Hurricane Sandy: Tips to Keep Your Pets Calm and Safe
If you live in the path of Hurricane Sandy, then your pets are feeling very anxious. I've got some tips to keep your pets safe, ideas to reduce pet stress, and guidelines for packing hurricane supplies to have ready for your dog or cat in case you have to evacuate.
1) If the weather permits, when you go outside keep dogs on a leash
Dogs can sense when threatening weather approaches and they will sometimes hide. Make sure you keep track of your pet as the storm approaches. When you take a dog outside, use a leash. Never assume that a dog trained to be safe off leash in normal situations will stay with you during a storm. Even though your dog looks calm, the advancing storm my cause your pet to try to run away outside to flee the situation.
2) Follow social media updates on Twitter and Facebook
If you are not safe to stay in your home during a hurricane, then your pet is not safe either. The best advice to pet owners in the path of a hurricane may be to evacuate early. Remember to share your evacuation plans with relatives and friends. Many shelters are accepting pets with their families. Here are a few Twitter users to follow because they provide updates on shelters accepting pets in your area: @ASPCA and @HumaneSociety. Also you can follow the hashtag #sandypets. The ASPCA's Disaster Preparedness Checklist is a great resource. The Humane Society of the United States has helpful information via this link: Disaster Preparedness for Pets. If you live in NYC, information regarding the storm is available via Office of Emergency Management.
3) Check your pet's collar for an ID tag
It seems obvious, but if you change collars you might not remember to have the correct pet ID tags on the collars. (Also, remember to place proper identification and vaccination identification in your pet's "Go Bag" explained below)
~ Chris Olson
Writer and illustrator