How to prepare your pets for a hurricane
- Before the storm, find out which evacuation shelters allow pets. Many pet owners complain that they were turned away from evacuating shelters because they brought pets. Call your local and county officials and find out where you can take your pet before the storm hits. Your veterinarian or boarding facility may also take in pets during severe weather. Find out your options and make a plans for your pet well in advance.
- Use a pet carrier. One of the most important pieces of equipment you can have during an evacuation and severe weather event is a pet carrier. This is especially important when transporting small dogs and cats. Carriers are required at many pet shelters and can serve as a safe place for a nervous pet. Be sure to label the carrier with your pets name, breed, sex, date of birth, your current address and contact numbers, and any important medical information.
- In the event of a hurricane warning, make sure you have at least two weeks of your pet’s medications on hand, as well as heartworm and flea preventatives. Pack them in a bag with your pet’s essentials and write down your current administration schedule in case you have to leave your pet at a kennel or other facility.
- Carry a week’s worth of food and water. If possible, divide your pet’s meals into individual storage bins or bags. This will help ensure you bring enough food and allow you to assist others who may have to care for your pet during an evacuation. Carry bottles of water (24 ounces per day for a 20 pound dog and 8 ounces a day for a 10 pound cat) and bowls. Many shelters will not have adequate food and water on hand for pets.
Bring at least two slip leashes. Carry the simple slip-type webbing or nylon leashes with you at all times. A frightened dog can slip out of a collar, but a slip leash can also be used to restrain a cat in a pinch. Carry an extra leash in your pockets in case someone else needs it or you lose yours.