North Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes so, how prepared are you? A little, a lot, gone overboard, never crossed your mind? And what have you done to safeguard your pets in the event of a major storm? You want to have everything in order when the power goes out or you’re told to evacuate.
Just as you do for yourself, make a plan for your pet ahead of time. Decide where they will go, how they will get there, what supplies and records they will need, and how you will keep them calm and comfortable. Here are tips to help you prepare your pet for rough weather.
Before the storm comes, create an emergency kit for each of your animals. You’ll need water, food, bowls, a can opener, carriers or crates, a litter box and litter, puppy pads, plastic bags, pickup bags, medicines, medical records, a leash, a collar, a harness, a photo and description of your pet, and ID tags. While you may have excellent records and pictures on your smartphone, you may not be able to access them if your phone is not charged. Put a paper copy of your pet’s medical records and their photo in a waterproof container (zip lock bags are handy) and pack it with your kit. Also, scan the records and photos and send them to a friend of family member who lives in a safe area.
If your pet is not familiar with going into carriers or crates – teach them to love them now. Leave the crate or carrier set up in your home; toss treats in it for them to find or place their food bowls next to it and gradually move the bowls inside. If your pet has to spend time confined, they will be more comfortable if they have a good association with this cozy safe spot.
When the bad weather approaches, bring you pets inside to keep them safe. They are more sensitive to the weather changes and you don’t want to search for a terrified pet that escapes from your yard.
Your job is to stay calm – pets are also sensitive to your feelings. You can help them stay relaxed by packing their favorite blanket or toy, bringing a long-lasting chew toy, spraying Feliway (for cats) or Adaptil (for dogs) on bedding or towels that can be put into their carriers or crates.
During the storm, stay tuned in to the weather reports and, if you have to leave – don’t dilly dally. You are your pet’s best guardian so prepare and take them with you.
Good luck and stay safe!
Submitted by: Jeanne Crockett, Crockett’s Critter Care