veterinarianYou may have already begun the household preparations for our tumultuous spring and summer storms, such as securing shingles on the roof, cutting back rotten tree limbs, and ensuring your shutters are ready to protect your windows. But there’s one more thing you have to do to get ready for hail storms, thunder, and tornadoes – and your pet will be grateful you did.

Wondering how you can keep your pet safe in severe weather? Volunteer Veterinary Hospital has your furry friend covered.

First Things First

It’s not uncommon for animals sensing danger to flee, and it’s best to bring your pet in as soon as you know a storm is on the way. Tornadoes, high winds, hail, and thunder often send a ripcurl of anxiety through many pets, causing them to bolt.

Your first measure to keep your pet safe in severe weather is to ensure that his or her microchip information is up to date, and that his or her tags are secure and visible on the collar. If your pet hasn’t been microchipped, we can easily assist you with this.

If you’re lucky, instead of taking off, your pet may decide to hunker down in a preferred hiding spot. This might keep your pet safe in severe weather, but make sure that he or she cannot slip out into the storm without your knowledge, and that you know where that hiding spot is.

Necessary Supplies

You may have already stockpiled bottled water and canned tuna for your own stay in the cellar, and you can add your pet’s wet or dry food to the provisions. It’s recommended to have a 3-5 day supply of both food and water, but you’ll also be glad to have litter and a pan, puppy pads, and a way to dispose of any messes.

Likewise, have at your disposal the following items:

  • Your pet’s labeled travel kennel or crate, well labeled and ready to go, with a picture securely taped to the outside
  • An extra leash and tagged collar
  • Back up medications that your pet relies on
  • Medical history and vaccination records
  • A recent photograph of you and your pet

Is Your Pet Safe In Severe Weather?

We recommend training your dog to come to you when called and then leading him or her to your shelter spot. Even if the weather report doesn’t sound like an approaching storm will damage property, get your pet used to the idea of storm protocol and go hang out together until it passes.

If your cat puts up a fight when you try to kennel him or her, train him or her to accept the process (rewards, patience, love!).

After the Storm

Keeping your pet safe in severe weather extends to a storm’s aftermath. Keep your pet leashed or close to you upon exiting your shelter and home, and give him or her time to adjust to any changes on or around your property. Power lines are often tumbled  by high winds and your pet could get hurt from any number of dangerous objects that the wind brought down.

Please know that our veterinarians and staff can help you prepare to keep your pet safe in severe weather. We also offer emergency care and boarding should you be forced to evacuate your home. We welcome you to contact us with any questions or concerns.