“It is so important that animals are looked after during hurricane season,” she said. “If the weather turns and you need to evacuate, your animals need to go with you, and proper procedures need to be followed.”

Hurricane season is upon us, and as we all stock up on water and non-perishables, let’s not forget our four-legged friends.


This time of year is crucial for ensuring that our animals are as protected as ourselves when the weather strikes.


Dr.?Amy Grayson, veterinarian with Dutchtown Animal Hospital in Prairieville, La., explains the importance of looking after the well-being of our pets.


“It is so important that animals are looked after during hurricane season,” she said. “If the weather turns and you need to evacuate, your animals need to go with you, and proper procedures need to be followed.”


Grayson states that the most important way to be ready for an evacuation with your pet is to prepare now.


“Make sure your pet is up to date on immunizations, and obtain a copy of your animal’s medical records,” she said. “It’s important to have your animal micro-chipped, and include all of your information. If that’s not possible, the animal must have a collar with your details on it,” she said.


Grayson also stresses the importance of talking to your veterinarian about any medical concerns you may have, as “veterinarians can prescribe medications for any concerns you may have,” she said.


“Finally, for preparedness, make sure you know where your animal will be staying before you leave. That way, a plan is in place for your pet’s safety early on.” Grayson said.


Also, making sure to take what your pet needs is as important as what we take for ourselves, says Grayson.


“Enough food for one week along with bowls is important,” she said. “Also, a two-week supply of any medications your pet is on, portable kennel with newspaper for lining, litter box and litter for cats, leash and collar with identification tag, small first aid kit (with) cotton roll bandage and tape, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, peroxide and any favorite toy, blanket or bed that will make your pet more comfortable.”


What about trips for travel as you and your animal head out on the evacuation route?


“The comfort of the animal is incredibly important,” said Grayson. “Don’t feed your pet the morning of travel,” she said. “This will cut down on motion sickness and accidents. Keep a small bowl of ice cubes in pet’s kennel so that they can keep cool and hydrated on the trip.”


Grayson also says to ensure the animals are secure outside the car, as well.


“When you make pit stops, always walk your dog on a tight leash. There may be a lot of commotion along the evacuation route, and the last thing you want is for your pet to become startled and get separated from you,” she said. “Keep in mind that some pets, especially cats, can become very nervous when out of their environment, so when you reach your destination, create a ‘safe place’ for your pet, like a small room or bathroom. It may even be best to keep your pet in its crate until it becomes accustomed to its new surroundings.”