Washington, DC (WUSA9) — With hurricane season in full force, it's important to know how to keep your loved ones safe in any storm. This includes pets. Here are tips from Friendship Hospital for Animals on how to protect your furry friends in an emergency or natural disaster.

  1. Make a kit for your pets. You may have a basic first-aid kit ready, but it's important to have specific items for your pet as well. Pack some kitty litter and a light-weight container to put it in, such as an aluminum roasting pan. Include waste bags and disinfectant so you can clean up after them as well.
  2. Pack extra bottled water. It's unsafe for your pet to drink water that has accumulated after a storm. Drinking dirty water puts them at risk for intestinal infections, and it may be difficult to get to a veterinary clinic at these times
  3. Have a physical picture of your pet handy. You may have dozens of cute pet pics on your phone, but in a storm you need to preserve power. In case your cat or dog runs off, have a picture of you with them so they can be more easily identified and returned.
  4. Get a collapsible crate. When first hearing about a severe storm approaching, contact local shelters to see if they accept animals. Some will require you to keep your pet in a crate for at least a portion of the time. Collapsible ones are typically lighter in weight and easier to carry.
  5. Let your pet get familiar with the crate. If you only take out the carrier on rare travel occasions, just the sight of it can cause anxiety for your pet. Leave it out in the open and not tucked away in a hallway closet so they can explore it more often. 
  6. White noise makers can ease your pets' nerves. Less severe storms can still be stressful for animals. Thunder makes most dogs very nervous. Keep them away from windows during a storm, or use a white noise maker to drown out the unsettling noises.

This article is sponsored by Friendship Hospital for Animals.

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