The news over the last couple of weeks has been full of stories related to Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston, and Hurricane Irma that hit our state. We thought that instead of waiting for the next hurricane to come around, it would be an appropriate time to give pet owners some tips they could implement in order to best protect their pets in preparation for a hurricane or severe storm.
First, make sure that when you are putting together your household emergency kit that you account for your furry loved ones. While you account for each family member’s water usage, be sure to add an extra daily gallon for your dog or cat. Even though they might not drink this much, it’ll come in useful for bathing them or brushing their teeth.
Be sure to store enough non-perishable food items for your pets, as well. In the flurry of preparation in the face of an impending hurricane, it may be hard to remember that you could need extra pet food. Buy more than you think you’ll need just in case supplies are slower to get back into stores after the storm passes through. We recommend storing at least two weeks (14 days) worth of extra food and water.
Next, make sure you have adequate identification for your dog or cat. Do they have a collar tag or microchip? If their collar tag is worn, not visible, or you don’t have one – please get one as quickly as possible.
Check your pet’s paperwork. Is it up-to-date? Do you have all documentation on vaccines and wellness visits? You want to make sure that you have the most accurate paperwork possible in the event that you have to temporarily leave your home. Dr. Bruce’s Animal Hospital is happy to help you stay up-to-date with your paperwork. Just give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make sure you have the most accurate documentation.
Another often-forgotten essential is making sure that your dog or cat has toys, treats, and a bed to sleep in. When preparing for a hurricane, sleeping arrangements are often adjusted. If you leave your residence, it’ll put you and your pet into a new environment. By providing your pet with treats, toys, and their bed, you can give them a small taste of home while being out on the road. If you don’t evacuate, you’ll be able to keep your pet calmer while the storm passes through. Dogs and cats are intuitive, and can sense when we are stressed out. Giving them toys and a bed to lie in can help ease their anxiety.
Make sure your pet’s transportable carrier is in good shape, especially if you have not used it for a while. If you’re planning on traveling out of the area, you do not want to discover that your pet’s carrier is not adequate after it’s too late.
Finally, make sure to have enough medications for your pet to last for 3-4 weeks, and consider a tranquilizer if Dr. Bruce thinks it would be advisable.
We hope that you and your family stay safe during hurricane season and beyond. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss specific needs that your pet may have. We are available by phone at 954-448-7600.