By Melissa Grasso
As we are approaching the peak of hurricane season, one thing that is important to be educated on when owning pets is being prepared for a hurricane! Some things to consider are making sure you have enough supplies, how to keep your pup calm and comfortable, and how to be prepared if you have to evacuate.
- Vaccination Records- If you have to evacuate and stay in a shelter, they
may require proof of vaccination. So, make sure your pets are up to date on all vaccines!
Secure records in a waterproof container or baggy. Also, it may be a good idea to have them
digitally on your phone, tablet, laptop, etc.
- Food and Water- It is suggested that you have at least a 2 week supply of food and
water for your pets. Also, keep your pets food stored in a waterproof container in case you
- Medication- Just as you would with their food, also make sure you have enough
medication for your pets for at least 2 weeks.
- Potty Supplies/Ideas- Pee pads, litter boxes, litter. When it comes to taking your dog
outside to potty it's best to take them out right before the storm is beginning to come through. You will typically get breaks in between squalls when the rain and wind calm to take them out again, but it's best to have a plan set in place if you're unable to do that. You can set up pee pads in the bathroom or a room that is comfortable for your pup, or use an indoor grass pad as well. Another option would be to get a plastic kiddie pool and fill it with either turf or dirt/grass.
- Misc Supplies- Toys, bowls, leashes, collars, ID tags, proof of ownership, chip
How to keep your pets calm during the storm:
If you decide to stay, choose a safe room in your home for riding out the storm- an
interior room without windows! And remember to stay with your pets, and have supplies
available with you in that room. Some things to keep in mind if your pet needs calming
medicine, make sure you administer with enough time for the medication to take effect. Some medications can take up to 2 hours to take its full effect on your pet.
There are options, other than medication, that can help keep your pet calm such as
enrichment, training, and playing background noise. Enrichment can consist of a wide variety of things such as play, chase, kongs, lickimats, scent games, snufflemats, See our enrichment
section for “filler ideas” for things such as kongs and lickimats. Training is also a good idea to do during a storm. You are learning and calming their minds at the same time! Background noise is also a popular thing to do. Background noise such as music, nature sounds, etc can help block out some of the scary sounds you may endure during the storm.
Evacuating with your pet:
First things first, if you are planning to evacuate, and we cannot stress this enough-
NEVER LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! There are always options available! Not all shelters allow pets so it is important to do some research before a storm approaches. Check out local
shelters, rescues, organizations, hotels, or family members where you can keep your pets safe during the storm. Also make sure to bring your pets supplies (see above) with you to the shelter!