During hurricane season in Texas, your primary focus is protecting yourself and your family, and that includes your pets. Natural disasters can strike at any time, which is why hurricane prep should happen when the skies are still clear. Having your own hurricane preparedness kit will ensure that you and your loved ones have everything you need in case the power goes out or you need to evacuate. But do you know what you’ll do with your pet?

Hurricane Preparation With Pets

grey and brown cat peeking up out of an open, blue suitcase

Thousands of animals are left behind every year as hurricanes sweep through communities and pet owners are forced to leave them behind. Although some are eventually reunited, many more are lost in shelters, leaving both the pet and owner grieving.

Planning for any situation that could threaten your pet’s well-being gives you a sense of peace and security should the event ever arise. Explore this timeline of pet hurricane prep to ensure your cat or dog is kept safely out of harm’s way.

Two Weeks Before a Hurricane

Pack a pet hurricane preparedness kit that has everything you’ll need in the event of a storm. Your emergency kit should have all the staples your pet needs along with some additional supplies that could come in handy. Your kit should include:

  • A week’s worth of canned or dry food in an airtight container
  • A week’s worth of bottled water
  • Clean bowls
  • Warm blankets
  • Treats
  • Waste bags, pee pads, a small litter box, liners, and extra litter
  • A copy of your pet’s vet records that includes vaccinations, microchip information, and any prescriptions
  • Full stock of any pet medications
  • A pet First Aid Kit
  • An extra collar and leash/harness
  • Travel kennel or pet carrier
  • Dog booties to protect paws from debris
  • A recent photo of your pet in case they run away or you become separated
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
cute brown and white dog wearing a pink harness and leash, laying down in the dirt

Combine these items with your own sundries and you’ll have everything ready for your pet ahead of time, just in case disaster strikes. The best way to ensure pet safety is to plan ahead and act proactively, not reactively.

One Week Before the Storm

Check your pet’s microchip information and tags. Make sure both have been updated with your current address and contact information. Missing animals are highly common during hurricane season, as they either get lost or are left behind when their owners have to evacuate. Although you should never opt to abandon your pet, you can buy a Rescue Alert Sticker from the ASPCA that alerts rescue teams there are animals inside your home.

A big part of pet hurricane prep should be arranging alternate living arrangements should you need to leave your home. Never leave your pet behind when a hurricane hits. Do not let them ride the storm out on their own or set them loose to find their own shelter. These options often end in tragedy as pets are lost, wounded, or perish.

Where Can I Take my Pet During a Hurricane?

three cute dogs sitting and waiting for owner's instructions

Planning ahead of time will help you make arrangements that can help you avoid heading to an emergency shelter. Consider a hotel outside the evac zone that allows pets, or ask a friend or family member who lives outside the hurricane’s path if they can be part of your evacuation plan.

Your vet might also have recommendations for boarding kennels or foster care that will keep your pet safe until you can reunite. Setting up a small travel fund for pet emergency expenses can also be a valuable form of pet hurricane preparation. A few hundred dollars can get you out of harm’s way and into a safe, pet-friendly hotel with your furry friend.

The Day Of the Hurricane

Hunker down, follow the local guidelines and emergency protocol. Stay tuned for any changes reported in the news, and have your emergency supplies nearby in case you have to evacuate. If you suspect that you will need to leave during the storm, plan to do so a few days ahead of time.

Hurricanes are scary for everyone, and they can be downright terrifying for pets. We are always here to help you make the best decisions for your four-legged friend. Contact Bayside Animal Hospital anytime to learn more about pet safety.