If you live in an area where you experience tornados, hurricanes, or other dangerous weather events, preparing beforehand can save your life and the lives of your pets. Below are dog safety tips for hurricanes and dangerous weather events in your area.
Make sure heartworm medication is current. Mosquito colonies multiple in flooding and heavy rain areas.
Place pet emergency stickers on the window and door. Include species, coloring, favorite hiding places and veterinarian’s name. This is especially helpful if you are an emergency worker and must leave your pet alone.
If you must leave your pet alone during an emergency, it is best to find a responsible caregiver such as a doggie hotel, vet office that boards or someone in a safer area.
Dogs are most likely to find their owners when they are microchipped. In addition to microchipping, make sure ID tags are on your dog. In emergency cases, write your name and phone numbers on the dog’s stomach in marker.
Make sure your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations. Keep a copy of your dog’s vaccinations on you. Shelters may not permit the dog without confirmation of updated vaccinations.
Have pet carriers/crates ready. Not only will you need them if you go into a shelter, you should use them at home during the worst part of the storm. This especially applies to nervous dogs. You do not want your dog hiding or escaping the house through an open door.
Non-crated dogs should be held on leash. Keeping your dog on leash will prevent them from hiding or racing out an opened door.
Have an emergency bag for your dog in case of evacuation. This bag should contain: an extra leash, food bowls, 7-14 days of food, plenty of water, a bed, two weeks of medication, toys, poop bags, an extra collar with ID information, litter and litter box (for cats), vaccine report, photo (just in case electronics are not working), veterinarian contact info, pet medical emergency kit, a thunder shirt or other item that calms your dog.
Do not tranquilize your dog. Your pet’s survival instincts must kick in during emergency situations. Heavily medicated animal may prevent your pet from saving themselves should you get separated. Source
Purchase a Life jacket for your dog if you live in high-flood areas.
Relocate your dog’s bed/crate/resting area away from windows and skylights. Tree limbs and loose items can come through windows and skylights causing injury to your pets.
Remember, in stressful situations, even the nicest of animals can bite. Do not hug, pet or confine your animal by holding them against their will. Using a leash will lower the risk of a bite while removing a dog or cat from under the bed or any other hiding place (when necessary). Do not pull your dog out of a hiding place by the collar or one of their limbs The chance of a bite increases when animals are hurt or frightened.
Make sure your animal is comfortable going into the basement or other shelter location in your home. If not, start preparing the animal now.
Do not allow your pets to go outside during or after a storm alone.. It is safest to keep your pet inside with you during a severe storm. Water can be contaminated, fallen wires can cause electrocution and loose and broken tree limbs and/or items can fall on or hurt your animal.
A storm can cause smells and sights to change. Loose dogs may become disorientated and have difficulty finding their way home.
Research evacuation shelters in your area. If you live in an area where evacuation is a high probability, research shelters that will accept pets. If you cannot find one, designate a long-term caregiver to take your pet (in an area that is less-likely to require evacuation).
Remember, we are all on edge during scary and stressful situations. You cannot expect your “perfect”, happy dog to keep their happy-go-lucky attitude. 1. NO ANIMAL IS PERFECT. 2. NO ANIMAL IS GUARANTEED NOT TO BITE. Do not force interaction. Do not allow your child to handle your animal during an emergency situation.
If you go into a shelter, keep your pets in a crate. This is not the time for your dog to play or interact with other dogs or strangers. Stress can lead to dog fights and dog bites.
A severe weather event can be frightening for all. Preparing beforehand for the safety of your family and animals, will make a scary situation, a bit easier if an emergency arises. We hope these dog safety tips for hurricanes and dangerous weather provide help when preparing for a dangerous storm.