How to Train Your Pets for an Emergency

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The time to train your pets for an emergency evacuation starts now. You do not want to attempt to capture terrified animals in the middle of a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, as it’s likely that one or more of you will end up in the emergency room.

This is going to focus mostly on cats and dogs, as those are the pets I have the most experience with and are the most common. I have traveled extensively with both cats and dogs, so I know this kind of training is perfectly feasible.

Here are the four goals of training both dogs and cats:

  • You should know their hiding places.
  • They come when called.
  • They get in the carrier without fuss and relatively quickly, preferably without your attention.
  • They can walk on a leash.

For cats, there are two other skills they need to learn if they have claws:

  • Climbing trees
  • Hunting

If you do not teach your animals to do these tasks, you may have to face abandoning them in order to save your life or a family member’s life—when time is of the essence, you do not have the luxury of letting animals misbehave or hide.

Train Your Pet to Come When Called

Coming when called is easy for most of us to train our animals to do.

  1. The first few times, reward them with food, affection, or play.
  2. After that, it is important not to reward them every time but rather intermittently.
  3. So when you begin intermittent training, acknowledge that they have obeyed by praising them, but don’t offer a reward.
  4. Then offer a reward the next time, and randomly continue either praise or both praise and offering a reward.

Note: The sound of an electric can opener in the kitchen or opening the refrigerator will have an effect when almost nothing else will if it’s urgent.

Heel! Train Your Pet to Walk on a Leash

Cats and dogs should both be trained to walk on a leash (more about why later). That also means that they walk with/behind you rather than pulling every which way, lying down and refusing to move and having to be dragged, or any one of the numerous other resistance methods our pets love to use.

Cats especially need a harness and a leash that can be released quickly if necessary. The key to leash training is slow and steady. Accustom your pet to collar or harness a little at a time, and make it play. Reward and praise them at the end of the session, which should initially last only a few seconds, up to about two minutes, when you finally get the harness or collar and leash on.

For example, the first time you introduce a cat to a harness, it should just be in the room. Bring it a little closer each time until the harness touches the cat briefly. Keep the harness next to them for longer and longer periods until you can lay the harness on your cat’s body without sending it into a panic, and keep working from there until your cat will accept wearing the harness.

With cats, the key to their acceptance of the leash is to allow them to explore places they couldn’t ordinarily go. Taking them to the houses of people they know can be real fun for them, especially if treats and play are available, or a walk in the neighborhood might be more their style. You want to be able to control your pet safely because one day, you and she or he may need it.

Get Them Comfortable With Traveling

For most animals, the only time they see a carrier is when they go to the vet. No wonder they don’t want to get inside! Instead, make a habit of taking them with you in the carrier to various places when you can. Make the carrier comfortable with towels or pillows, food, water, treats, and toys. If your pet is fond of a particular family member, have that member sleep with the towel or pillow on occasion. Don't forget that the carrier has to be roomy enough to hold your animal comfortably.

If cats are resistant to carriers, don’t give up. Remember that almost every cat loves cardboard boxes and paper bags, and if necessary, put one of those in the carrier to let them get used to going in and out. Once they go in, shut the door for a few seconds and praise and reward them, then open the door. Make it like a game, and they will want to play it. (For really stubborn cats, sometimes a little reverse psychology is in order—let them investigate, but don’t let them go in at first until they feel they are getting away with something.) The ideal is to put the open carrier on the floor, and within a few minutes, your cat or dog will go inside while you are otherwise occupied. It is possible because I’ve done it many times.

There are several kinds of carriers available: hard-sided carriers and soft-sided carriers. Soft-sided carriers should have both handles and shoulder straps. Hard-sided carriers come with handles; a shoulder strap can be fastened on with a little improvisation. Another addition for a flood that may come in handy is to have pool noodles that can be cut to size and duct-taped to the bottom of the carrier so that the carrier will float if you are carrying it and knocked off your feet by the current or a wave, or trip on something unseen underwater.

​Always have a pouch of food ready to throw in the carrier or fasten on top, and have water bottles handy for filling, even if you have to escape first and fill them from your own water bottle later. Fasten a Ziploc bag containing your pet’s identification and medical records to the inside roof of the carrier.

The importance of a carrier can’t be overstated. If you are in a vehicle and get hit or stop suddenly, your loose pet becomes a projectile. A carrier can be held in place with a seatbelt or car seat anchors to ensure that your 60-pound dog is not aimed directly at your head at 35 mph.

