Hurricane Season: Prepare your Pets!

hurricane preparedness for animals

Hurricane season is here! We know, not what anyone wants to hear, but it’s part of life here in Florida. When preparing for hurricane season, don’t forget to prepare for your pets, too. The following tips are easy to do, but get started NOW so you’ll be ready… just in case!

Click to download our printable hurricane checklist

Kennel: Keep in mind that some hurricane shelters may not allow you to bring your pets. However, if you must seek safety and higher ground with friends or relatives, we recommend that you have an appropriately sized kennel to transport and house your pet. Many motels and hotels will allow an animal if it is kept in a kennel. Buy a kennel soon – when hurricanes head our way, many stores sell out quickly.

Food: Bring food bowls, and at least two week’s worth of your pet’s regular food. Traveling can be stressful for an animal, and it will be important that they maintain their normal diet. If you feed frozen raw, try the freeze dried version. All you need is water or goat milk to re-hydrate!

Water: Make sure you have a water bowl and a jug of water just for your pet. Whether you stay at home or leave, the water supply can easily become contaminated in a hurricane situation. Keep fresh water set aside for EVERYONE in your family, including your pets.

Medications: If your pet takes medicine, have at least a two week supply with you. For a storm-anxiety prone pet, a favorite blanket, and other calming items can be extremely helpful.

Shots: Make sure your pet’s vaccines are up-to-date. In an emergency situation, your pets may be exposed to other pets that may not be in the best of health. Your best protection is to ensure your pet is appropriately vaccinated. Dr. Sandhu, from Mobile Pet Hospital, comes to Leo&Lucky’s twice a month. Check when he will be here on our events page.

If possible, get a copy of your pet’s vaccination record TODAY, before everyone is rushing to get them, and keep it with copies of other important papers. All such paperwork should be kept dry in ziploc bags.

Take Pictures: You should have four views of your pet: head, left side, right side, and back. Upload the photos to cloud storage space so they can be easily retrieved if your phone gets lost or damaged.  If you are evacuating – take physical copies of the pictures with you.

ID: We have ID tags that you can make here – make sure your pet’s tag is easy to read and up-to-date. If you are evacuating and know where you are going – have a tag made with THAT information on it. Pets should also be microchipped – and be sure to register the chip!

Collars and Leashes: Make sure you have a collar and leash for every pet, and a harness and leash for all cats. If you have to evacuate, you’ll need to be able to control each pet. If the storm hits and your fence is knocked down, you’ll need to be able to walk your pets safely. Don’t forget poop bags, and/or cat litter, if you have to evacuate.

Life Jacket: Consider life jackets for your pets. No one expects flooding to happen, but you will be glad to have a life jacket to keep your pet afloat if the worst happens.

Gather all of the above items, and a pet first aid kit, in an emergency “go bag” once you see that a bad storm is headed our way. You want to be able to act quickly in the event of a mandatory evacuation. Make sure you know where all your pet’s hiding spots are when they’re scared – pets can pick up on our energy and may hide if they see suitcases coming out and feel our stress.

When a storm heads our way, don’t panic – being prepared is key. For more information – call us at Leo&Lucky’s – 941-776-0770. See you soon in store!

Nicole Apostle is the marketing director at Leo&Lucky's.

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