Hurricane Ian made landfall in Venice, Fla., as a category 3 hurricane.
With hurricane season here and preparations for this latest storm already well underway, keeping pets safe is a topic of concern for many Americans right now.
Freshpet veterinarian Dr. Aziza Glass joined FOX Weather’s Nick Kosir and Marissa Torres to explain how to make sure a pet is kept safe this hurricane season.
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Dr. Glass recommended preparing for the worst.
“Make sure [you] have your emergency kit ready to go,” she told the FOX Weather team.
She’s referring to “all the different things you might need if you have to get out quickly.”
That could include a pet’s medical records, leashes, water bottles and even an emergency bowl for food, Glass said.
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Speaking of pet food, Glass said many owners will forget to bring food for their dogs, cats or other pets in the chaos of trying to pack and evacuate the home.
The American Kennel Club recommends bringing your pet’s bed and even a toy to make the animals feel comfortable while traveling away from the home.
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Glass also recommended having a pet-friendly place to travel to upon evacuating — and confirming that your pet is microchipped in case of any unexpected separation.
A microchip is the best chance of being reunited with your pet, according to the AKC.
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The chips — which can be placed under the pet’s skin by a veterinarian — contain an ID number that is used to find the owner’s contact information.
“When it comes to emergency and evacuation, you don’t want to be trying to play catch up. You want to have everything already in place, as much as you can,” she said.
Dogs specifically have been known to sense storms from miles away.
Dogs can sense barometric pressure changes; the changes in pressure in the air can alert the dog that severe changes in weather are near, according to Sit Means Sit Dog Training.
Many dogs will react by hiding in odd spots around the house.
They may even go outside and then run back inside — or even begin to shake.
The AKC recommends giving your dog a safe space to sit out the storm (if you can remain at home and shelter in place) while soothing your pet with toys and treats.
Cat owners are advised to create a safe, comfortable space for their pets inside the home (again, if you can stay at home) and to understand that their behavior may change during severe storms.
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Keep tabs on them, too, advises the Tipp City Veterinary Hospital in Ohio.
Also, during the storm itself, never take your pets outside if you can help it — they could panic and dart away from you, say experts.
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