Make sure your pets are prepared for hurricanes

Published 2:23 pm Monday, September 19, 2022

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By Elaine Hooper, Hatteras Island Pet Resort

Hurricane season is upon us, which means it is time to update your pet’s go bag! In the event you must evacuate with your pet, it is important to pack the essentials. While medications, food and water supplies, and first aid kits are the same as the items we would pack for ourselves, there are some important pet-specific items to have ready.

– Both paper and electronic copies of vaccination records and medication lists, including dosage information. Don’t forget contact information for your vet and local shelter. If you evacuate out of town, having animal shelter and vet information for your destination could also come in handy.

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– For cats, a litter box, litter, and a scoop. A disposable roaster pan makes a great travel litter box, and dog waste bags are perfect for disposing of used litter.

– Printed and electronic photos of your pet. Photos of you with your pet can help establish ownership. Make sure all tags have your contact information up to date. Collars and leashes with your number printed on them are excellent, since tags can come loose.

– Get your pet microchipped to help rescuers reunite you, and keep the chip information up to date online. Make sure your pet is always up to date on all recommended vaccinations.

– Comfort items: Their favorite blanket, a towel that smells like you, and favorite toys. Invest in a treat-dispensing toy and/or long-lasting chew treats like stuffed beef bones and bully sticks – chewing has a calming effect on dogs.

– Crate training. Many emergency shelters, hotels, and rental homes only accept pets if they can be crated. Get your pet used to eating their meals and taking brief naps in their crate so they know it is their personal safe space.