Be Prepared this Hurricane Season

When you prepare yourself for possible evacuation this Hurricane Season, be sure you’ve made arrangements for your family pets as well. We understand how hectic these times can be and are happy to provide this checklist to help simplify the process.

_____Medications
It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian for an emergency supply of medications should the need for evacuation arise. If you are unable to attain medications before you leave, be sure to write down all names and dosages in case you need to have them filled while you are evacuated.

_____ Identification ( Pet ID Tags, Microchip)
You should leave your pet’s identification tags on at all times in case they escape while you’ve evacuated. We highly recommend the AVID microchip as a form permanent identification―this can be registered in a national database which greatly increases the chances of recovering lost pets. MSAH, like many boarding facilities, requires the microchip on all boarding patients should the need for evacuation arise.  It is also a good idea to have a picture of your pet with you should they become lost.

_____ Medical History/Documentation
You should have a copy of your pet’s vaccination history (often found on receipts from your veterinary office) in case you have to provide proof of vaccination for shelters or boarding facilities. You should also have a list of any medical conditions, previous surgeries and medications that your pet is currently taking.

_____ Flea and Heartworm Preventative
Since you do not know when you will be returning from an evacuation it is imperative that you have your pets’ monthly flea and heartworm preventative on hand.

_____ Pet Supplies/Food
Be sure to have carriers, leashes and collars/harnesses for all pets that are evacuating with you. You should also bring a good supply of your pets’ normal diet (especially if it is a prescription diet) as well as travel food and water bowls. If evacuating with cats, be sure to bring your litter pans and litter with you. Also, it is a good to bring comfort items for your pets, such as bedding, treats and toys.

Helpful Tips for Evacuating With Pets
Locate hotels/motels that allow pets. During emergency situations some hotels that normally do not allow pets will make exceptions to this rule―so be sure to call them and ask about their policies prior to making arrangements.

You should be aware of regional diseases and parasites in areas you may be traveling. It is a good idea to check with a local veterinarian in the place you’ll be visiting to see if any precautions should be taken prior to your arrival. This could include additional vaccinations or changes in your parasite control regiment.

If you have not traveled frequently with your pets and are unsure how they will handle the stress you might consider having a light sedative on hand in case your pets become overly excited or stressed. Check with your veterinarian to see if your pet would benefit from such a medication.