Spring means storm season! We want pets to be safe during uncertain weather conditions. It is vital to keep your pet safe when a natural disaster strikes. Here are some tips to follow in preparation for the upcoming severe weather today:
Before the Tornado
Ensure all pets are indoors and have ID (collars and tags). Having a microchip increases the chances of reuniting with your pet in case of a natural disaster.
Identify a tornado-safe area large enough for your entire family and pets (often a basement or the most interior room of the house on the bottom floor.)
Make sure your safe room is pet-friendly. Remove toxins like rodenticides, insecticides, or paints, and block hazard access.
Each pet should have its own leash, carrier, or cage- this will give them a safe area during the storm.
Know your pet’s hiding places and how to quickly and safely get them to the safe area- pets can sense when storms are coming and often hide in anticipation.
Do not leave your pets unattended outside- they can easily get spooked and run off. In addition, high winds make outdoor tethers and dog houses unsafe during this time.
Collect your pet’s necessities: food, water, collapsible bowls, a first aid kit, and medications, as well as comfort items like toys or pet beds. Depending on the pet, you may also need a disposable litter box, litter, poop bags, etc.
During A Tornado
If you need to evacuate your home, please don’t leave your pets behind if possible. Leaving pets behind overwhelms the shelter system when lost pets aren’t claimed.
If you are riding out the storm at home, pets should be put in crates or carriers in the safe room. Place the crates under a sturdy piece of furniture and in a windowless area if possible.
If a tornado or severe storm develops, it is essential to keep calm! Pets feed off our anxiety and feelings. If possible- turn on the TV or music to provide a distraction. For pets with noise anxiety, anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your veterinarian, pheromone sprays (for example, Feliway or Adaptil), or Thundershirts can help provide a sense of calm.
After a Tornado
If your pet goes missing during a storm, it is important to contact local shelters, put up flyers, and contact all veterinary hospitals in the area to get the word out. Also, if your pet has a microchip- report your pet as missing.
If your pet was injured during severe weather, call Northside Veterinary Hospital any time during regular business hours of 7:45 AM-5:30 PM Monday- Friday, and Saturday 8:45 AM-Noon. If this is an animal emergency, please see our emergency resources below: