Pet Safety During a Natural Disaster

Making sure everything in your house is pet-proofed is a start, but with natural disasters affecting the lives of people around the world with a growing frequency, you should also make moves to be prepared to protect your pet if one comes your way. While the disasters your area may be prone to will vary based on geography, the main steps you can take in advance to help make sure your pets are protected are pretty similar across the board.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe When Disaster Hits

The systems and plans our country has in place for dealing with natural disasters often don’t consider pet owners. That makes it your job to make sure you’re properly prepared so you don’t face the choice of staying and risking yourself and your family, or leaving your pet behind. Here are a few precautions you can take to make sure you’re prepared if a disaster strikes.

  • Make sure your pet is identifiable – Make sure your pets are wearing collars with tags that have your contact information on them. For extra protection, talk to your vet about getting them microchipped as well. If your pets get lost in the process of fleeing a natural disaster, these simple steps will vastly increase the chances of them finding their way back to you.
  • Keep them inside – A dog or cat that spends time outside when you’re not home will be at greater risk during a storm or flood. Find a good spot inside for them to stay when you’re not home so they won’t be left to the whims of the weather.
  • Keep up-to-date on vaccinations – This will affect both where you’re allowed to take them and what risks they face if they escape. You don’t want to be turned away from a hotel or sanctuary in a moment of need because your pet isn’t vaccinated.
  • Prepare an emergency kit – Think of all the things you’d need for a few days of travel with your dog – food, a leash, clean-up bags, water, any medications they take, and the paperwork that shows they’re up-to-date on shots. If you keep everything together, you’ll have an easier time grabbing it in a hurry if you need to leave suddenly during a natural disaster.
  • Keep a handy list of nearby pet-friendly hotels – BringFido, Pet-Friendly Hotels, Marriott, Choice Hotels, and Pets Welcome are some of the many websites you can use to find a place to stay.

Animals give us so much. They help ease stress, decrease the risks of depression, and provide a consistent source of love and affection.14 In exchange, it’s our job to take care of them and make sure nothing we put in their path causes them harm. The time and investment it takes to pet-proof your home are easily worth the benefits you’ll receive from having a safe and healthy pet.

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