What Pet Owners Need To Know This Hurricane Season 2019

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What Pet Owners Need To Know This Hurricane Season 2019

Climate change has been a rapidly popularized topic in the last few years and when it comes to dealing with the effects of climate change - you can't take storms too lightly, especially as a pet owner. Hurricane's, particularly in certain parts of the United States have grown stronger as the oceans have warmed and provided more fuel for them to form. It's wise for everyone to be prepared during a storm with necessary food, water, and supplies. Dog and cat owners have more than enough reason to thoroughly prepare for hurricane season this year, and here's what you need to know! 

When is Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season kicks off around the start of summer on June 1st and lasts for the following six months, with hurricane's varying in frequency throughout this time. We always suggest preparing you and your pet's emergency food, water, and energy supplies prior to this date. 

How To Prepare You & Your Pet

Get a pet disaster bag ready for events where you have to lock down the house or leave a situation with your pet. Leave the disaster bag ready to go by the door for if and when you need it. Inside we suggest keeping the following items: 

  • Any papers that prove ownership, breed and sex, medical history, and vaccinations. 
  • A printed photo of your pet. Remember, you might not be able to access digital photos if your dog goes missing. 
  • A three-day supply of food, water, treats, medications, puppy pads, and poop bags. 
  • Restraints and comforts: collars, leashes, kennels, toys, blankets, bowls, and bedding.

What To Do When A Storm Has Been Predicted 

So you've discovered there is a severe in-bounding storm or hurricane. First you need to assess whether you have been asked or think it's best for you to evacuate. If you plan on riding out the storm at home instead, make sure you have all of your disaster bag items including toys and treats to help with boredom and anxiety. Use puppy pads during this time to keep your pet safe from the outside elements but able to relieve themselves in a contained manner. 

Ensure whatever room you've prepared for yourself to stay in is large enough for your furry companions. If your cat or dog is anxious about being confined in the room or about storms and weather in general, ask your vet about safety medications or precautions you can take to ease your pet. Keep leashes and kennels close by along with battery-powered radios and lights in case of an emergency evacuation order by your community officials. 

In an instance where you have to evacuate it's helpful to research shelters or hotels that accept dogs in advance and be aware of the recommended route to the location. Sometimes storms can change the path they're on and cause unimaginable situations so even if you don't believe you will have to evacuate, this can always change. We highly suggest micro-chipping and registering your dog with your vet as a collar and tag can slip off easily. So many families have been able to reunite with their pet when using a microchip or pet tracking device, after storms. 

What To Do After A Hurricane

If you and your cat or dog become separated during a hurricane, always begin your search at the nearest local animal shelter. Emergency responders often loop in pet-friendly shelters where you can go and be notified about the pets they have rescued. Local media and organizations are some of the best resources for that kind of information. 

If you and your pet were safely evacuated or waited it out in your home, ensure that it is safe to move about your location and leave if necessary to travel. 

Expectations For 2019 

It may be a little too early to predict our hurricane season for 2019 but it's possible for El Nino conditions to be present, which tends to suppress Atlantic hurricanes. Does that mean we can all settle in with our bets for a bad weather-free summer? Not necessarily. We recommend always being prepared even when the forecast is clear.  

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