Pets are just like family. We love them and want to protect them as much as possible. That means preparing for hurricane season for our pets just like we would for our human family members.
With the approaching beginning of hurricane season for 2016, it’s time to make sure we take care of our pets. Here’s how you can care for your pets before hurricane season begins.
Create an Evacuation Plan with Pets in Mind
Every Florida resident should have an evacuation plan ready to go in the event of a hurricane. The evacuation plan should include where you’ll go during an evacuation, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll take with you.
When creating your packing lists, keep your pets in mind. Take food for them, enough to last through the evacuation. (Take as many days’ worth of food for them as you would yourself.) Also, take something that is comforting for the pet, something that reminds them of home. A favorite blanket is a good example. You don’t have to take dog houses or cat scratching posts, but a comfort item is recommended. The same goes for a toy or two to help your pet cope and adjust.
You should, however, take crates and carriers for your pets, especially cats. These can help your animals feel more comfortable.
Be Sure Your Pets’ Shots Are Up to Date
You may have to travel to a shelter at some point. If you do, and you have pets, know that you should get a copy of your pets’ vaccinations and records before you go. That’s because many shelters won’t take your pet unless you have, at a minimum, proof of rabies shots for your animals.
This is also for the benefit of your pet, because they could be in with other animals who could spread disease. For this reason, get your pets’ vaccinations two weeks prior to the start of hurricane season so they will be effective by the time the season starts.
Put ID Tags on Your Pets
Also, make sure your pets have ID tags on them in case you get separated from them. If possible, microchip your pets (which is a good idea anyway). In the event of separation thanks to the stress and worry of a storm, there’s a higher chance that you’ll get them back.