Are you ready for hurricane season? Any inclement weather, mild or severe, can result in scared, stressed and even lost pets. Animals can often can predict and smell an approaching storm well before humans, which can influence their behavior. Be aware of how your pets act during severe weather and use this pet-friendly guide to help you prepare for storm pet safety.
Create A Storm Safe Haven
Be sure to have a place that your pets can go to during bad weather. This should include enough space to hide like behind the couch, under the table or in a crate or a pet cave bed. Make sure you stay calm around their space as your worry can increase their fear and scared behavior.
Putting Your Pet’s Minds At Ease
Try playing with your pet’s favorite toys or offer treats for healthy distractions and keep their minds at ease. Depending on your pet, especially dogs, they may find comfort in feeling a snug compression like a blanket or a Thundershirt. Holistic pet care such as essential oils or CBD oil have also gained popularity in recent years. If you feel like your pet’s anxious behavior is extreme, consult your vet about other medication options.
During the storm seasons, the number of lost pets ending up at shelters increases. If your pet is flighty in bad weather, it is extremely important pet that their microchip and ID tags are current. Many shelters and clinics offer free or low-cost microchip days. In the event your pet does go missing, make sure you have a recent photo to help your search and that you know your local community’s protocol for reclaiming lost pets.
The Buddy System
Try to make sure your pet is only home alone as a last resort. If you are anticipating bad weather and can’t check in, leave music or the TV when you leave. Many petsitters also offer last minute services and can visit your pet on your behalf. Who doesn’t love a surprise visit from their second favorite human? (You being first, of course!).
Be Prepared For The Worst Weather
Lastly, we often avoid thinking about the worst case scenario but it is important to have a plan for storm pet safety should a storm turn into a disaster. Plan ahead with a shelter in place plan, an evacuation plan, pet first aid kits and a front door sticker alerting any emergency personal that pets may be inside. Emergency Shelters are starting to provide pet options but they may not be allowed to be housed with you. Additionally, many require proper IDs (for you and the pet), updated vaccination records and are B.Y.O.C. (bring your own crate). Know what your options may be and keep the whole family involved in the game plan.