A dog hiding under a blanket from a thunderstorm.

Hurricane and thunderstorm season is fast approaching here in Georgia, and the thunder, lightning, deluge, and potential for natural disaster can leave our pets particularly vulnerable. Your friends at Clairmont Animal Hospital would like to take this opportunity to discuss strategies for protecting and providing for your pet’s comfort and safety during severe weather.

Thunderstorm Preparedness For Pets

Many pets experience high levels of fear and stress during even slight thunderstorms. In some instances, very frightened pets may even try to escape the home. We recommend the following tips for thunderstorm preparedness for pets:

  • Stay near your pet and offer reassurance
  • Try to distract your pet with a favorite toy or game
  • Bring pets inside well in advance of the storm, never leave pets outside during severe weather
  • Keep pets away from windows
  • In certain cases, medication can be used to reduce a pet’s anxiety during storms. Give us a call to learn more.
  • Consider purchasing a thundershirt for your pet

Other Disaster Preparedness Tips

Anytime there is a severe storm or natural disaster that may damage or force us to evacuate our homes, are pets are at serious risk. Plan ahead for your pet’s welfare in the event of a natural disaster in the following ways:

  • If you must evacuate your home, never leave pets inside. If your home isn’t safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets
  • Keep your pet’s medical records, any medications, leash, crate (which should be clearly labeled with your name and contact info, your pet’s name, and a photo of you together), and other necessities in an easy to access location in the event you must evacuate
  • Arrange an alternate location for your pets ahead of time, whether that is a trusted friend or family member, boarding kennel, or pet-friendly hotel
  • Order a free rescue alert sticker from the ASPCA and place it on a front window of your home. This lets rescue workers know that there is a pet inside in the event a disaster has occurred while you were away and you are not able to reach your home

A Word About Microchipping

We all know how important it is for our pets to be wearing their collars with current ID tags when we take them out of the home, but if you’re like most pet owners, Fido or Fluffy are not likely to be wearing their identification 24/7. This presents a particular problem during severe weather or natural disaster, when pets may escape or run away from the home out of fear.

That’s where microchipping comes in. Since a microchip is a permanent form of identification for your pet, it greatly increases the chances of being reunited with him or her in case you are separated. Remember, a microchip is only as good as the information it holds, so be sure to have the chip registered and to update the information any time your address or phone number changes.

If you have any questions about pet anxiety or how microchipping can help, give us a call.