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Keeping Your Pet Safe During a Hurricane

Cane Bay Summerville - dog in hurricaneWe are nearly a month into hurricane season, and unfortunately, the Eastern coast of South Carolina is not immune to the monstrously big storms that never fail to come every season and wreak havoc on the Southern and Eastern U.S.

If you live in an area with seasonal hurricanes, you may very well already have an evacuation plan. However, if you have a pet living in your home, it’s important to know how to prepare them for the hurricane and make sure they stay safe at all times as well.

How can you best keep your pet safe during a hurricane? Below we’ll discuss a few tips to ensure safety for you and your pet.

Always Have an Evacuation Plan

It’s important to make sure your evacuation plan includes your pet. Not all shelters or hotels accept dogs and cats, and the ones that do typically require that your pet is up to date on all vaccines. If you have to evacuate suddenly and your pet is not up to date with these things, you may be hard pressed to find a kennel or shelter that will take Scruffy in.

Plan in advance, and be sure to keep your pet’s medical records on hand at all times, so you can show that your pet has the most recent and necessary vaccines.

Have an Emergency Kit

When I was little, we always used to keep our cupboard in the laundry room above the washer and dryer stocked with flashlights in case of a power outage or tornado. This way, if a bad storm suddenly approached and the power went out, everyone knew where to find our flashlights.

Similarly, it’s important to have a hurricane Emergency Kit always on hand, so if disaster strikes at the last minute, everyone will know where to find the kit and what to grab.

What Should the Emergency Kit Include?

  • Enough water to last at least three days (for both you and your pet)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Your and your pet’s medical records in a waterproof container
  • Litter, a litter box, or a potty pad for dogs
  • An extra leash
  • A detailed picture of your pet that shows any distinguishing features
  • A picture of you and your pet together, so if you get separated, you can show people Scruffy belongs to you

Consider Getting a Microchip for Your Pet

Microchips do not harm your pet’s health, and they help ensure you’ll be contacted if you and your pet get separated. If a stray pet ever gets picked up by a shelter or veterinarian, they always first scan the pet for a microchip to find out who the owners are and who to contact.

If your pet does not have a microchip, make sure he is wearing a collar with your contact information on it or some other form of identification. In the chaos or emergency of a big storm, you don’t want to get separated from your pet. If you do though, you want to make sure all the necessary steps are taken to ensure his return.

How to Keep Your Pet Calm if You Stay at Home

If you’re not in an evacuation zone and you decide to ride out the storm, try to make Scruffy as comfortable as possible. While some dogs and cats do just fine in big storms with loud noises, others are prone to anxiety.

Consider getting a prescription for anti-anxiety medication for your pet. If the storm comes suddenly and you don’t have time to make an appointment with your veterinarian for the medication, consider giving your four-legged friend Benadryl.

Veterinarian, Dr. Mosley, told First Coast News that it is safe to give your pet 1 milligram of Benadryl per pound, or a higher dose of 2 milligrams of Benadryl per pound roughly three to four times a day, spaced out evenly. So for example, a 50 pound dog would be allowed 50 mg to 100 mg of Benadryl in a single dosage.

Allow your pet to stay in his crate, a closet, or a confined space that helps him feel more comfortable.

Consider purchasing a ThunderShirt, which applies pressure and keeps your pet all cozy and secure. ThunderShirts are known for helping anxious pets during thunderstorms.

Never Leave Your Pet Behind

And of course, never leave your pet behind. This may sound obvious, but if you have to suddenly evacuate with no evacuation plan, you may be panicked at the last minute and not know where to take your furry friend if he’s not current on his vaccinations, or if the place you’re going does not accept pets.

If this is the case, try finding a friend who lives inland that would be willing to watch your pooch or kitty until the storm passes. Do not leave your pet behind.

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you were able to learn some helpful tips, and be sure to stay safe this hurricane season! If you enjoyed our article, please feel free to share it on social media sites.


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