iStock_000062650768_LargeWhile strong weather systems are beneficial to drought-stricken areas, tropical storms and hurricanes threaten our area’s livelihood. When Ike hit land in 2008, it was a Category 2 storm, but the storm surge in its wake was more like a Category 4. Communities near Galveston and Houston were heavily impacted by rain and wind, and many people suffered total destruction of their property.

So what does this mean for your pet? Because of our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, it’s vital to review hurricane pet safety, and Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center is here to help!

A Lifesaver

Before we delve too deep into hurricane pet safety, we’d like to review the importance of microchipping. Without this integrated device, you run the risk of never finding a lost pet.  

In the midst of a severe weather emergency, your pet can easily become displaced if he or she escapes or runs free. If your pet is microchipped, the odds of a happy reunion are increased significantly. We highly recommend scheduling a visit to perform this important procedure.

If your pet is already microchipped, the entire month of May is dedicated to ensuring every owner’s contact information is up-to-date in the national registry. Please let us know if you have any questions!

An Evacuation Plan

A major tenet of hurricane pet safety is preparation. Create an emergency evacuation kit that includes:

  • Back up water and food
  • Bowls and dishes
  • An extra leash
  • Carrier and bedding
  • Any necessary medications
  • Litter box and litter
  • Puppy pads
  • Waste removal bags
  • A copy of your pet’s medical records, including proof of vaccinations
  • A recent photograph of your pet
  • Important contact information (such as our phone number)
  • A pet first aid kit
  • Flashlight

Please keep in mind that food and bottled water have expiration dates. We recommend putting these dates on your calendar and using stored food before it goes bad. Replace the food in your evacuation kit as needed.

Hurricane Pet Safety Suggestions

It’s not unusual for hurricanes to lead to full-scale evacuations. Plan ahead, and know where your pet will be welcomed if you’re forced out of your home. It’s not safe to leave your pet behind, and most emergency evacuation shelters will not allow animals. Consider friends and family that live within driving distance or nearby pet-friendly hotels. Please contact us for other suggestions about disaster facilities that admit pets.

Other Loose Ends

Lastly, we recommend:

  • Order and display a Pet Safety Pack that clearly indicates your pet’s species, breed, description, and name.
  • Make sure your pet’s ID tags are fastened securely to the collar.
  • Microchip your pet.
  • Scope out areas you and your pet will be the safest during strong winds and torrential rain.
  • Bring your pet indoors as soon as  you know danger is imminent.
  • Try to stay calm; your pet will sense your fear and anxiety.

We hope our hurricane pet safety tips help prevent injury and escape. As always, the team at Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center is here for you and your pet. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.