Your pets are an integral part of your family. They are there to keep you company, cheer you up, and make your space a little brighter. As the hurricane season approaches and you make plans for your home and family, don’t forget your four-legged friends! Pet safety is paramount because they are unaware of what is happening around them, and just like us, they can become fearful. Here’s how you can make a special effort to keep your pets safe this Hurricane Season:
Make a plan for your pet
Planning for your pet’s safety requires a few tasks to get them ready in the event a hurricane strikes:
- Start by identifying a possible saferoom for your pet, safe rooms typically have few/no windows. Remove any items with chemicals that your pet might chew on, and fill small spaces where your pet could become trapped.
- If you have more than one pet and there is the potential they might not get along – e.g. dogs and cats – keep them separated. The fear of a hurricane can cause fighting.
- If your pet is not accustomed to a collar or tag, it’s best to get them used to it as early as possible. Ensure the tags have their name, your name, and current contact information.
- Purchase a pet carrier that is roomy, and practice getting your pet into the carrier. Evacuation tends to be a speedy process, the faster you can secure your pet, the better.
- Start to incorporate canned foods into your pet’s diet. Canned foods are not only non-perishable but there is a smaller chance of flies getting into your pet’s food at an emergency shelter
Create a kit of pet supplies
Just like the emergency supplies kit you create before a hurricane of mandatory supplies, here is a list of important supplies for your furry friend.
- A supply of food and water to last at least two weeks. Water is critical, as water is easily contaminated by mold and bacteria after a hurricane
- Litter boxes, poop bags, pee pads, newspaper, and paper towels
- A waterproof folder with medical records, the name of your pet’s veterinarian, feeding schedule, and a current photo
- A first aid kit in the event of injury
- Toys and treats to keep your pet entertained or distracted
- A one to two-month supply of any medication is needed, as access to medicine, can become difficult after a hurricane
- A hand-powered can opener
- An extra set of leashed which are sturdy with reflective tape or flashlights
- Room pet carriers that allow for comfortable movement to keep them calm
Be knowledgeable about pet-friendly emergency shelters
There is always the likelihood of evacuation for the safety of your family. Take the time to research which shelters can accommodate your pets.
Consider microchipping your pet
The reality of any natural hazard is unpredictability; while it is extremely essential to plan for your pet, you have to think of their safety from all angles. Microchipping your pet allows you to track it in the event that you become displaced.
Ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations
At the start of the hurricane season, talk with the veterinarian about updating any vaccination your pet might need to be healthy.
Manage your pet’s anxiety
It’s natural for pets to become scared during a storm because they do not understand what is happening. Anti-anxiety medication is available for pets for your consideration but it’s important that you remain calm in the midst of everything the hurricane brings. Your pets are relying on you to be a source of comfort.