"Hurricane Preparedness for Pets" by Lillian Sikorski

"Hurricane season is upon us and hopefully you are prepared. As you are stocking up on necessary items, remember that your pets also need shelter and their own survival kit.

Where will you go if you have to evacuate? Now is the time to research your evacuation area. If a hotel or motel is in your plan contact them now to learn their pet policies. If pets are not allowed, ask for a list of kennels in the area. If you plan on boarding your pet in the evacuation area, research what medical records are required.

Consider having your pet microchipped. Veterinarians, shelters and rescue groups usually scan microchips before beginning a traditional search for lost pets. Your veterinarian can explain the procedure and benefits of microchips.

Your pet's survival kit should include the following:
1) Proof of current vaccinations and medical history
2) Have a current picture of your pet for identification purposes
3) ID tags are current including correct contact information, however do not rely on tags
4) Bordetella is current (you may have to board your pet)
5) An additional supply of your pet's medication
6) Heart worm preventative
7) Flea/Tick preventative
8) At least a three week supply of dog food
9) Bowls for water and food
10) Additional water
11) leashes, harnesses, and collars
12) Favorite blankets, beds, toys, and chew bones
13) Your pet's crate or kennel
14) Dry shampoo, there may be a shortage of water
15) Waste bags for fecal matter
16) Paper and cloth towels
Pets that become anxious during stormy weather can become very stressed if a hurricane or its remnants are in their area. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a sedative or medication to calm them if needed and include it in your pet's hurricane kit.

Do not plan to board your pet at a local veterinarian, kennel, or have your pet sitter care for your pet if you evacuate. They have to prepare and evacuate as well. You are solely responsible for your pets so be prepared and complete your pet's hurricane kit today."
Lillian Sikorski is a local business owner and professional dog trainer.

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