Have you prepared your pet kit for hurricane season?

Prepare now in case you have to evacuate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We all hope a tropical storm or hurricane will not threaten our area, but you need to be prepared just in case.

Hurricane season started June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

While we've reminded you about the importance of creating a hurricane preparedness kit for your family, many forget to include supplies for their pets.

We asked Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane, for advice. 

"People often rush when forecasters predict a hurricane, gathering supplies at the last minute," said Broadhurst. "In this rush, they may not fully prepare for their pet's needs, especially those of reptiles, birds and other small animals with different needs than dots and cats."

Here's Boradhurst's "must do" list of preparing your pet in case of a hurricane:

Microchip pets: Microchipping pets not only helps in severe storms, it helps ensure you and your pet are reunited any time they wander off.

Update your information: Make sure your address and phone number on your pet's tag is up to date and your information is correct with the microchip company.

Create an Emergency Kit: Pack the following items to build an emergency kit for dogs or cats:

  • A pet first-aid kit
  • A four-day supply of your pet's food and medications
  • Bottled water
  • Feeding dishes
  • Litter and/or disposable garbage bags
  • Extra leashes and harnesses
  • Photocopies of your pet's medical records
  • Pictures of your pets in case you are separated
  • For birds, bring a spray bottle filled with water for their wings
  • Carry a sturdy bowl for reptiles to soak in and ample bedding for small animals like guinea pigs or hamsters

Make sure to have proper crates and carriers: Make sure the carrier offers your pet ample room to move. Label crates with your name and your pet's name.

Create a list of local pet-friendly shelters: Many areas offer emergency shelters open to animals. Check your county's website for shelter details.

Know evacuation routes: Research evacuation routes from your home. Ensure your pet is wearing proper and up-to-date identification.

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