Summer is rapidly approaching and in Tampa, that means hurricane season as well. We all have many things to do to get ready. Check out battery supplies, stock up on food and water, have your house ready, etc. One thing that is sometimes overlooked is our pet’s preparation. Being a member of the family, they also need to be ready to leave quickly with all their necessary supplies. Many of the same things that we do as humans should also be done for our pets. Below is a short list from our Tampa vets on how to start preparing for our wonderful hurricane season.
1) A good supply of pet food and drinking water. Obviously important items. Having a 5-7 day supply in case you need to evacuate your home should be enough.
2) Pet’s medications. If your pet is on daily medication from your veterinarian, it is important to have a good supply so your pet doesn’t run out. Refilling may be a problem in times of a storm. Contact your animal hospital to stock up on medications before it is an emergency.
3) Vaccination records. If you have to go to a shelter or hotel to wait out a storm, having your pets medical records with proof of proper vaccination may be required. Contact your veterinarian for this paperwork. We are able to produce a single vaccination document which contains your pet’s recent vaccination history.
4) Pet identification. This can be in the form of tags, etc. but a more stable, easily traceable method is microchip. Having your pet micro chipped is an easy way, that can not be lost like collars and tags, to identify your pet if it is separated from you. All animal clinics and rescue organizations should have microchip readers and if a pet is scanned and found to have a chip, we can get them home much quicker.
5) Travel carrier or kennel. There are many small, collapsible kennels and carriers that are easily transportable. Many pets are more comfortable in these kennels, especially in a strange place such as a hurricane shelter. Keeping your pet as stress free as possible is important in times of emergency. *Our veterinarians recommend getting your pet accustomed to sleeping / staying in a kennel in case it is needed in times of emergency. Once again, preparation is important. Having them used to being in a kennel will make your and their time better in case of evacuation.
6) List of pet friendly evacuation shelters and hotels. Knowing where your going in times of an emergency will make your evacuation safer and easier.
The list above is a good start for getting your pet ready for hurricane season. There may be more items needed based on your pet’s medical history, age, etc. If you have any questions about getting ready for hurricane season in Tampa, contact our veterinary clinic and we will be happy to help you get prepared.