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//Pet and Hurricanes

Pet and Hurricanes

  1. Make sure that your pet has identification.  Microchips work very well for Animal Services and nearly all veterinary clinics can read them, but during a disaster, those services may not be available.  A basic tag with your name and cell phone number (not your landline!) will help concerned citizens identify your pet.  Additionally, make sure that you update your information with the microchip company.  Update any phone numbers and addresses to ensure that your pet makes it home safely – especially if you have to evacuate!
  2. Know where your local shelters are and whether they are pet friendly.  While some shelters are evaluated to ensure they can be made pet friendly, whether the shelter is opened and pets are allowed is a decision made by emergency management officials a day or two before landfall occurs.  Listen to the media to know which shelters are opened and which are pet-friendly.  This means that knowing the location of several pet-friendly shelters may be wise!   Pet-friendly shelters only accept dogs and cats. Should you have scaled or feathered family members, you will need to make arrangements for them ahead of time.  If you plan on staying at a hotel, find out what their policies are ahead of time.  Many hotels in the South Texas will be used to host evacuees from the coast, so you must have several possible sites in mind.  We do not host animals at the hospital during a hurricane or tropical storm!
  3. Stock up on pet food and medicine.  You should keep 2-3 weeks of food and 3-4 weeks of medicine on hand.  This is especially true if your pet is on a prescription food or has food allergies which might limit what diets are acceptable.  Purchasing wet food will lengthen the shelf life of your supply and also help minimize your pet’s water intake.
  4. Have a sturdy leash, harness, and a carrier.  Even for pets that normally will stay right beside you, a storm situation will cause many animals to become overly excited or wander off.  If you have to go out of your home shortly following a hurricane, keep your pet close.  Don’t forget the danger of fallen power lines, etc.  Some pets may also benefit from a well-fitted muzzle.  Even though your pet may never bite normally, an excited animal during a stressful situation may not act normally.  You will also want to keep pets separate (especially cats and dogs) as the excitement may cause them to turn on each other.  Carriers may be required at your shelter.  Don’t forget to label it with your and your pet’s information!
  5. Have a plan for pet waste.  If you shelter in place during hurricanes and tropical storms, you should NOT allow your pet outside for ANY reason!  This means that you will need to plan for them to go potty.  Have an area in mind where you want to encourage your pet to potty.  This might be the normal location for cats, but dogs may need some thought.  Have doggie waste bags, newspaper, and enough cat litter to weather the storm.  Some air fresheners might help too since you can’t open the windows!  A heavy plastic bag that can be tied shut after depositing your pet’s waste will help minimize the odor.
  6. Create a hurricane kit.  In addition to your human family’s supplies:
    • Pet food for 2-3 weeks (see #3).  Don’t forget a manual can opener!
    • Medications for 3-4 weeks (see #3)
    • Water for at least a week
    • Medical records (clearly showing that all vaccines are up to date) stored in a waterproof container
    • Written instructions about your pet’s care including feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior issues, and medicine.
    • The contact information for your veterinarian
    • Current photos of your pet (printed – not on a phone)
    • Doggie waste bags or cat litter (and box) and a bag to store collected waste in.  Newspapers might make cleanup easier too. (see #5)
    • A sturdy leash, harness, or carrier.  Some dogs might benefit from a muzzle.
    • A collar with identification (see #1)
    • Food dishes
    • Pet first aid kit


2021-05-19T13:27:28-04:00 August 1st, 2020|0 Comments

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