As veterinarians at The Animal Clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida, our main goal is to keep your pets healthy and safe. Since we’re in the middle of hurricane season, we wanted to make sure you know what to do for your pets during a hurricane threat.

Many people make up a hurricane preparedness plan for themselves. We want to encourage you to also create a hurricane preparedness plan for your pets.

For your dogs and cats, you need to make sure all of their vaccinations are up-to-date, including Bordetella (kennel cough), in case they need to be boarded or travel out of the area with you. Also, gather their proof of vaccination forms, rabies tags and certificates and keep them in a waterproof container. Keep this container handy so you can grab it quickly if you need to evacuate.

In addition, remember to pack a bag with containers of food and water, dishes, leashes, pet blankets and any medications your pets need since you don’t know how long the storm will last or when you will be able to return home if you have to evacuate.

If your pet has any thunderstorm phobias or anxiety, please let us know. There are medications and alternative therapies that can help reduce storm related stress. We can recommend the best option for your pet’s specific needs.

Also please put your pet’s names, as well as your name and contact information on their pet carriers and collars in the event that you are separated from them. If possible, include a phone number for a close friend or family member who lives outside of the threat area.

Thousands of pets are lost during each major disaster and we, at The Animal Clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida, don’t want that to happen to any of our patients. Consider microchipping your pet. This is an excellent way to help ensure that you and your pets are reunited after a disaster. Call today to schedule and appointment to microchip your cat or dog.

As veterinarians who have worked through multiple hurricanes (in Dr Burrough’s case here in Florida or in Dr Mary’s case in New Orleans) we have seen not only the damage a storm of any magnitude can do, we have also seen the heartbreak people experience when they can’t find their beloved pet. Please do everything in your power this hurricane season to keep your pet safe and sound and in your arms where they belong.