Pet Preparedness – Make a Plan

Pet Preparedness - Make a Plan - K9 Malinoise

Written by K9 Partners for Patriots

June 3, 2021

Discover why flea markets may not be the best environment for service dogs.

Learn about risks, distractions, and considerations for handlers.

1. Crowded Environment: Flea markets are often bustling with crowds, which can be overwhelming for a service dog. The dog may become stressed or anxious in such a busy atmosphere.

2. Distractions: Flea markets are filled with various sights, sounds, and smells that can distract a service dog from its duties. This could potentially compromise its ability to assist its handler effectively.

3. Unpredictable Behavior of Other Animals: Other visitors to the flea market may bring their pets along, which can lead to encounters with unfamiliar animals. This may pose a risk to the safety and focus of the service dog.

4. Risk of Injury: With so many people moving around and browsing items, there’s an increased risk of accidental tripping or stepping on the service dog, which could lead to injury.

5. Exposure to Unsanitary Conditions: Flea markets may not always maintain the cleanest environment, and the service dog may come into contact with unsanitary surfaces or substances.

6. Lack of Accommodation for the Dog: Flea markets may not be equipped to handle service dogs properly, such as providing suitable resting areas, water, or relief spots for the dog.

7. Potential Stress for the Dog: A flea market’s constant stimulation and unfamiliar surroundings could cause stress or discomfort for the service dog, which may affect its overall well-being and ability to perform its tasks.

Given these factors, it’s important for service dog handlers to carefully consider whether taking their dog to a flea market is truly necessary and in the best interest of the dog’s welfare and effectiveness in assisting its handler.

Make a Plan

In case of disaster, having a plan in place for your family and your pets will reduce stress and worries if you have to decide during an emergency or mandatory evacuation. If officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured, or worse.

Things to include in your plan:

  • Have an evacuation plan for your pet. Many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets. Know a safe place to take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
  • Develop a buddy system. In the event of an emergency, have a plan with neighbors, friends, or relatives to ensure that someone can care for or evacuate your pets if you cannot do so.
  • Have your pet microchipped. Be sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Contact your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get additional advice and information on how to care for your pet in case of an emergency.

For more disaster preparedness information, visit:

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