Flooding Dangers for Pets

Mar 12, 2016

Walking in the rain - but not so much fun when the waters start to rise!
Credit elsie esq. (Les Chatfield) / [Flickr]

Rain doesn't seem like a serious threat to your pet's safety, unless it is torrential or continues for days.  As drainage systems overload and the water backs up flooding can occur, putting you and your best friend at risk.  

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With rains pounding the Southeast in recent days, waters have risen in areas like Louisiana, flooding people out of their homes. When that occurs, what becomes of the pets in an evacuation?

The American Red Cross has some helpful suggestions for how to care for your pet during a disaster.

First on the list is to have a plan. Look at possible evacuation routes and learn which motels or hotels will accept your pet. Many disaster shelters still do not accept pets (other than service animals) so if you know you’re going to evacuate, call for a reservation at a place that allows pets.

If you cannot keep your pet with you, make advance plans with a pet boarding facility, a veterinarian, or a friend or family member to house your pet during the evacuation. Choose a place outside the flood or disaster area to ensure your four-footed friend’s safety. 

Periodically take your pet for a ride in its carrier in the car so that it is accustomed to traveling. That will reduce your pet’s stress (and ultimately, your stress) if you do have to evacuate.

Keep a backup supply of food and medicines that your pet will need so you can “grab and go” when time is short. Have copies of your pet’s vaccination record and other medical records if needed. It might be necessary to show those if you must board your furry friend. An extra leash, and food and water bowls, might also come in handy.

Before the storm hits, and before you decide to evacuate, make sure your pet is wearing some identification. A collar or harness with an ID tag that has up-to-date contact information is important. But collars and harnesses can come off, so you might also want to have your pet microchipped, which will help it find its way back to you if you become separated.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your pet behind to fend for itself. Your best friend depends on you to keep it safe and out of harm’s way, especially when the wind blows or the waters rise or whatever disaster strikes, when you’re speaking of pets.

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