Severe Weather Pet Safety: Are You Prepared?

TenWest_iStock_000060057928_LargeEven if you haven’t lived in San Antonio very long, chances are you have already experienced some severe weather in our fair city. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, and flooding are all possible, and likely, in our corner of the world.

Many of us have at least a vague plan in place for our families and ourselves in the event of severe weather or natural disaster, but how many have factored pets into the equation? Preparing ahead of time for the care and protection of your pets in the event of emergency is critical to their safety.

Planning Ahead For Severe Weather Pet Safety

It’s important for pet owners to have supplies gathered and a plan in place for their pets in the event of a severe storm or other natural disaster.

The following tips will help you get started:

  • If an area is not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets. Do not leave pets behind during an evacuation and never leave pets outside during severe weather. The safest place for your pet is wherever you are.
  • Have an emergency kit ready for your pets. Include a leash, labeled crate/carrier, extra water, and food, medications, your pet’s medical records, and emergency contact information.
  • Many temporary shelters will not accept pets, so have a plan ready in the event you are evacuated from your home. Talk with trusted friends or family members about caring for your pet in an emergency, and identify local boarding kennels and pet-friendly hotels.
  • Obtain a free rescue alert sticker from the ASPCA, which lets rescue workers know there is an animal inside your home.
  • Familiarize yourself with city, county, and state emergency plans.

Do whatever you can to reassure an anxious pet during a storm. Speak soothingly, cuddle, or crate your pet if that makes him or her feel more secure. Having an emergency plan in place will help you to remain calm, which in turn will help your pets to stay calm as well.

The Importance Of  Microchipping

Unfortunately, pets may escape or become lost during or after a major storm. Some pets instinctively try to flee when they are frightened, and damage to homes and fences can create openings for pets to escape. One of the most important things you can do to keep your pets safe during a natural disaster is to have them microchipped. Having a registered, up to date microchip will greatly increase your chances of being reunited with your pet should you become separated.

May marks National Microchip Month, and what better opportunity to consider having your pet microchipped, or to update an existing microchip? If you have any questions regarding severe weather pet safety or microchipping, please give us a call.