Preparation is key when it comes to hurricane season, and having a plan for your pet can ensure they stay safe in an emergency. Our Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team responds to pet owners’ commonly asked questions on how best to prepare your pet for hurricane season. 

Question: How can I prepare my pet for a possible evacuation?

Answer: Practice makes perfect, and the best way to prepare for an emergency evacuation is to practice. Discuss your evacuation plans with your family, and assign each person a task. Practice gathering essential supplies, loading your pet into their crate, and leaving the house in a calm, timely manner. By routinely practicing your emergency evacuation plan, you and your pet will be ready to act quickly in the event of a hurricane. 

Q: Where can I bring my pet in case of evacuation?

A: Evacuation orders happen suddenly, and remember, not all evacuation shelters accept pets, so ensure you keep handy a list of friends and family able and willing to care for your pet during an emergency. You should also know the lodgings willing to accept your pet. To find pet-friendly hotels, these websites can help:

If you must bring your pet to a lodging facility, contact them before an emergency evacuation order is issued, to ensure you have all your pet’s required paperwork.

Q: How will I find my pet if they get lost?

A: During the evacuation and weather chaos, you and your pet can easily become separated. To help you reunite quickly, ensure your pet has your current contact information:  

  • Visible identification — Keeping identification tags on your pet’s collar can expedite their safe return home. 
  • Microchipping — A microchip is your pet’s permanent identification that increases their chances of being reunited with you. However, a microchip is effective only when the chip is registered and your contact information is up to date, so contact the microchip registration company to confirm that your identification information is accurate.  If your pet is not microchipped, schedule an appointment with our Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team for the simple procedure.
  • A current printed picture of you and your pet — A picture of you and your pet together provides ownership proof and your pet’s visible description. Ensure you have a printed picture. Do not rely on your phone, because you never know when the battery will die.

Q: What supplies will my pet need in an emergency?

A: When preparing for a hurricane, ensure your pet has everything they need to stay safe and comfortable during and after the storm. As much as you try to protect your pet from hazards, they always run the risk of cutting their paw pad on broken glass, and other adverse incidents. So, put together your pet’s first aid kit, and include the following items:

  • Cotton bandage rolls and gauze pads
  • Bandage tape
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Saline solution
  • Ice pack
  • Towels
  • Styptic powder
  • Plastic eye dropper or syringe
  • Small flashlight

During hurricane season, you and your pet face many unknownswhen you might have to evacuate, the length of time you may be away from home or without power, or whether pet supplies will be available. In addition to a first aid kit, ensure you stock up on and pack your pet’s essential supplies, such as:

  • A week’s supply of food, water, and medications 
  • Bowls
  • Bedding
  • Crate and carrier
  • Favorite toys and treats
  • Potty patch and waste bags for dogs, or litter box and litter for cats
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Calming aids, such as calming vests, catnip, and antianxiety medication
  • Medical records 
  • Heartworm and parasite preventives

Q: How can I keep my pet calm during a hurricane?

A: When a storm is approaching, ensure your pet remains indoors—never leave them outside. Once they are safely indoors, secure your pet in their crate in the room where you are riding out the storm. Keep them calm and distracted with engaging toys such as a Kong filled with xylitol-free peanut butter or a puzzle feeder. If your pet is extremely anxious, provide them with a calming vest, pheromones, or anti-anxiety medication. 

Q: How can I keep my pet safe after a hurricane?

A: After a hurricane, inspect your home and property before allowing your pet to run free. Ensure all fences and gates are undamaged and secure, and do not let your pet drink standing water, which may contain parasites. 

Hurricane season can be stressful, but by ensuring you and your pet are prepared, you will be ready to act before the storm. Contact our team at Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team to discuss additional hurricane preparedness procedures, or if your pet has experienced an emergency.