It’s back! Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. If you live on the east coast or gulf coast of the United States, you know the tropical storm season means making sure your family, pets and property are properly protected against an impending storm. The good thing about hurricanes is that there is ample time to prepare. As the saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed.” Therefore, preparing for a hurricane should be done as early as possible.
To help you protect your pet for the hurricane season, we prepared these nine essential tips:
- Stock Up on Dog Food and Cat Food before the Storm – waiting until there is an actual storm warning is not the time to run out and buy food for your pets. By the time you get to the stores the shelves will be empty. Now is the time to stock up on dog food and cat food. Purchase enough food to feed your pets for at least two weeks. Remember, a hurricane or even a tropical storm can cause a collapse in your area’s infrastructure. Road closures, power outages, and storm damage to stores will make it difficult to access the food your pets need.
- Water, Water Everyone Needs Water – while stocking up on dog food and cat food, pick up some extra gallons of water. Hurricanes and storms usually hit during the hot summer months which mean both pets and pet parents can suffer from dehydration. In addition, your tap water might not be safe to drink after a storm for some time. Purchase enough water for three days per pet.
- Order Pet Medications and Supplements ahead of Time – if your dog or cat is on prescription medications, dog supplements, or cat supplements, make sure to purchase enough to cover a storm. Some veterinarian’s offices or pet pharmacies might not be able to open right after a storm.
- Have Treats Handy – riding a storm out in your home or evacuation shelter can be a harrowing experience. Imagine what it must be like for a dog or cat! This is why you should stock up on dog treats or cat treats. Aside from reassuring some strokes, giving your pet some treats during the storm will help reduce its stress levels. Also, dog calming and cat calming products can help when dealing with anxious pet.
- Take Your Dog for a Walk before the Weather Turns Ugly – prior to a storm hitting you should walk your dog to tire it out and to have it relieve itself. Also, consider getting some kennel pads in case your dog needs to go during the storm. If it is safe, take your dog out for a walk once the storm passes. Be sure to look out for flooding, debris, fallen trees, and downed power lines.
- Get Plenty of Cat Litter – just like stocking up on cat food is essential, so is stocking up on cat litter. A rule of thumb is to have enough litter for two weeks.
- Know Your Hurricane Evacuation Route and Evacuation Shelter – find out where the evacuation shelter for your area is located and learn the route. Plan to get their early. You do not want to be driving around looking for a shelter with a storm looming over your shoulder. Important: Call your local shelter and make sure they accept pets. Most shelters for humans only accept service animals.
- Contact Your Local Pet Shelter – If your evacuation center does not accept pets, arrange to have your pets stay at a local pet shelter.
- Get a First Aid Kit for Pets – specially prepared for dogs and cats, these kits contain the items you need to stabilize minor emergencies.
In summary, tropical storms and hurricanes can cause major damage to an area. The good thing is that unlike other natural disasters, local weather stations can predict with a fair amount of accuracy when and where a storm will strike. This means you have plenty of time to prepare for it. Think about your pets when planning by making sure they have enough food, water, medications, and supplements to last through a storm and its aftermath.