Hurricane Season

Preparing for Hurricane Season       

Hurricane season has arrived. I have lived in Sarasota since 1974 and have witnessed many storms, both named and unnamed. You will see many recommendations to help us prepare for a major hurricane. These storms can leave us without power and cause some of us to evacuate our homes. Many years ago, a storm named Andrew caught many people and their pets off-guard. It flattened the homestead and many pets were lost.

So, while acquiring the things we will need in a storm, do not forget your pets. Here is a list of items to obtain and have ready in case there is a hurricane in our area:

  1. A two-week supply of your pet’s food (particularly if your pet is on a prescription diet) must be purchased and ready, whether you are traveling away, sheltering at home, or boarding your pets.
  2. Your pet’s vaccinations must be up to date. Rabies and kennel cough vaccines (Bordetella and Canine Influenza) are required at boarding facilities or if sheltering at a public or private facility.
  3. A two-week supply of your pet’s medication(s) must also be ready. Our older pets that may be on daily drugs cannot be without their medications, so be sure to order them early!
  4. Check with public shelters, boarding facilities, and hotels on their pet policies. Unfortunately, not all facilities allow pets and when a storm is approaching, you will not have the time to find places to keep your pets.
  5. Medications to calm your pet during a storm will be helpful. Many animals are fearful of storms; however, there are good drugs available to calm them. Discuss these options with your veterinarian and test them to see how your pet responds to the medication.
  6. Have your pet microchipped! During Hurricane Andrew, many animals were lost and never returned home simply because they lacked sufficient identification. Be sure that the company that holds the microchip number has your contact information.
  7. Pay attention to the weather advisories, and act early, so you and your pets will survive any hurricanes that come our way.

David J. Smith, VMD

Bay Road Animal Hospitals