Living in New Orleans (and in the south in general), we know hurricanes are just a factor of the summer, and there are certain things that are as routine as brushing your teeth when preparing to hunker down or evacuate for a hurricane.
But one of the things that should be at the top of the list is what to do with the furry, feathery, scaly member of your family.
The best (and most obvious) things you could do is have a plan for the ENTIRE family, including these tips for your pet:
- Know which evacuation centers in your area allow pets or have partnered with a shelter that will accept the pets of families at that evacuation center.
- If you plan on heading out of town, have a list of hotels that accept pets. Make sure to do this for cities in different directions since evacuation depends on the direction the storm is headed. Officialpethotels.com is a great resource for this.
- Have copies of and keep your pets' vaccination, microchip, and health records in a ziplock bag or waterproof case to take with you wherever you go.
- Make sure you have a crate or carrier that's easy to travel with, and your pet is or would be comfortable in.
- Have at least 1 week's worth of food and water for your pet. Yes…a separate water supply for your pet is a good idea. Don't forget the travel or portable bowls either. One for food and one for water.
- Have a cooler and ice packs to keep any refrigerated medications cold and get a week's worth of any medications. Most pharmacies and vets will give you the medications even if it's not the time for a refill, and they know it's to help you be prepared.
And above all - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN A CRATE, CAGE, OR TIED UP either inside or outside of your home should you evacuate. Also, do not assume you can simply take it to a shelter at the last minute. Many shelters are also preparing and may not be equipped to bring in additional animals.
Another great resource in helping you get organized and prepared with your fur-baby is the AVMA Saving the Whole Family Guide. You can use the guide as a checklist to make sure you've covered all the bases.
As always, all of us here at BVS are here to answer any questions and assist in any way we can to help you get your pet ready for hurricane season. It's never too early to prepare!