Pet Carriers

Comfort in the Car

Cats need a safe place to eliminate, so in your car trunk, keep a couple of aluminum roasting pans, a few “helpings” of kitty litter, and some plastic bags. When your cat needs to go, take out the aluminum pan, line it with a plastic bag, and pour in ¼ inch of kitty litter. Open the door, fasten the leash to your cat’s harness, and “walk” your cat over to the litter pan. When they have finished, turn the bag inside out to collect the litter, tie it up, and find a safe place to dispose of it. Walk your cat back to the carrier, and unhook the leash once kitty is inside and calm.

Other Pets

I don’t have any experience with ferrets as they are illegal to have as pets in my state, so I’ll have to wait for someone else to chime in. However, given their propensity for climbing into boxes, pillowcases, and tube socks, you should be able to find something to entice them and then put whatever they are in in a carrier.

For snakes, lizards, and other reptiles, using ice to chill the air around them so that they become torpid will allow you to handle them.

Birds should be trained to be able to be moved to cages small enough for one person to handle. Again, pool noodles should be duct-taped to the bottom of the cage so it will float. Don’t clip your bird’s wings—being able to fly in an emergency should be a last resort, but again, it’s better than someone’s death.

Get Them Out!

What if your pet hides and won’t come out? If it’s a matter of life and death right now, destroy the cabinet or whatever they are under or in (this is why you have to know their hiding places).

Be prepared to make a choice to sacrifice that piece of furniture if it means saving your pet. If the hiding place your pet chose is movable, pick it up and shake the animal out into their carrier or shove the container into their carrier, or at least get it into the car and then get them to come into the carrier. This may seem unkind, but when lives are at stake, you have no other choice if you are going to save your pet—it’s no time to be nice! I am sure your beloved pet will forgive you later.

If all else fails in a flood, your cat can climb a tree and can hunt when the water recedes. It’s not ideal, I admit, but it’s better than you or your children dying trying to save the cat if it comes to that choice.

© 2020 classicalgeek

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 21, 2020:

This is such important information. It's smart of you to post it before Emergency Preparedness Month so your readers have time to perfect the techniques.

I have indoor cats and live in Florida. Our hurricane season is from June 1st thru November 30th. So far, we haven't faced any structural damage or had to evacuate. After reading this article, I'm ashamed to say that I'm completely unprepared if that were ever the case.

Excellent article, classicalgeek!

Strategy Two

You can do this one if your dog loves toys. Use her favorite toy that you know she will chase. As long as you are in a safe, enclosed area, she doesn't even need to be on leash for this one.

  1. Take her favorite toy that you know she loves to chase
  2. Pretend to throw it
  3. When she takes steps towards the direction you "threw it", say, "Stop"
  4. As soon as she turns around (help her with a noise with your mouth if you need to) 'Click' or say, "Yes" and throw it the opposite direction you originally "threw it"
  5. What you are doing is associating the word "Stop" with her action of turning around and running the opposite direction
  6. That is what Stop looks like. Yippeee!

Don't know how to train your dog? This device will do it for you

A former Googler says autonomous dog trainers will be the next big thing.

A dog being able to live well among people and other dogs isn't just a nicety. It can mean the difference between having a home or being in a shelter. A company called Companion will soon ship a smart device it hopes will radically increase access to and ease of pet training.

Last time we covered the Companion device it was in prototype stage and wasn't much to look at. The new go-to-market version was designed by Frog Design, known for its work on Sony televisions and Apple Macs. The look is a far cry from the cheap schlock one normally associates with pet products and it could help Companion make the case that a pet trainer is something you want in your living room.

The Companion trainer is about the size and shape of an original iMac.

While the design has changed, the functional goal has not: The Companion trainer uses sensors to observe your pet in detail and feed those signals to onboard AI so the machine can respond with light, sound or a treat to reinforce desirable habits. "Animals already 'talk' and communicate quite a bit through movement and posture," says John Honchariw, CEO and founder of Companion. "Technology's going to help us pick up on all of that over time."

The device only uses positive reinforcement, eschewing the negative stimuli associated with the largely outdated and discredited schools of thought around dog training. Companion says its technology will create a step change in training because it's a machine: Unrelenting focus and patience, precise repetition and consistency are things it does naturally and that humans just aren't wired for.

The Companion app will connect dog guardians with experienced trainers who can provide additional support.

