Take care of your pets


Dr. Jocylyn Newell, a veterinarian at Guignard Animal Clinic said pet owners must be ready for the unexpected during hurricanes and floods.

"Have kennels and crates to load up the pets and be ready to evacuate," she said. "Put at least a couple of days worth of food in plastic bags along with the kennels."

That will keep you from running around looking for food, and it won't get wet if there is flooding, she said.

Be prepared for problems that may occur if you do have to move, Newell recommended.

"Make sure they have copies of their vaccine records, if they don't already have them," Newell said. "That way if they do have to be evacuated and have to go to a hotel, you will have them."

Some hotels will not allow pets without proof that they are vaccinated, she said.

Often, pets will become frightened and get away during a storm, Newell warned.

"If they don't have some sort of collar with at tag put one on them," she said. "If they have a microchip, make sure the information is up to date."

Newell, said she was in Louisiana during a recent flood and many pets were lost because they became scared and ran away.

"Even though their locations were safe, they got lost in the storm because they freaked out," she said. "Pet owners need to know their pets can be afraid, so they may need some anxiety medication or sedation so they are less likely to get afraid and bust out and run lose."

Pet owners should make sure they have all of the pet's medications available.

"Some pets require long term medication, just make sure you have that in case the pet clinics are not open," she said.

For people who have kennels for crates, they should be brought indoors and kept away from windows, she said.

"Make sure they have water and food on hand," Newell said.

She said water kept in a bathtub is fine for pets or pet owners can fill up empty jugs with water for their pets to drink even if they prefer bottled water for themselves she added

"Keep everything in one place in case you have to move quickly," she advised.