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7 Essentials on Hurricane Preparedness for Pets

When a strong hurricane is approaching many will make preparations for themselves but can overlook the family dog thinking that it will take everything in its stride. All too often dogs are found left behind and in difficult life-threatening situations with rescue groups and shelters overworked and overfull. Our dogs and pets are our responsibility and it is up to us to make the right hurricane preparedness for pets before a hurricane or any disaster hits. If we do not then situations can become dangerous for both dogs and humans Let’s make some points that will help:

Guide on Hurricane Prep for Dogs

Do you know what to do with your dog during a hurricane? Let’s dig into these essential tips on hurricane prep for dogs and pets in general. 

1. Know what to do with your dog during a hurricane and have a plan

Write it down and ensure it is understood by the whole family. What will you need for your pets during hurricanes is a crate, leashes, bowls, food, towels, fresh water, First Aid Kit, medicines, flashlights, and a radio for weather progress reports. Other essentials are contact numbers of friends, and rescue and emergency units. Have a list of dog-friendly hotels, dog kennels, veterinarians, and other facilities, outside the danger area and kept in a waterproof container easy for you to reach. If you are away when the storm hits and your dog is being looked after in your home, ensure that the caretakers know of these plans.

‍2. Confident, prepared, and trained dog

There is no doubt that one of the most important factors is to have a confident obedient and trained dog that can handle a variety of situations (he should be well-socialized and familiarized with life situations) and one that has confidence in you. There will be tensions and even panic in the air when a severe storm hits and this can transmit to a dog in varying degrees. We therefore should be preparing our dog by ensuring he sees us as part of a team to handle any situation. Hiding, running off, and showing fear can make evacuation difficult therefore it is important to have him familiar with being crated. If your dog is still not prepared to live through a situation like this, reach for a trustable dog training facility near you. 

Always have a spare leash in your pocket

Have a leash always available in your pocket for use as required to help guide and lead your dog. A reflective collar and identity tag with a cell phone number and contact information is essential. Certainly have your dog microchipped. Even though he may be on a leash, still have a spare one in your pocket – rope type is suitable, just in case. Throughout a storm, should you decide to ride it through, keep him on a leash or in a crate and with you in a safe place.

4. Decide well in advance whether you will ride the storm out or evacuate 

If you are to evacuate, and you definitely should if given this instruction by the authorities, do not leave it until the last minute. Calmly bring all required things together and move to safety. Have your dog on a leash before you even open the door to leave your home. Do not leave your dog behind, even in your own house. You may not be allowed back into a disaster area for a long time. Do not wait until there are high winds, heavy rain, waters rising, and harsh conditions making it difficult to leave. If you’re not sure how to train your dog to walk on a leash reach out to Bauser’s Pet Training. 

5. Have a place your dog to stay during a hurricane 

If you have friends that will take you in during the storm ask them if they are willing to allow your dog to stay with them. If friends you trust can take your dog, but you will stay elsewhere, ensure they have all the information on your dog, and his supplies and know him well enough to deal with him and anything that should arise.

6. Designate a safe room with hurricane supplies for dogs

Should you decide to ‘ride’ the storm, designate a safe room and have all hurricane supplies for your family and your dog held there. Have your dog on a leash and attached to you so he cannot escape should he become fearful.

7. Hurricane safety procedures with your dog

Even when the storm is passing or has passed, follow through with the safety procedures with your dog. Take him out on a leash and let him familiarize himself once more with his surroundings. So much could have changed and the damage be extensive. Security fences could be down and certainly there will be debris creating new images and resulting in concerns for the dog. Always try to remain calm and help the dog remain calm. Take your time, be patient, and realize that his behavior may have been affected through stressful times. In addition, there could also be wild animals in places they have never been before. They seek shelter or are washed into places where your dog could sniff and be interested.

Final thoughts on Hurricane Preparedness for Pets 

In general, dogs and pets are very adaptable to many happenings and situations, however a hurricane, storm, or disaster of any intensity can create issues that may last a lifetime. We want you and your dog or pet to be safe; having everything set up regarding hurricane prep, ‘just in case’, can be a lifesaver.

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