Keeping Pets Healthy and Safe in a Hurricane

By Paula Detwiller

 

You’ve stocked up on bottled water, ice, and hurricane rations…put fresh batteries in all the flashlights…even bought gas for the emergency generator. But have you thought about the pets? How will your dog or cat fare in a hurricane, particularly if you have to evacuate your home?

Since hurricane season doesn’t officially end until November 30, we thought this would be a good time to offer some tips about hurricane preparedness on behalf of your pets.

  • First, the obvious: make sure you have enough pet food on hand for an extended period of time. Ditto for medication: be sure to have the vet refill your pet’s prescriptions well in advance of the storm’s arrival—especially if those meds are for storm anxiety!
  • Toys and snacks will come in handy to distract your pet from the storm outside. As a bonus, your kids can keep busy teaching the dog or cat new tricks while you wait out the storm. Try Tweedle Pet Products from our GreenMarket vendor Stacey Nelson, Ph.D., available at local Whole Foods stores. Tweedle bites, stix, nips and bones are healthy, tasty, and require no refrigeration.
  • In the event of a mandatory hurricane evacuation, be advised that pets are not allowed at Red Cross emergency shelters. But you can register to stay with your dog or cat at the pet-friendly emergency shelter run by Palm Beach County’s Animal Care and Control Division. You’ll need to fill out an application showing proof of residency, current vaccinations, and current rabies tags, so leave plenty of time to complete the process.
  • If you evacuate to a relative’s or friend’s home and cannot bring your pet along, you can make arrangements to board Fido or Fluffy at a local animal shelter. Download a list of pet-friendly boarding facilities from the county’s website. Note: that same list has contact information for pet-friendly hotels and motels within Palm Beach County.
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