Creating a Canine Travel Emergency Kit
I’m sure there are many of you who were bombarded by social media posts about Elicia Calhoun, the agility competitor who was in a car accident in AZ. She was on her way back from a trial in another state when she got in the accident with her dogs in the car. One dog was killed on impact, 3 others were quickly taken to a vet, but two were lost on the side of the highway after being ejected from the vehicle. There was a MASSIVE response to find the two lost dogs. Unfortunately only one was found alive, though both were found. It got me thinking about traveling safely with our canine friends, especially since I do a lot of traveling with my pups.
Although I could very easily talk about seat belts, crating, or first aid kits, I really wanted to talk about an emergency information kit. Now, I always keep a copy of my dog’s vaccine records in my car when traveling but I realized that it would be really helpful to have more info in a clearly marked ‘box’ that emergency personel would recognize to open. I want rescue personel to know that I have a dog(s) with me, what that dog(s) looks like, basic information about that dog(s), vaccine record of that dog(s), emergency contact information, veterinary contact information, etc.
For my emergency information kit, I opted to use a 12″ piece of 1.75″ PVC piping with 2 end caps. I wanted to have a container that was very very sturdy and would not break open if involved in a car accident. What good is an emergency kit if it’s smashed to smithereens and its contents strewn around the car. I also felt that a smaller package would be better as it’s probably easier to secure in a position so it does not get lost in case of an accident. I also wanted something that would “stick out” or look out of place in a car. I was at a loss at what to use until I saw a picture showing someone using PVC and I had use that!
Once I cut down my PVC to 12″ (I roll the papers along the vertical axis so they are easy to get out of the tube), I had to figure out what to put in the tube. So here’s a list of the papers that I keep in the tube:
**An introductory note. This page tells rescuers about the kit and that it includes information on dog(s) CURRENTLY traveling with me.
**A good quality photo (or two) of each dog CURRENTLY traveling with me. So “lost” posters can be made but more importantly so vets/shelters can see a good photo of the potentially missing pup.
**Bio information of the dog(s) currently traveling with me with photo (name, breed, age, microchip info, color, personality/temperament information [will this dog approach strangers or run if scared], and any pertinent medical information)–I posted the 1 page bio for when Shayne and Rio travel together
**Vaccination information for the dog(s) currently traveling with me.
**Proof of rabies vaccine for the dog(s) currently traveling with me.
**Emergency contact list (my family members and our normal vet)
**The itinerary for the current trip–where I was traveling to/from and the days
Besides the obvious benefit if there is an emergency, it is also really helpful to have these things at the ready incase there is an injury or accident with a dog while traveling or if you need to have proof of rabies for any number of reasons.
So what do you all do when you travel to make sure you’ve got all the important information at the ready?