During the days leading up to Hurricane Matthew, many pet owners scrambled to prepare themselves and their pets for the storm. With the tips you’ll read below, your pets can be ready for the worst if/when a hurricane strikes again.
- Make an emergency kit
Have supplies and information you need gathered and stored in a safe spot that all household members are aware of. Gather everything that your pet may need in an emergency that you may not be able to access during a storm. Some suggestions are: water/food for at least 3 days (don’t forget to bring a can opener if traveling), puppy pads or fresh litter/litter box, a leash, a correctly sized pet carrier for each pet, and medications.
- Have a copy of your pet’s records
Prior to a hurricane, obtain a printed or digital copy of your pet’s medical records. It is important to have these documents available in the event of a medical emergency requiring veterinary care. If traveling, you may also need records to cross state lines, for boarding facilities, or hotel stays. Many veterinary clinics now utilize electronic medical records systems. For patients of our practice, you may access your pet’s electronic medical records at www.epethealth.com or from our website. Setting up login information and learning how to access the records now will help to prevent stress while preparing for evacuation.
- Prevent separation
Many pets run away or are lost during the hullabaloo of preparing for a hurricane and/or traveling. Make sure that your cell phone number, physical address, email, or other contact information is updated with your veterinarian and your pet’s microchip company. If not already microchipped, ask your veterinarian to perform this quick outpatient procedure at your next visit. Ensuring that a cell phone number is on file is important if an evacuation is needed or land lines are down. A collar on your pet with a tag imprinted with your current contact information is also a great idea. Lastly, have a photo of your pet accessible in case she becomes separated.
- Travel safely
If the need to evacuate arises, find pet friendly hotels/rest stops. In order to provide a sense of security remember to pack a favorite toy or blanket. Some pets may benefit from anxiety medication while traveling. This may be especially true for long trips, hotel stays, and thunderstorms. If you think anxiety medication may be needed, make sure to call your veterinarian to discuss.
Stay calm, stay safe, and good luck.