Likewise, animals don’t have any natural protection against hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes or floods.
Here are some tips to help keep your animals safe and comfortable:
In cold weather
— Keep your pets indoors as much as possible, especially in temperatures below freezing.
— If and when your pets go outside, don’t leave them alone. Apart from discomfort, animals risk falling through ice or getting trapped while seeking shelter.
— If you must leave your pet, make sure it has shelter with bedding and non-frozen water.
— Very young and old animals are especially vulnerable to the cold, as are animals with health conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease.
— Before starting your car, check under the hood or honk to frighten away a cold cat that may be curled up against the engine for warmth.
— Keep your dogs leashed, especially in a snowstorm.
— Never leave pets alone in a car.
— Watch for warning signs of discomfort: whining, shivering, anxiety, slow movement, and looking for places to burrow.
— Also watch for signs that your pet has antifreeze poisoning, which can make the animal appear drunk.
— If you light a fire or space heater, watch your animals to make sure they don’t get burned or knock the heat source, potentially setting fire to your home.
In a disaster
— Prepare a pet survival kit. Include a harness, leash or sturdy carrier, bottled water, food, medications, veterinary records, a manual can opener, food dishes, a first aid kit, and a blanket or sheet.
— Make sure each animal has an ID tag with your contact information.
— Keep photos of your pets with you as proof of identification in case you are separated.
— In case of evacuation, take your animals with you. Know which shelters and hotels accept pets.
— If you are forced to leave your pets behind, leave a supply of water and dry food.
Sources and more information:The Weather Channel; American Animal Hospital Association; FEMA; Humane Society