Hurricane Season ā€“ Keeping your Pets Safe

We are just 1 month into the rainy season and we have already experienced the effects of Tropical Waves within the Caribbean; strong winds, intermittent showers, thunderstorms and flooding in some areas. In our last blogs, Rainy Season is Here – How should you prepare?, 5 Safety Tips for Driving in the Rainy Weather, How to Protect your Home from Rainwater Damage, and Protect your Home against Strong Winds! we focused on the steps you need to take to keep yourself, your home and your belongings safe, but today we are taking a slightly different direction by focusing on how to keep our beloved pets safe during the Rainy Season.

Sometimes in the midst of disaster preparations, the safety of our pets is often relegated, but this should not happen. Here are 5 Tips all pet owners should take into consideration:

1. Keep pets indoors at all times – If outdoors is dangerous for you during a storm or a hurricane, then it would be equally dangerous for your pets. The best move you can make is to keep your pet indoors, even pets that normally live outside. Find a safe, dry, empty part of the house for your pets to wait out the storm.

Dogs in particular do better in safe, dry, dark rooms with little noise as this helps them to calm down, especially if frenzied by the sounds of thunder.

2. Proper hydration – If your pets are seeking refuge indoors with you, it is important to bear in mind that they need to remain hydrated. There are some beliefs that dehydration only occurs during periods of heat and sunlight and thus less likely to occur during a rain storm or hurricane. This is the furthest from the truth; hydration for your pets is a must regardless of weather conditions.

Keep a bowl of clean water near to your pets to help encourage them to drink and remain hydrated as you wait out a storm.

3. Beware of warm/heated places – It is common for pets to seek out a warm place to sleep during a storm, which leads them to snuggling behind refrigerators and even inside car engines. Smaller pets like cats can easily find themselves inside your engine through spaces in the under-carriage and can go unnoticed by pet owners until it is too late.

Conduct proper checks of all known warm/heated places inside and around your home to ensure that your pet is not there. For cars, it is best to perform a thorough check of the engine and in the spaces near tyres before starting and moving your vehicle.

4. Have an emergency kit – Similar to an emergency kit for yourself and your family, you should have an emergency kit specifically for your pets in the event that you have to leave your home on short notice. This kit should contain food, clean drinking water, blankets, pet toys and medication; everything you need to cover your pets’ needs for a few days.

This kit is particularly important if the potential for home evacuation is high, such as hurricanes. Should this be the case, you can easily grab your belongings, your pets and emergency kits and quickly evacuate your home.

5. Collars and Micro-chipping – We must always prepare for the worst. Even if you decide to keep pets indoors, there is the possibility that they may escape and get lost during the storm. Thunderstorms in particular can frighten and aggravate pets and lead them to run away even from their owners. In such a case, it is important that your pet is wearing a collar that is easily identifiable, and a pendant that has emergency contact information – Your Name, Address, Contact Number.

In addition to collars, you can invest in microchipping; a relatively painless procedure which injects a microchip under the skin of your pet. This microchip contains identification numbers and information such as your Name, Address and Contact Number. If your pet was located and taken to a shelter, a quick scan will detect the microchip and provide the rescuers with all of the information they need to reach you.

We thank you for joining us this week, and we hope that these 5 tips provided you with helpful information in keeping your pets safe during the Hurricane Season. Join us again next week for more!

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