Emergency Preparedness

While I hate to be a downer on this website, I can’t help but think that there are many facets of animal life/care that are not all fluffy and happy, so there will be the occasional serious, or sad, post.

Being prepared for an emergency is helpful not just for our own animals who may get injured under our watch, but also for those we come across on our travels. Recently a friend was bitten by a dog who when trying to help a stray who had been hit by a car.  I stopped to investigate whether I could help another dog who I had found in the road. Being new to Florida, I had no idea who to call.  In this day and age of technology and “smart phones” it would have been helpful to have important vet and animal control numbers in my phone.

What should you carry in your car? I realize this may not be for everyone, but thoughts of some helpful items: a first aid kit, water, blanket or towel, leash (perhaps one with the collar built in for the collar-less animals we come across), gloves, crate (size- and/or car size-dependent), shoebox with holes for found birds or other small animals.

For you, and your petsitters, keep a list of emergency numbers: neighbors who may be able to help, your regular vet, the emergency vet(s), animal poison control, your animal’s medications, animal’s dietary restrictions, location of crate (if not readily available).

I am coming into my second ever Florida hurricane season – for areas where disasters are more likely to occur (and really for anyone anywhere), here is a helpful site:


There is a wealth of information on suggestions for how to handle emergencies with your animals, here are a few:




What about if you are bitten by a stray dog? My opinion is you should consider visiting an ER or your regular doctor depending on time of day – recently there was a story of two people who were harmed (one died) from bacteria from their own dog’s mouth. This may be super rare, but there is no reason to not protect yourself against the possibility of ANY bacterial infections making you ill, even if the likelihood of death is low risk. Have you had a tetanus shot? Do you know if the dog was rabid? Again, even if the risk of harm or death is low, do you want to be that one-in-a-million? Consider seeking medical treatment anytime you’ve been bitten by any animal unfamiliar to you.


Even if the animal is familiar to you, it may require antibiotics. I was bitten by a neighbor’s dog years ago and within a few hours, even though it wasn’t overly painful, there was quite a huge bump where the tooth had gone through my arm, which went away with antibiotics before an infection went too far.

As for the dog I stopped to help, the poor thing was already gone, but it was in the road and it was getting dark. I nice fella (who reminded me of a toothless Willie Nelson on a motorcycle) stopped to help. He was able to use a towel I had in my car to move the dog to the side of the road so it couldn’t cause a car accident. I had no numbers to call for assistance. Really an important reminder especially since I am relatively new to the area. I will put another towel in my car and be sure to have all sorts of important numbers available. As much as I hope there isn’t a next time, I suspect there will be and I would like to be better prepared.


As with all my posts, these are just my opinions I include links to other sites for informational purposes only and do not have any stake in them nor have I verified information included in them.


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