PBGVCA Breeders' Tool ChestTo preserve the well‐being and unique character of the Breed.

Planning for Emergency Care for your Dogs
(and other pets)

by Mandy Smithers

A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow. George Patton

It happens to everyone at some point. You are caught away from the house and all you can think about is what about the dogs. I’m not talking about the scenario where you are leaving on vacation and you have your pet and/or house sitter familiarized with your schedule and oriented to all the needs of your dogs. I’m talking about those times that you, for whatever reason, can’t get home. Did you have to take your sister to the hospital? Are you stuck on the interstate because a wreck has everything shut down?

A more important question may be who am I going to call that also has a key to your house? My sister lives about a mile from my house. She has a key, but she is an early to bed, early to rise person. She would be happy to help, but I didn’t want to call her at 10pm. The neighbor? Who calls their neighbor at 10pm? You decide to call one of your best friends that lives near you and sees the dogs from time to time. Does your best friend have a key to your house?? Will your emergency helper be able to tell your dogs apart?? Some breeds of dogs, well….. they look exactly alike! Seriously! I have 2 dogs. The boy, Steel, and the girl, Pricey. It’s pretty obvious which dog is which since the boy is larger than the girl. A breed enthusiast is able to distinguish the difference between each dog of their breed, and can frequently even predict the breeding or kennel line of the dog. But, to the casual observer, dogs of the same breed really look alike!

If you have multiple dogs, be sure to leave information about how they interact with each other. Some people have a group of dogs that ALL get along just fine. But not everybody does. What about that special older girl dog who enjoys her senior status and can be overly bossy with the young pups. She has earned the privilege of NOT having to spend all day in a yard with the pups.

Do you have a bitch in season and a breeding male? Oh, the joy of having THAT problem! Be sure to tell your emergency helper that it is entirely appropriate to put a lead on the boy to make sure that he doesn’t get loose to go find the girl.

People helping you out need to know the little inner workings of your dogs. We had 2 boy dogs at one time who would dance around like they were dancers in the Broadway Musical West Side Story looking for a rumble. It took a firm, serious, and stern NO!! from someone to redirect the dance.

Preparing for such situations can be valuable information for someone helping you when you are sitting in the ER for an unexpected visit or on the interstate when it has been shut down. Knowing you can direct someone to information in a pack, ready to use, can be invaluable.

Not a first aid kit, but an information kit about your dog(s).

Name of your Dog(s)




Pictures of Your Dog

Make sure to include head shot and a side body shot.

Description of your dog.

Age, Size, Height, Weight. Write it down.
When it’s an emergency, remembering details like your dog’s weight is easy to forget.

Special Treatment.

Any special needs of the dogs and any quirks, fears, or habits that someone might need to know.   

Type of Food Your Dog Eats

Be specific. If your dog eats Purina, then provide exactly which kind. Purina Pro Plan, then be specific, Purina Pro Plan has about 30 different varieties.  If your dog eats a special diet, then write that down. Also, include information if something makes your dog sick every time they eat it.

Emergency Help List

List of your contacts who will be able to help in an emergency. People who are familiar with your dogs. A regular pet sitter is a great contact as someone who is familiar with your routine and the dog knows this person too. Family members who can come over to your house.  Or the neighbor

Name of Regular Vet

It helps when you establish a relationship with a local vet who knows you and your dog.

Rabies & Vaccination Records

Definitely keep a copy of rabies vaccination records with you.

Proof of Ownership
 & Microchip Information

Usually the best proof of ownership is registration with your local authorities. But having your name as the primary contact on microchip information is the next best thing.

Extra Leash & Collar

It's always nice to have that extra leash readily available when you end up with an extra dog or need to help a neighbor catch their dog.

Name & Contact Info
 for National Breed Rescue

If you are traveling far away from home, a list of local breed clubs or  breed rescue groups are a great resource for emergency help. Their network of local contacts are an amazing resource.

Return to Paperwork