I am grateful that where I live the weather doesn’t get too extreme. We’ve had hurricanes and blizzards but nothing that has been serious or life threatening. We did lose power for three days when Hurricane Floyd came through here about 10+ years ago, and all my fish died because their air pump and filter didn’t work with no power. But aside from that we’ve been lucky (and I hope it stays that way!).
None the less, as a pet owner it’s important to me that our pets are kept safe all the time. Even in extreme weather conditions.
Here is a great article with some tips on keeping your pet safe during Hurricane season. I’m sure many of these tips can be applied to other weather related events like Tornadoes, flooding and blizzards too.
For most, the summer is a time for barbecues, sun bathing and hours of activities spent outdoors with family, friends and of course man’s best friend – the household pet. But, many forget that with warmer weather comes intense storms and more specifically, Hurricane Season.
As individuals who live in Hurricane-prone areas know, being prepared is EVERYTHING. Having an emergency kit and evacuation plan is crucial to ensure your family’s safety. However, many forget to include their pets in this plan. Precautionary measures need to be taken to ensure the well-being of pets during emergencies, just like humans. As we have seen in the past, many household pets become strays due to their owner’s inability to properly shelter them during storms – all due to a lack of preparedness.
There are simple steps you can take before a storm is pending, that will ensure your pet is safe and secure during an emergency. Below, please find a series of tips on this topic from Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and INC 5000 company.
Hurricane Season Safety for Pets
Do Your Research BEFORE it is Necessary – Many evacuation shelters are NOT pet friendly; find shelters nearby BEFORE a storm occurs in which both you and your pet are welcome.
Like Owner, Like Pet – If you’re going to need it during an emergency, chances are your pet will need it as well. Important documents pertaining to vaccinations or medications will be crucial in making sure your pet can stay at a shelter. These documents will help you find the proper shelter or hotel in case of evacuation.
Think Ahead – Even when you first get your pet, getting a microchip could be the difference between keeping him/her safe and making them a stray. Microchips allow for veterinarians to scan lost animals to determine their identity so that they are safely returned home.
Pack Necessities for Up to a Week – Enough H20 for your pet is crucial. Never allow Fido to drink water immediately after a storm as chemicals and bacteria could be abundant in tap water. Also, be sure to stock up on canned food. Don’t forget a can opener, or buy pop-top cans to last you about a week.
Make Fido Feel at Home – Like people, pets tend to become stressed when their safety is at risk. Bring their favorite toys, ALWAYS have a leash and collar on hand for their safety, and a comfortable bed or cage for proper security. If your pet is prone to anxiety, prepare him/her with a natural stress-relieving medication or spray to help ease them in times of emergency.
I.C.E – No, not the frozen kind – it stands for “In Case of Emergency.” If your pet is lost or runs away during an emergency, bring information that will help others find him/her like recent photos of your pet, behavioral characteristics or traits. These can help others identify your pet and return them safely to you.
Ease Pets Back Home – Don’t allow Fido to run back into your home or even your neighborhood once you and your family have returned. Your once familiar home could be disheveled and/or changed, and this can potentially disorient and stress your pet. Keep your pet on a leash and safely ease him/her back home. Make sure they are not eating or picking up anything that could potentially be dangerous, such as downed wires or water that could be contaminated.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own.