How To Protect Your Pet During A Tornado
This post is dedicated to Nashville and all those who have lost their homes and loved ones due to the tornado that hit on Tuesday morning. It is also dedicated to the many animals who were scared and have lost their lives in the storm.
My family knows exactly what Nashville is going through. When I was in high school, we had a tornado touch down directly in the middle of our 5 acre property destroying several 100 year old trees including fruit trees, a beautiful weeping willow was split in half and fencing was down. Fortunately and miraculously, it did not touch the house, garage or barns on the property and although our horses were terrified, they were able to take cover in a barn that was not hit. We were able to hide in our basement until the tornado passed but I will never forget the sound of the storm and what we saw when we walked outside. I’ll never forget the shock on our faces as we looked over our property.
When I hear stories of devastation, I feel bad for the people involved but I also feel sorry for the animals. They do not understand what is going on and are afraid. I wonder if they get lost will they be found? Can they find their way back home? Here are some ways to help the animals in a storm.
Jake and Maggie sleepy after their grooming appointment!
The pups love going to Paradise Paws to get groomed but get so sleepy afterwards. It’s a 10:00 bath and toe nail trim and relaxing when they get home!
Prepare for the worst!
*Get your pet updated identification tags.
*Designate a safe place like a basement in your home to go to.
*Make sure you are away from windows and doors.
*Prepare a bin of canned dog or cat food.
*Make sure you have your pet leashed and have practiced walking calmly to the designated area.
*Make it fun for your pet by providing treats and toys as you practice.
*If your pet has a phobia about storms and loud noises, try desensitizing them with music, therapy, happy distractions, or medication from your vet.
*Make a list of places you could go to after the storm so that you and your pets have a home like a family member, pet friendly hotels, veterinaries, shelters, etc.
What to do with livestock during a tornado?
*If possible, bring animals into a barn or shelter well in advance of a storm.
*Make sure they have plenty of food and water.
*Keep them away from areas with windows.
*NEVER leave animals tied up or restrained.
What are the dangers in the aftermath of the storm?
*After the storm has passed, don’t let your pets outside until you get the all-clear from local officials. Broken glass, sharp sticks, exposed nails, downed electrical lines and jutting rebar can cause a host of injuries.
*Wild animals, displaced from their habitat, also become a threat to your pets.
*After a flood, dangerous objects can lurk beneath storm water, and you can lose pets down storm drains and manholes.
*Inside your home, be cautious about your water. The city’s water supply may be contaminated.
If your pet gets lost during and after the storm:
*Keep animal control and shelter numbers in your phone.
*Store pictures of your pets so you can provide other identification of your pet.
*Train your dog to sounds of a whistle. They might not be able to hear you calling for them but they can hear a whistle and come running.
Maintain emergency provisions:
*You know that you will need food and water for yourself but what about an emergency kit for your pet?
*Keep your emergency provisions in waterproof containers in your safe room.
*Maintain a two-week supply of dog food, water and medications for each pet.
*The same goes for cat food and medications as well.
*If you feed wet food, get pouches or small cans with pull tabs. You may be in a situation with no power for refrigeration, so food cannot be stored.
*Also, store dry food in plastic containers or zippered bags. Keep one gallon of water per person and per pet per day.
*For a cat, include a supply of litter and a scoop, and a small litter box if possible.
*Put small animals in their carriers and place something heavy over top of the carrier for protection and sound barrier.
Your shelter kit Go Bag should include:
• a pet first-aid kit
• a properly sized carrier
• disposable bowls and plastic spoons
• a favorite toy or blanket
• harness, leash, and muzzle
• plastic bags for poop disposal
• your dog’s favorite comfort foods
• a copy of your dog’s immunization records
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