Honchariw also boasts of how Companion will integrate human trainers as "Companion Coaches," available for video consultation and able to provide other feedback in the app to help first-time adopters or anyone who wants a savvy assist. "These are service dog-level trainers there to monitor the data and answer your questions about being a first-time pet parent." The app that integrates the human trainers is also where the device shares clips of your dog interacting with it through the day.

Companion has attracted an interesting basket of funders, including IA Ventures Tuesday Capital, formerly the CrunchFund frog Design Mars Companion Fund, an investment arm of the largest pet products company, and the Jimmy Kimmel-affiliated Wheelhouse Group. Companion's offices are adjacent to the San Francisco SPCA which it has worked with to design, prototype and test the device since 2018.

Get smart home reviews and ratings, video reviews, buying guides, prices and comparisons from CNET.

Don't blink or you'll miss the treat being launched by Companion to encourage a dog to keep up a good behavior.

The pandemic may have been auspicious timing for the company. Many shelters are bracing for a wave of dog surrenders: Some of it will be economically motivated, but some will happen when a mass return to work and school triggers separation anxiety in pets left alone for the first time. Honchariw says early test results suggest the device can be effective at calming those nervous pets. A recent study by Merck Animal Health found that 73% of first-time dog adopters have considered rehoming their pet due to various issues related to lack of support.

Companion is now taking email signups from pet guardians who want to be among the first to preorder the device. Pricing will be announced closer to its initial deliveries in mid-2021.

How To Train Your Dog To Stay In Dog Cages?

Keeping a dog as a pet is not an easy task. And the hardest part is to train it. But, luckily, it is also the most rewarding part. One of the most important types of training is to teach your dog to stay in dog crates. Although it is possible to force it, using that method will only harm it and the relationship between you two. By forcing it to stay in dog cages, your pet will be scared and anxious. And it will not get better with time.

A dog crate (sometimes dog cage) is a metal, wire, plastic, or fabric enclosure with a door in which a dog may be kept for security or transportation. Dog crates are designed to replicate a dog’s natural den and as such can provide them with a place of refuge at home or when traveling to new surroundings. Other common reasons for using a dog crate are for toilet training a new puppy, transporting a dog, limiting access while the dog learns rules, ensuring the dog’s safety, confining a dog in locations where dogs cannot safely or legally roam freely, or giving a dog a place to go when visitors come to the house.

Crate training accustoms the dog to the crate so that they can rest in it without stress.

Using a crate for a dog is similar to having a playpen for a toddler or a crib for a baby, and allows the owner to take their eyes off their pet. However, misuse (such as prolonged locking) can cause the dog psychological harm.

Types of dog crates
There are many types of dog crates, and variations within the types. Factors to consider when choosing an appropriate crate include cost, durability, portability, safety, and style.

Solid plastic crates are usually more suitable than other types for secure travel, such as in an airplane. They might also be safer in a car accident than wire crates. Disadvantages are that they take up a lot of space and do not fold for storage.

Travel crates such as the Gunner Kennels and the Variocage are designed specifically for use in vehicles for pet vehicle transportation. Gunner Kennels is the only 5 Star Crash Test rated pet travel crate on the market, according to the Center For Pet Safety and its certification standards. Gunner Kennels crates can be used on airplanes, as well as in the home and for crate training. Variocages have special crumple zones designed to work with the crumple zones of the vehicles and absorb the impact of the accident and have been lab tested for safety. These crates are not intended for use on airplanes or for carrying pets outside of vehicles. They also do not make good housebreaking crates.

Aluminum crates can be either fixed or folding. A few of their advantages are: light weight, very strong when constructed with appropriate bracing, will not rust, excellent airflow and vision for the dogs. Aluminum crates are suitable for use at veterinary hospitals, car travel, as a permanent “den” for your dog inside the home and in breeding kennel environments. Some aluminum crates have solid walls and some have bars. The crates with bars may be more suitable for dogs who need to see out to feel comfortable. Other dogs may prefer the den like feel of the solid wall variety to feel secure.

Wire crates usually can be folded for storage or transport, although it might be difficult to do and they are fairly heavy for their size. They provide more airflow for the dog and provide people with a clearer view inside and they range in size. Such crates are often used in car travel, at veterinary hospitals, and at kennels. There are a variety of covers and pads available to make crates safe and more comfortable.

Wire crates are also popular at dog shows they allow the dog to be clearly seen by spectators, and sashes, rosettes, and ribbons won can be hung on the crate for display.

