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What would help to lessen worry about your dogs in the event of a disaster? It’s something that you can start right now: basic training.

Instead of being a burden, your dogs can be manageable, even welcome, in places they might not otherwise be – the homes of friends, relatives, or even emergency shelters – if they know a few important cues.

The basics “sit,” “down,” and “stay” are essential. These make dogs more pleasant to be around at the best of times, but in an emergency, they will be invaluable. There will be occasions when you need your hands free for a few minutes and have nowhere to put a dog. If a dog can be counted on to sit tight while you get situated or help someone for a few minutes, then nobody else must stop what they are doing to hold the leash. How to teach your dogs to stay: Teach your Dog to Stay

“Come!” In an emergency, you will hopefully have your dogs leashed or crated at all times, but if they get away from you, a reliable recall could save their lives. When teaching your dogs to come, always praise and reward when they reach you. For tips on teaching this: Teach Your Dog to Come when Called

“Leave it” should be high on the list too. You and your dogs will be in places that are not dog-proofed, and it would be nice to be able to tell a dog to keep her nose out of someone’s backpack. This will help to keep them safe too. How to teach it: Teach your dog “Leave it”

There will be times you can’t be with your dogs, and they will need a safe place to be. That would be a crate. It would be a little slice of home away from home, where dogs feel secure and happy with familiar bedding and chew toys. If they are not already crate trained, start now. Here’s how: Crate Train Your Dog. In emergencies, pets are usually crated whether they like it or not, and if your dogs already think it’s a great place you are good to go.

Besides teaching your dogs the basics, you should prepare a canine “Go bag.” This would include first aid items and other necessities to get your dogs through several days, including food and bowls. Here is an article that lists important things to include, and you can customize the list by adding specific things that your own dogs need:  First Aid Essentials for Dogs