2020 has been a strange year and certainly not one that any of us anticipated but it highlighted for me the importance of having and keeping up to date your dogs' emergency file.
What is this?
No one looks after your dogs like you do, not even your spouse! Living in a multi-dog household makes it even harder for anyone having to come into your home and take charge of your pets should you suddenly be taken ill. So for many years now I have kept an emergency file to be used should this ever happen. In my opinion EVERY dog parent should have one, even if you have just one dog. It takes the stress away from your pets guardian coming in to care for your pets; and stress away from you knowing they have everything they need to know about caring for your pets and, above all it makes it less stressful for your dog/s. So here is how I keep my file. I have attached a copy for you to complete and print off for your own use should you wish to AND I have included some emergency signage for you to use on the last page as well.
Choose a good quality folder to house your dogs information. Mine is an A5 size transparent folder, but any will do. I prefer folders rather than a note book because it makes it easy to update and remove unwanted information.
Page one: “Owners Details”:
Fill in your name, full address and the full details of the vet your pets are registered with. Emergency services and your pets’ guardian may require this information so being able to find it quickly will them and your pets.
This is the person or people who will come to your home to take care of your pet/s either in your home or theirs. If you have not done so already, discuss with the people or person you would like to look after your pet/s until you are well enough to do so. Again print their details on this page clearly.
Now is the time to fill in your dogs details.
Insert a photo of the dog you are writing about on each page. If you have more than one dog use a separate sheet for each dog. Write your dogs name, date of birth or age and breed. Next clearly write your dogs microchip number; this may be necessary to specifically identify the dog you are referring to on this page. For instance you may own two yellow labradors and be able to identify which is which easily, but to anyone else who does not live with them they could mix them up. To find your dogs microchip number check his/her vaccination certificate; with your dogs microchip provider or; ask your vet to scan your dog for this information. Lastly, list any medications your dog is taking or illnesses they may be suffering from.
Write out your dogs daily feeding schedule. Give as much detail as possible, for instance, breakfast is fed at 6 am. He has one scoop of Chappie complete original; dinner is fed at 4 pm and he has one 395g forthglade with biscuit. Before bed he has one denta stick. It’s also a good idea to add in this section any foods your dog is allergic to or upsets their tummies one of my dogs can not digest any food with tripe in it and will have me up all night needing to go out with an upset tummy whilst another of my dogs can only tolerate raw feed.
Next complete what your dog loves. This again will give your dogs carer an idea of your dogs character. Things to include could be loves to be groomed, swimming, chasing squirrels and playing with other dogs – this tells your carer your dog is ok to be handled; on walks around water; needs to be watched in case he runs off chasing a squirrel and is ok around other dogs.
Next complete everything your dog does not like. One of my dogs is petrified of feathers – yes I know! If he so much as sees a feather on the ground on our walks he refuses to go pass it. Obvious other dislikes could be fireworks, thunder storms and having their feet touched.
Have an “additional information” sheet it might be useful to add information such as where your dog is used to sleeping at night; do they travel well in the car or have travel sickness and; are they used to crates. Write here absolutely anything you think will help your dogs carer settle your dog/s with them until you can come home again.
Now repeat the above for each pet you have in your home and place it into your file.
Once you have completed the file put it to one side for the next few days adding anything you may have over-looked. When you are sure you have included absolutely everything place all of your sheets into the folder and either give a copy to your animals carer/Guardian for safe-keeping should they need it or put it in a place where it could be found easily. Mine is on the hall table by my dogs leads and outdoor equipment.
Consider printing out and displaying the emergency signs by your front entrance to your property and carrying the emergency card in your purse/wallet.
Keep safe and well everyone :-)