Hybrid crates such as Diggs Revol crates are a combination of aluminum, coated steel wire mesh and reinforced plastic. These crates have the durability of traditional aluminum crates and the airflow and clear view of the dog, that wire crates offer. Diggs Revol crate also has a unique, one-hand collapsible feature, making the crate easy to set up, break down and store. Diggs Revol Crate has won Pet Business’s award for Best Dog Containment in both 2018 and 2019, as well as Good Design award in 2018. Some additional features are rounded edges that prevent injuries to dogs and humans that are common with wire crates and an ergonomic handle, that makes the crate easier to open (especially for those with limited hand mobility, like the elderly and autistic).

Soft-sided crates (fabric on a metal frame) can be easily folded for storage or transport and are lightweight. They provide the dog with a stronger sense of security but still allow visibility and airflow. They cannot be used with dogs who are likely to dig or chew at the crate, and they are unsuitable for transporting dogs in vehicles.

Dog tents are an alternative to soft crates. They offer many of the same advantages (and disadvantages) of soft crates but fold down to an even smaller size and are ultra lightweight so that they can be stuffed into tent bags and taken virtually anywhere. They are good enclosures for dog owners who need to pack their soft crates into cramped vehicles or suitcases or for people who hike, camp, or are involved in dog sports. Like soft crates, they are not suitable for dogs who are not housebroken, or for vehicle travel.

Decorative crates, made of finished wood, rattan, or other custom materials designed to match a home’s decor, aren’t usually good for transportation and are not good for destructive dogs, but fulfill a need for confinement at home.


So, the best alternative is to train it.

The process is not very complicated. But you need to have enough patience and spend a lot of time on it. The first step is to make your pet to enter the crate by itself. And to do that, you can use food. Place it in the crate, and your dog will enter to eat. Next, you can close the door and stay near together with it. This will prevent your pet from getting anxious and scared. You should also place a pad in there where it can take care of its needs.

The second step is to repeat the process and prolong the period in which he stays in the cage. After a certain period, you can start leaving the room for short periods to make him get used to staying alone. The third and the last step is to make him sleep in the crate during the night and when you leave the house for longer periods. But you must keep in mind that you should never leave it alone in the crate for more than 10 hours at a time.

When and Why Does Your Pet Need Training for Dog Cages?

But why do you need to train your dog to stay in–carriers dog cages ? Well, there are serval situations in which you may need to keep your pet closed. It is not a problem to do so as long as you do not use this method as punishment. If you do that, then you should stop right now because it will harm the mental health of your pet. The three common situations when you need to keep your dog in a crate are:

• Alone in the house. Many people need to go to work, and no one can stay with their pets. And leaving your dog alone in the house can be quite risky. Not only he can damage your furniture or break some items in the house. But he can even harm itself in the process. And to prevent that, it is a better alternative to train it to stay in dog crates while you are left for work.
• Inside the car. If you need to take your dog somewhere with the car, then you can use a cage to ensure that he stays safe. Especially if this is its first time in a car. Or if there is no one to keep an eye on it while you drive. So, it is for its safety that you make him stay in the cage on the way to your destination.
• Nighttime. Similar problems to those that can happen while you are at work can also happen during the night. So, you can also keep your dog in the crate in that period. There will be no problem if you follow the steps of the training mentioned above. It will sleep peacefully in the crate, and even if it wakes up, there will be no accidents that can happen.

What Sizes Does the Dog Crates Should Have?

The first thing that you need to know is the distinction between cages and–carriers dog crates . A crate is much bigger, and your dog has enough space to move around in it. On the other hand, a cage is much smaller and should only be used for transportation and for short periods. You should never let your dog in a cage for long periods. Why? Because that may cause him mental harm.

So, how big should a crate be? As big as possible. The more space you can use for it, the better. But it should be at least big enough for your pet to move around. And for you to place the food, water, and the pads. And these items should not become a problem for your pet.

How to Fire Drill Train Your Dog

Last Updated: February 13, 2021 References

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.

There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 12,595 times.

Every year, half a million dogs are affected by a fire, and nearly fifty thousand canine companions die in house fires. Tragically, sometimes the dog who barks and wakes the family becomes afraid to leave the burning house and perishes from smoke asphyxiation. It's important to train your dog how to escape a fire, just like you would any other family member. With some thoughtful training and safety preparation, you can be ready to protect your pooch if a blaze should strike.

Watch the video: Basic Dog Training TOP 10 Essential Commands Every Dog Should Know!

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