Take Cover: Severe Weather Pet Safety
Hurricanes, tornados, severe thunderstorms, hail, and flooding are just a part of life here in Texas. Most of us probably have a plan in place for our families and ourselves in the event of severe weather or natural disaster, but how many of us have included our pets as part of the plan?
Preparing for severe weather pet safety before it happens is essential for the protection of your furry loved one!
Planning Ahead for Severe Weather Pet Safety
Having the supplies you need and a plan at the ready will help you to keep calm during a potential emergency. Consider the following severe weather pet safety tips:
- Prepare an emergency kit for your pet, including extra water and food, your pet’s medications and medical records, and emergency contact information. Store the kit in an easy to access location near your pet’s leash or (labeled) carrier.
- If an area isn’t safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet either. Never leave a pet outdoors during severe weather, and don’t leave him or her behind in the event you are evacuated from your home.
- Many temporary shelters don’t accept pets, or will require proof of vaccinations. Identify a trusted friend, family member, or local boarding kennel ahead of time to care for your pet if an emergency strikes. Make sure to keep all of your pet’s wellness appointments so that he or she can stay current on important vaccines and parasite preventives.
- Familiarize yourself with city, county, and state emergency plans.
- Obtain a free rescue alert sticker from the ASPCA. If disaster strikes while you’re away from home, the sticker lets rescue workers know there is a pet inside.
Be available to reassure an anxious pet during a noisy storm or other weather event. Speak soothingly, snuggle with, or crate your pet to help him or her feel more secure. Make use of a TV, radio, or fan to drown out the noise, or consider using a Thundershirt or other pressure-based anxiety garment.
The importance of having your pet microchipped cannot be overstated when it comes to severe weather pet safety. Some pets instinctively try to flee when they are frightened, such as by a noisy thunderstorm, and damage to fences and homes can create additional openings for escape. Similarly, collars and ID tags can easily become lost or damaged, making it very difficult to identify a lost animal.
Outfitting your pet with a registered, up-to-date microchip will greatly improve your chances of being reunited with him or her should you become separated.
Helping Those in Need
The stories of the lost or homeless pets who remain after a severe weather disaster are heartbreaking. The need for shelter, food, water, medical care, and foster homes for these animals is great, and resources are often sadly lacking.
If you are looking for a way to help animals in need, consider joining your friends at Hallsville Veterinary Hospital in donating to the Humane Society of Louisiana, which provides food, shelter, and necessary supplies to animals who are displaced by major storms.
Questions or concerns about severe weather pet safety? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call.