Authorities predict Hurricane Florence’s path to close in on North Carolina later in the week. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers tips on keeping pets safe and calm during a hurricane.
Pet owners are encouraged to take the following tips on disaster preparation:
~Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
~Obtain a rescue alert sticker, which will let rescuers know that pets are inside your home.
~Keep a portable pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies.
~Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification and your cell phone number. The ASPCA also recommends micro-chipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification, should collars or tags become lost.
~Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. Do not leave your pets behind.
~Choose a designated caregiver who can take care of your pet in the event you are unable.
The ASPCA has these tips on calming storm-related anxiety:
~Prepare a smaller area for pets such as the bathroom or a covered crate—with all their favorite toys and extra bedding—where they can hide and feel safe. It’s helpful to teach crate training ahead of time so your pet is comfortable in a crate.
~Fearful animals—especially thunder phobic animals—may try to dash out the door. Take precautions to make sure your pet is unable to escape from your house or yard.
~Dog appeasement pheromone or synthetic feline pheromone may ease stress and can be obtained through your veterinarian or a pet product store.
~Special wraps and shirts that provide a calming pressure are sold specifically for dogs with thunder phobia.
~Blocking out the noise of the storm as well as the visual stimuli can reduce stress. Close curtains or shades and play classical music or turn on a white noise machine.