Hurricane season is here! For years, Pets Plus has been advising pet owners on the best ways to prepare for a hurricane when pets are involved. The following tips are simple and easy to do, but get started NOW so you’ll be ready… just in case!
Dogs / Cats
Kennel: Keep in mind that most hurricane shelters will not allow you to bring your pets. However, if you must seek safety and higher ground with friends or relatives, we recommend that you have an appropriately sized kennel to transport and house your pet. Many motels and hotels will allow an animal if it is kept in a kennel. Buy a kennel soon – when hurricanes head our way, many stores sell out quickly.
Food: Bring a week’s supply of your pet’s regular food. Traveling can be stressful for an animal, and it will be important that they maintain their normal diet. If you feed frozen raw, try the freeze dried version. All you need is water to re-hydrate!
Water: Make sure you have a jug of water for your pet. Whether you stay at home or leave, the water supply can easily become contaminated in a hurricane situation. Keep fresh water set aside for EVERYONE in your family, including your pets.
Shots: Make sure your pet’s shots are up-to-date. In an emergency situation your pets may be exposed to other pets that may not be in the best of health. Your best protection is to ensure your pet is appropriately vaccinated. If possible, get a copy of your pet’s vaccination record TODAY and keep it with other important papers. If you have to evacuate, you will NOT be thinking about your pets vet records! Dr. Sandhu, from Mobile Pet Hospital, comes to Pets Plus twice a month. Ask us when he will be here. You can get your pet’s shots updated at a great price.
Take Pictures: You should have four views of your pet: head, left side, right side, and back. The photos should be stored in a safe deposit box or some place that would be safe and dry during a disaster. If you are evacuating – take the pictures with you.
ID Tags: We have ID tags that you can make here – make sure your pet’s tag is easy to read and up-to-date. If you are evacuating and know where you are going – have a tag made with THAT information on it.
Collars and Leashes: Make sure you have a collar and leash for every pet, and a harness and leash for all cats. If you have to evacuate, you’ll need to be able to control each pet. If the storm hits and your fence is knocked down, you’ll need to be able to walk your pets safely.
Water Change: As soon as you hear that a hurricane is headed your way, do a water change of 25-30%. This way, if the water supply becomes contaminated the water quality of your tank has a better chance of remaining stable.
Battery Powered Air Pump: This will come in handy if there is an extended power outage. Make sure you have extra batteries, too. If you do not have a battery powered air pump, you must circulate the water by hand every few hours. Use a pitcher to dip water out and pour it back into the tank. Be sure to disturb the water surface – make waves!
Preserve the Water Quality: Feed your fish sparingly. This will reduce fish waste and help preserve the quality of the water. It will help them to survive longer if you are unable to do water changes due to contaminated water supplies.
Power loss: If you have a clean water supply, do a 25% water change every three or four days. If your filter is off due to a power loss you must clean it out before you re-start it again after the power is restored. (The detritus collected in the filter can turn toxic within 12 hours. If this gets into your tank it could kill your fish.)
Ponds: Ponds fare pretty well during a storm. Secure a mesh covering over the pond. This will prevent the fish from floating away in the event the pond overflows.
Small Animals / Birds / Reptiles
Prevent flight in the case of an escape – trim your pet bird’s flight feathers – or bring your small bird (conure or smaller) to Pets Plus with a clipping appointment and for a small fee, we’ll do it for you.
Clean Cage: If you find that you must evacuate, make sure the cage is clean when you leave your house. Better yet, purchasing a small travel cage will make transportation easier. For small pet owners, this cage also comes in handy when taking the to the vet or to Pets Plus for a wing and/or nail trim.
Cover the Cage: This will protect your small pet from flying objects if a window breaks. Move all cages away from windows. Place the cage on a sturdy place as high as possible.
Food and Water: Put extra food in the cages and plenty of clean water. It is a good idea to have an extra water bottle for small pets, or a vacation waterer for your bird. (A vacation waterer is a gravity fed cup that holds lots of water.)
For more information – call Pets Plus 941-776-0770