Useful Tips on What to NEVER To With Your Pets During a Hurricane
An estimated 150,000 pets died while a further 250,000 were left behind by fleeing residents in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina. In 1999 during Hurricane Floyd, approximately 3 million pets were affected while Immediately after hurricane Andrew 1,000 stray dogs were euthanized. These startling revelations underscore how devastating hurricanes are to domestic animals.
Generally speaking “what is not safe for you, is definitely not safe for your pet.’‘ Knowing what to never do with your pets during a hurricane may mean the difference between life and death. Here are a few crucial tips.
1. Never leave pets outside. Animals have an inborn Instinct that warns them of foul weather. Natural fight or flight tendencies grip pets, and they usually flee. If left outside Increased tension may cause pets to get lost, Injured or worse. Animals should be brought under shelter Immediately; it helps to soothe their nerves
2. Never leave pets alone, take them with you. An estimated 200,000 people left their homes during hurricane Katrina, thinking they would come back, but never did. Sadly this led to the death of over 100,000 animals from starvation. In the U.S, rescue services are empowered by law to restrict people access to their homes if they deem it dangerous. Consequently, this may prove to be a costly mistake for a pet owner.
3. Never put cats and dogs together. During a hurricane, tension builds up in pets. They get aggressive and Irritable. Putting pets together that have a natural propensity to fight may be a recipe for disaster. Animals that normally don’t get along should be kept separate from each other.
4. Never unleash pets. Whether indoors or outdoors it is always safe having pets on a leash or cage. Pets easily get spooked from the howling wind or blasting thunder and may take flight. If outside, landmarks may be obliterated, and familiar scents washed away. If not on a leash the animals may easily get disoriented, lost or may even attack strangers.
5. Never feed animals dry rations. Ideally, pets should be fed canned or moist food to reduce their water Intake. This strategy is a useful two prong approach as it saves more fresh water for any other contingencies and reduces the amount of animal waste and frequency of cleaning. This act helps in maintaining hygiene.
6. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Never fail to have a disaster plan. This strategy is of utmost Importance to the pets and their owners. A good emergency plan Ideally should Include sufficient stocks of pet food, vaccines, fresh water, and a proper first aid kit. Pet owners should ensure that pets have Identifier micro chips and collar tags that bear labels of current address. Prior Identification of pet-friendly hotels and shelters is crucial.
7. Never put pets in unsafe containers In case of evacuation or transportation. Pets are better off in customized pet crates that have provision for aeration and are robust enough to protect the pets. Additionally, soft rugs or pet blankets should be used; this helps the animal relax making them less Irritable.
Pets suffer a lot during hurricanes both physically and emotionally. They may never recover from the mental trauma of their ordeal, but knowledge of what to never do with your pets during a hurricane will go a long way in ensuring their safety and well-being.