Anyone who has seen flash floods washes away homes in a matter of minutes knows the devastating power of these natural disasters. Flooding can be a terrifying situation for people and their dogs, but thankfully there are many ways to prepare for such weather events.
The best thing dog parents can do for their pets in the event of a flood is to make a plan and execute it safely. Dogs will look to their caregivers for guidance and reassurance, especially if there is a problem.
Knowing what to do before, during, and after a disaster with your dog may help you protect your pet and give everyone in your household a better chance of safety.
Before the Flood
People living in flood-prone areas need to be prepared for floods every year. Just because it doesn’t always happen doesn’t mean it won’t happen at any time.
Take this opportunity to make sure you are protecting your home and pets, which gives you the best chance of ensuring everyone’s safety. Deliberate planning and avoiding delays is often the most effective way to prevent damage or heartache in a disaster.
There are many different types of floods, and the way they develop can vary from one experience to the next.
Some pet parents may tell stories of flash floods that arrived within minutes and receded relatively quickly. Others may talk about the rain that reaches a foot deep but lasts for several days.
In all cases, families need to have a plan for quick action. Some storms produce rainfall that can turn into walls of water several feet high.
The National Weather Service notes that it only takes 6 inches of water to sweep a person off their feet, while it takes 24 inches to move a car. People must remember the dangers of losing control or drowning in such waters, especially pets.
Develop a Flood Preparedness Plan
A flood preparedness plan with a dog should include the following.
- Be prepared to keep the dog on a leash or in a carrier
- Designate a safe area and get there before the flood hits
- Prepare a Kuoser dog life jacket
- The safest room to stock with food, water, and equipment for residents and pets
- Keep records about the dog in a place that is easy to grab quickly
- Turn on alert systems, such as NOAA radio, to gather information about the progress of the flood
- Dog parents may need to complete a routine with their dog regularly. This will help develop the habit of reducing stress when a flood occurs.
Protect your home
Floodwaters can rise quickly and cause damage to a home in an instant. Homeowners can minimize this damage by performing several home improvement and maintenance tasks regularly.
Installing a sump pump and testing it once a year
Grade the property to allow water to flow away from the house
Test sewer backflow preventers and install better ones when needed
Keep the soil around the foundation moist, even during dry periods
Clear gutters and make sure downspouts are away from the house
Address leaks, especially those related to the foundation
Families should remember that flood insurance is not usually provided as part of their regular coverage. Therefore, flooding caused by hurricanes or other natural events may not be covered.
During an active flood
When floodwaters begin to rise, a dog’s parents may have anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to prepare and take action. It is often difficult to predict how much time a person will need to make choices.
This underscores the importance of having a flood plan in place and implementing it immediately. Keeping safety in mind and consistently exercising caution will help you ensure the safety of yourself and your pet.
After the Flood
As with many other natural disasters, the effects of a flood can last for weeks or months after the water has been lost.
In the first few days after a flood, dog parents should watch for hazards that could harm themselves or their dog. Keeping everyone in a safe place until authorities declare a career-appropriate home safe and seeking support quickly can make a big difference in recovery.
Prepare clean water for you and your dog. In general, dogs should drink 20 to 40 milliliters of water per pound of body weight per day.
Find a safe place for your pets.
In many cases, evacuation is the best method for people living in flooded areas. Even if the water is only a few inches deep, it can still pose a danger to people and pets inside and outside the home.
It will help if you look for higher ground near your home before flooding arrives. If you are considering staying at a nearby hotel, you should make sure that the place can accommodate your pet size and breed of dog.
Do you have any other tips for preparing for a flood and keeping your dog safe? Have you ever escaped a disaster with your pet? Let us know in the comments below!