Bad Weather Coming? Don’t Forget The Pets!

Bad Weather Coming? Don’t Forget The Pets!


Hurricane season isn’t the only time of the year when bad weather can change your plans. If the tempest becomes bad enough you may have to evacuate your home once you have boarded up, put your outdoor furniture away and have taken care of your pets. Yes, having a safe place for your pets is necessary, but even if you can’t take them with you, having them under the watchful eyes of human caregivers is the only assurance you have that they’ll be okay until you return.

Of course, if you live far from the ocean or gulf, hurricanes aren’t a concern. But, tornadoes, blizzards, fires, floods and earthquakes can be, which means that the following tips should be considered whenever an emergency arises.

Getting Ready — Once you have determined that extreme weather is moving in and you have decided that you don’t want to stay behind, then planning to leave should begin. If you are going to a friend’s or relative’s home and they’re receptive to you bringing your pet, then your shelter needs have been met. But, if you need to go to a public shelter or hotel, you may not be able to bring your pet with you. Confirm the pet policy before heading out; make other arrangements for your pet’s care if they cannot be with you.

Collect Records — Make sure that your pet has a collar and I.D. tag or chip to help identify who they are. When the weather gets bad some animals will panic and run away. You need to make sure that if they leave they can be reunited with you. Make sure that your vaccinations are always up-to-date and that you bring along proof of the same. Some shelters may not allow your pet in if you can’t prove a recent rabies or distemper shot. Bring along your veterinarian’s contact information.

Bring Supplies — Assume you’ll be gone much longer than you think. While you may be able to get food and renew prescriptions for yourself, that may not hold true for your pet. Bring plenty of food, extra water, a can opener, a leash or harness, your pet’s bed and familiar toys and treats. For cats, you’ll need to bring a hair brush, scratch pad, kitty litter, a scoop and a container. Take a recent photo of your pet with you too.

Pet Carriers — Cats should have their own carrier and some small dogs should too. If your larger canine companion is used to having her own crate, try to bring that with you. In some cases a crate may be impractical, therefore other restraining devices such as leases and harnesses will have to do.

Console Often — Animals know when something is wrong. They can sense tension well before a storm arrives and will certainly become tense in unfamiliar surroundings. Cats may scratch or bite, dogs may bite and whine when nervous. Expect to give your furry friends some extra TLC during this time; walk your dogs wherever and whenever possible.

If you home is damaged or destroyed, your pet may remain out of sorts until you’ve found a new home. Expect your four-legged friends to behave oddly for some time including wetting inside, “missing” the kitty litter box or exhibiting other signs of stress. If your animal cannot cope, consider taking your pet to a veterinarian for assistance.


Humane Society: Disaster Preparedness For Pets

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Photo Credit: Lily Rosen


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Categories: Travel Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".