crates are easier to travel with
  • Plastic bags
  • Extra bandanas – to help keep their faces wiped clean if the air quality is bad
  • Canine first aid kit

There are also a few other key things to keep in mind:

  • Know the signs for dehydration and heat illness for your dog
  • Have a backup plan for where your dogs can go if you can’t bring them with you (some hotels may not allow for your dog)
  • Know your dog’s favorite hiding places – dogs can be scared by the hustle of evacuation
  • Make an overall evacuation checklist – for your family, your house, and your dog

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