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Preparing Your JRT for an Emergency - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #12
September 16, 2010

Preparing Your Dog for an Emergency Situation

Hi again,

About 10 days ago, my city (Christchurch, New Zealand) was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the event, although several people were seriously injured. We were lucky in the sense that it struck at 4.30am, so while many buildings were damaged, most people were tucked up safely in bed.

However, after a few days I began to realize that while no one had lost human loved ones, many people had lost their pets in the event. This is largely due to poor fencing issues and a gross lack of preparation for an event that several decades overdue, according to earthquake experts.

Now, of course, thereís nothing you can do to 100% guarantee the safety of your pet in the midst of an act of nature on such a massive scale. But Iíve put together a few tips that will help people be prepared for unexpected events like this in the future. I was lucky that my dogs are all safe and sound, although they were shaken up.

In fact, the city is still being rumbled by the occasional after shock that will set off a barking spree. But I recognize thatís all it was Ė luck. I wasnít prepared for the event, but with these tips, youíve got a better chance of helping your pet get through a crisis, whether it be a widespread catastrophe like an earthquake or something more personal, such as a house fire. These tips are not just for those in earthquake-prone areas Ė any part of the world is subject to a possible disaster, so it pays to be prepared.

Tip 1: Making Sure Fences Are Secure

Most pet owners who lost dogs in the earthquake lost them because of fences coming down. Most wooden fences were okay Ė in fact, it was the brick walls that were mostly damaged by the quake. Over time the mortar in brick walls dries out and turns to sand, so when an earthquake happens to wall more or less falls apart. If you live in an earthquake prone area, or a city which is due for a big earthquake, ask yourself if your fences and walls are likely to hold up when put to the test.

Consider other possible environmental factors that could lead to damage of your fences, such as storms and strong winds. Donít put it off until the worst happens Ė if you can see a potential problem with the security of your yard, fix it now before itís too late. Even if your dog is very well trained, trust me Ė if the earth starts shaking, that training will be taken over by survival instincts. Unfortunately, for most dogs that means ďrun away.Ē

Tip 2: Prepare for Potential Threats in Your Area

As I said above, every area is exposed to different threats. In some places itís wildfire, in some places itís a big earthquake, in some places itís a tsunami, in some itís flooding, and so on. Not to mention the variety of man-made problems that can lead to an emergency.

So adapt your preparations in accordance with where you live. For instance, if youíre in a drought-prone area, stock extra water for your dog. Consider also that in the event of a heat wave, you will need to make preparations for keeping your dog cool. This can be done through the use of fans and air conditioning, but if you lose power for whatever reason youíll need a back-up. Extra stockpiled water can be used to wet towels to keep your pet cool until youíre able to get help.

Prepare in accordance with the worst case scenario. Consider, for instance, that in the event of a flood or earthquake, you may be without power for days or weeks. You may even have to evacuate your home Ė do you have a suitable create for your pet if such a thing happens? What if your home was to catch fire?

This is one very practical application for a dog crate, beyond the various training and transport benefits owning a crate could have. If youíre aware of the potential of a disaster, stock your crate close by your emergency supplies for easy access in case you and your pet need to leave the house quickly. Keep a spare collar and leash in your emergency kit as well, just in case.

Tip 3: The Pet First Aid Kit

If your dog were to get run over tomorrow, would you have the first aid tools on hand that may be needed to save his or her life? Just as with humans, first aid in an emergency can be the difference between life and death. With the right objects on hand, you can keep your dog going long enough to get proper treatment from a vet in the case of an emergency. Here are a few things a pet first aid kit ought to include:

  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Gauze pads
  • Antibacterial and antiseptic ointments
  • Sterile latex gloves
  • Muzzle
  • Cotton swabs
  • Eye droppers
  • A blanket
  • Any unique medication your pet may need

Consult your vet for more advice on this matter. Never administer medicine to your dog that you haven't previously discussed with your vet.

With the use of these three tips, you should be able to prepare your home in order to make it safer in the case of an emergency that affects you and your pet. Take the time to prepare for your own safety as well and that of the rest of your family.

The Jack Russell Training 7 Part Crash Course

All doom and gloom aside, life goes on and JRTs will continue to be JRTs, earthquakes or no. Many readers are continuing to benefit from the free 7-part e-course which serves as a beginnerís introduction to the unique art and science of training Jack Russells. Sign up today to start enjoying the benefits of improved JRT behaviour.

Jack Russell Calendars

As you may have noticed, there are now JRT calendars up for sale through the website. Take the chance now to grab a 2011 calendar Ė there are some really cute pictures and a variety of shapes and sizes of calendar. The transactions are handled by, and Jack Russell Lover receives a commission when you buy Ė this helps keep the site alive as the best free JRT info resource and online community on the net! You can check out the range of calendars here:

The Jack Russell Lover Community

As always, it's great to see more people contributing their JRT stories, questions, answers and photos to the community. You can have your say on one of these pages:
Jack Russell Stories
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Jack Russell Forum

The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide to Training - Now Only $19.95!

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'Til Next Time...

Stay safe!

Any comments on this issue, or ideas for upcoming issues of the E-Zine? Don't hesitate to contact me. Simply reply to this email. Your question may even be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter!

Know of a friend who might be interested in this newsletter? Go ahead and forward it to them and encourage them to sign up. Let's continue to grow the Jack Russell Lover community together.

Thanks for reading and best wishes,

Tom McSherry

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