If the news is all about a hurricane bearing down on your area, you likely fly into a panic. But, with proper preparation, you can ensure your entire family—pets included—will have a solid evacuation plan in place for a smooth departure. Follow these seven ways to prepare your pet for hurricane season.
#1: Ensure your pet is up to date on vaccinations
When a hurricane is bearing down on Conroe, Texas, that is not the time to schedule a wellness visit for your pet. As soon as a hurricane’s arrival is making headlines, ensure your pet is up to date on all their core vaccinations, and those required for boarding. Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, health, and current vaccination status, we may recommend boostering their vaccinations. Distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and rabies are core, or required, vaccinations for dogs, while feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and rabies are core vaccinations for cats. Dogs also should be vaccinated against bordetella, or kennel cough, for boarding, and updated on the leptospirosis vaccine to protect against bacteria that thrives in wet environments. Cats may need their feline leukemia vaccination boostered for boarding situations. Always contact boarding facilities ahead, to determine which vaccinations are necessary.
Once your pet’s vaccinations have been updated, keep a printed copy of their vaccination history in a waterproof container. Additionally, save a copy on your phone, so you’ll always have it handy.
#2: Update your pet’s microchip registration information
If you become separated from your pet during a hurricane, a microchip may be the lifeline that reunites you. However, a microchip is only as good as the contact information it’s linked to, so update your information, if needed. Contact the microchip registration company to ensure they have the correct, updated information on file, to guarantee you’ll be reached if your pet goes missing. Consider adding two additional emergency contacts who will be out of a hurricane’s path.
#3: Give your pet’s collar ID tags a once-over
While a microchip is the only permanent identification form that cannot be removed from your pet, collar ID tags are a great backup. Check your pet’s tags to ensure they are legible and up to date. Consider adding the phone number of an emergency contact who does not live nearby, so they can pick up your pet, and transport them out of the hurricane’s path, if necessary.
#4: Stock your pet’s first aid kit with necessary supplies
Your personal first aid kit likely has many of the supplies needed to stabilize your pet’s potential injuries during a hurricane, but it’s best to check again, and add any missing items. Stock your pet’s first aid kit with the following essentials:
- Absorbent gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Fresh 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
- Ice pack
- Disposable gloves
- Blunt-ended scissors
- Antibiotic ointment
- Oral syringe
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Small flashlight
- Alcohol wipes
- Styptic powder
- Saline eye solution
- Artificial tear ointment
- Phone numbers of emergency veterinary clinics along your evacuation route
#5: Stash your pet’s necessities in a waterproof container
Stash all your pet’s supplies in a waterproof tote that you can easily grab during an evacuation. Include the following necessities:
- A week’s supply of food, water, and medications
- Crate or carrier
- A favorite toy
- Waste bags
- Disposable litter trays
- Cleaning supplies
- First aid kit
Replace your pet’s perishable supplies every three months, to ensure continued freshness.
#6: Plan your pet-friendly evacuation route
When planning your evacuation route, choose a path that includes pet-friendly lodging, including hotels, Airbnbs, or boarding facilities. Contacting various hotels and lodging facilities along your preferred route to see if they accept pets can be time-consuming, so use a convenient website like BringFido. Simply enter your destination, and a list of pet-friendly hotels will pop up. You can also search for pet-friendly restaurants, activities, and events along your route.
#7: Practice evacuating your home with your pet
During an actual evacuation, you can easily become stressed, anxious, and panicked. However, these emotions can rub off on your pet, causing them undue fear, and making your departure more difficult and stressful. To reduce these feelings, and make an evacuation procedure seem natural and commonplace, practice your plan with the entire family. Divide up tasks to ensure your pet and their supplies are taken care of, and practice loading your pet into their crate or carrier for transportation. With enough practice, your family will feel calm and comfortable during a true evacuation.
Prepare for hurricane season by ensuring your pet is as safe as possible by updating their vaccination and parasite protection. Contact our Stone Ridge of Conroe team to schedule an appointment for your furry pal’s physical exam, vaccination boosters, and parasite prevention. Planning and preparation will reduce your stress should you and your pet need to evacuate.