Hurricane preparedness for your pet.

Hurricane preparedness for your pet.

The following information was compiled and provided by Dr. Beth Rottner.  Thanks Beth!

I’m not one for PSAs on FB, but for all my east coast friends preparing for the storm, please don’t forget your pets and check for the following. It serves no good to panic, but even less good to be flippant and unprepared. Most of us love our pets dearly and should remember that they are dependent on us for safety, shelter, and unconditional love.

For all pets, including cats, dog, birds, and exotic animals:

Food/Water– Do you have enough food and water for all your animals to last for at least a few days? Keep dry food in a waterproof container, and have a can opener for canned food. When taking into account your water needs, please don’t forget your pet as well, especially if they have a medical condition which requires them to carefully maintain hydration or causes them to drink a large amount of water.

Identification– Does your pet have ID tags or a microchip, or is it banded (birds)? This is especially important if you are separated from your pet for any reason.

Transportation– If you need to evacuate or move your animals, do you have collars, leashes, harnesses, and/or carriers/crates for them? For those with birds, do you have a smaller cage move them to if needed? If traveling with your pet via car, please don’t let them run free in the vehicle as this is a hazard for you and your animal. If possible, have bedding to make them comfortable as well.

Shelters – In the event, you must go to a shelter, do the nearest allow pets? Some areas have special shelters for this. (For Long Islanders, there is one in Nassau and one in Suffolk.) Be sure to bring your own carriers, crates, food, and water with you and be prepared to care for your pet.

Medications– If you have a pet currently taking medications, do you have enough to last for a week or more? This is vital if you have a special needs pet with a disease such as diabetes or epilepsy. If their medications must be refrigerated, do you have a generator, cooler, ice, etc.?

Medical & Vaccination History – If you need to take your pet to a shelter, some may require you to have proof of vaccination. Most states require at least a rabies vaccine. This is for the safety of your pet as well as other pets and people.

For fish & other exotic animals – Do you have a battery-operated aerator if you lose power, or a source of heat to keep your critters warm?

When (not if) checking on elderly or impaired neighbors- Go through the same checklist with them for their pets. They may not think of these things, but will surely appreciate your compassion and any offer to help.

Stay safe!

-Dr Rottner