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Pet Safety Tips for Severe Weather Conditions

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Jessie, the canine with a heart: In light of yesterday’s tragedies in Oklahoma City, I wanted to share some information I obtained from the web site of the Humane Society (humanesociety.org). If you live in an area susceptible to tornadoes and other types of severe weather, please keep the following tips in mind if you have pets that you need to keep safe when inclement weather threatens. By following these steps, you can increase the chances that your pets will survive such a catastrophe.

  • When the weather gets bad, bring your pets inside. It’s not safe for you to be out there. It’s not safe for your pets, either.
  • Keep a kit of emergency pet supplies on hand in a tornado-proof room or emergency shelter. Examples of items to have at the ready include an adequate supply of food, water and treats; a litter box, litter or puppy pad; a crate to provide a secure place for the pet so that he or she can weather the storm.
  • Make sure that all of your pets are wearing collars with identification tags at all times that are clearly visible. Ideally, your pets should be micro chipped to increase the chances of being reunited with them.
  • Practice getting your pets to the tornado-safe area. This includes training your pets to go to the area on command or coming to you on command despite other distractions. Know the favorite hiding spots of your pets and learn how to safely remove them from those places.
  • If you have cats, close off or eliminate those unsafe nooks and crannies where they might hide when frightened.
  • Get rid of any dangerous tools or toxic items in the safe area.
  • If you are required to evacuate, take the pet emergency supplies with you.
  • After the storm passes, do not allow your pets to roam loose. The aftermath of the storm can make your pets disoriented as familiar sights and smells are gone.  Keep your dog on a leash and your cat in a carrier inside the house. If your home is damaged, they could escape and become lost.
  • After a disaster, your pets may sustain certain behavioral problems due to the stress and anxiety of the situation. Be calming and comforting. However, if the problems persist, talk to your veterinarian.

Finally, please remember to pray for all the people and pets in Oklahoma!

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