Storms are frightening for most people, but they can be even more so for pets. It’s important not to forget about your furry friends when preparing your home and making evacuation plans for hurricane season. Below are some tips on pet safety that will help you prepare.
Make a plan before the storms arrive.
Get plans in place for multiple scenarios so you won’t be scrambling if your plan changes last minute. If you will stay at home, designate the safest place in your house where you, your family, and your pets will stay if the storm gets particularly fierce. If you will evacuate, make sure you have necessary supplies such as a crate or carrier. Call nearby relatives, friends, and local vets or shelters to see if they board animals, in case you need to leave your pet.
Update Tags and Collars.
Make sure your pet is wearing their collars and tags at all times. Make any updates to the information on them if you’ve moved or changed phone numbers. Consider taking a photo with your pet, just in case you need to prove ownership. In the event they are separated from you for any reason, you’ll be glad you did.
Create a hurricane pet care kit.
Just as you would for yourself and your family, don’t forget to put together a kit of essentials for your pets. Include enough non-perishable food and water to last at least one week. Gather identification, medical records and other important documents. Also consider a carrier, towels, plastic bags, can openers, medicine in waterproof containers, litter box items, chew toys, an extra leash, etc. Keep all of the items close together and preferably in the same container in case you need to grab them and go.
On the Go With Pets.
If you evacuate with your pet, keep them in a kennel or crate as you travel. Even exotic pets can be kept in small crates or cages. Give them some favorite toys to chew on to keep them occupied in the event they are picking up your stress. Animals are very good at sensing their owners’ emotions, so it’s likely that if you are stressed, your pet will feel anxious. Chew toys or objects that you know are stress relieving for your pet will help.
At Home With Pets.
Decide on the safest possible room or corner of the home in which you and your family will be to ride out the hurricane. Keep your necessities like batteries, flashlights, radios, snacks, first aid kit, and your pet’s kit in that area, so they are easily accessible and you won’t have to search in the dark if you lose power. Keep your pets in cages or kennels in that spot, and let them be right next to you during the hurricane.
If your pet is very scared, stroke them and speak in a soothing voice. If your pet becomes out of control due to the hurricane, continue to remain calm and offer various chew toys, soft shirts and blankets – or food – to try and rein them in.
Prepare Now For Hurricane Season.
Dealing with an approaching hurricane can be challenging and intimidating with pets. Begin preparations now to help alleviate unnecessary stress. Having plans in place for your beloved animals will be a huge relief and enable you to focus on the task at hand: getting through a storm. And while you’re at it, don’t forget one of the most important things to do before a hurricane: Getting up to date on your insurance policies. Review documentation, call your insurance agent or stop by their office to discuss the details of your homeowner’s policy, vehicle policies, flooding and windstorm policies, life policy, and any others.