Are you prepared?
What if you have an accident and end up in the hospital for a few days, who will be caring for your dog? These are the things we often overlook as pet owners. The size of our Danes adds another layer of complexity to an emergency event. Being prepared definitely gives your Dane the best chance of survival when a dog emergency occurs. Preparation can make the difference between the life and death of your dog.
It's good practice to take steps and gather the needed supplies to assure you're prepared for any situation, dog emergency, or disaster.
When hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters hit, this spells havoc for many unfortunate dogs. Hundreds of pets are lost every year due to nature's fury. Many unlucky dogs will never see their families again due to lack of proper identification. Countless others become hurt, sick, and sometimes even killed!
Accidents and Medical Emergencies
Be prepared for the unexpected! The following are things to consider when caring for a dog and setting up a dog emergency plan. While this website is dedicated to Great Danes, most of the information here can apply to any breed dog.
Simple Dog Emergency Plan
Simple things you can do to prepare for an unexpected disaster or dog emergency.
- • When ever possible, never leave your dogs behind during an evacuation. Worst case, if you can't take them with you, put down enough water and food to last two or three days. Post a note for rescue workers "dogs inside", their names and breed type listed. We actually have a sticker near our front door, you can usually get one at your Vets office.
- • Call your dogs indoors during bad weather, heavy winds or thunderstorms. Flying debris or falling limbs could injure your companion animal.
- • Keep an extra leash and collar in a convenient location for easy access. This will save time when facing a in-house emergency like fire or flooding.
- • Many municipal shelters will not accept people who are caring for a dog! Keep a list of local dog friendly hotels. Look these up in advance, store the numbers in your cell phone or address book. Write them on a business card and keep them in your wallet or purse. If you have to evacuate, you'll know where to stay. You should also store the phone numbers of local dog emergency facilities in the area.
Emergency veterinary offices are becoming more popular and are typically open when the normal Vets are closed, i.e., 8:00PM to 8:00AM.
- • Although many of us don't, it's good practice to keep your dogs collar and tags on at all times. There are also various dog identification programs that are quite cheap. Lack of identification is the most common reason lost dogs never make it home.
DOG EMERGENCY SIMPLE FIRST AID KIT
It's a good idea to keep a dog first aid kit. This will come in handy if your Great Dane becomes sick, gets injured, or eats something poisonous.
- Gauze for flesh wounds and injuries.
- Medical or sports tape.
- A few different size nonstick bandages.
- Clean towel or cloth.
- Antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide.
- Activated charcoal in case of poison ingestion.
- Muzzle, a dog in pain can bite or snap, even its owner!
- Blanket, can be used for warmth or to move an immobile Dane.
- Prescription medications to last two or three days.
- Information card about your Dane, name, photo and vaccinations.
When you're off on a day trip with your dog bring the kit along. Accidents can happen anywhere, even at the dog park.
The Great Dane Size Factor
Great Danes are prone to injury due to their large size. Sometimes we over look the fact that our home can be dangerous. Take some preventative measures to "Dane proof" your home and yard. Look for hidden hazards such as house cleaning chemicals, sharp objects, and poisonous houseplants.
Your Great Dane can surf the counter tops so keep them free of knifes and medications, diet pills are also deadly. Watch out when cooking, a Great Dane attracted to chicken in a hot frying pan can easily burn its muzzle.
Check your property for sharp rocks, Danes can easily injure their paws, pads, and toenails as the carry so much body weight. Watch out for clutter like car parts, garden tools, broken tree limbs and similar. A running Dane can hurt a leg or suffer scrapes, cuts or impalement. Be sure to keep gas containers, yard and pool chemicals, oils and other similar items safe from your curious dog.
Prepare a plan of action, talk to a few neighbors or friends and let them know you might need their help someday in the future. Most adults are not strong enough to lift such a large dog. If your Dane becomes unconscious or cannot get up, you will need help from others to transport your giant dog to the Vet. A simple activity such as hiking a trail can lead to disaster if your Dane gets injured, how will you transport your companion back to the trailhead?
Even with great power and size, this breed can be somewhat clumsy and delicate. As a Great Dane guardian it is important to keep this in mind. And, have a dog emergency contingency plan ready should the worst case scenario strike without warning.