There is some wild weather headed our way soon! Torrential rain and wind can be frightening for your animals, and increase their chances of injury or harm if you don’t have a plan in place ahead of time. We are passionate about caring for our four-legged friends, and want to share with you what we’ve learned throughout our years of caring for livestock and fostering pets. Here are some tips on protecting pets and livestock during hurricanes and extreme weather.
Our furry friends need us during storms! High winds and hard rainfall can really throw them for a loop. Here are a few things you can do ahead of time to keep them safe:
- Microchip your animals – This ensures your pet’s information is up to date and helps shelters reunite you with your pet if they do run away or get lost.
- Identification Collars – If your pets don’t have microchips, make sure they are wearing collars and/or identification tags.
- Stock Up on Supplies – Have adequate food, medicines, litter box supplies, and other pet essentials you need in case it takes you awhile to get to the store and replenish.
- Take a picture – Take a photo of your pets and write up a brief description in case you become separated. This can help you find them later.
- Seal off dangerous nooks and corners – It’s natural for our animals to hide during big weather events, (so do we, actually!) so take a tour of your home’s small corners make certain potentially dangerous hiding places are sealed off. While you’re at it, store items such as tools and toxic products out of the way of your pets.
- Bring them inside – As the storm approaches, gather them up and bring them inside to safety, and be in the same room with them. They need their human when they’re stressed!
- Download the ASPCA app – It’s free, and is full of resources for your pets, including a personalized, missing pet recovery kit. It’s available for both iPhone and Android.
Remember: if it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets!
We care for cows on our property here in Madison County, and large animals can be a particular challenge to care for when the weather turns sour. While most of the time livestock not confined to pens and such can take care of themselves, your large and small breed livestock need your help, too!
- Have a written plan – A checklist and step-by-step care plans for your animals created when there’s no threat of bad weather will help lower the stress around the situation, and provide you with an easily accessible go-to when the forecast calls for dangerous weather.
- Tie down equipment – Any items that can come loose during high winds should be tied down. Flying debris is one of the biggest causes of injury to livestock during severe storms.
- Move them to higher ground – If you live in an area that is easily flooded, move your animals to higher ground that includes trees or brush for shelter.
- Move your farm chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers – Store them where they can’t get wet and the animals can’t get to them.
- Stock up on supplies – Be sure to have adequate feed, water, and medicines ahead of time.
- Turn off electricity – Turn it off at the main switch. Downed power lines pose a danger to animals, and animals can damage fixtures. Be on the safe side.
- Never leave them in a closed barn – If the barn is damaged by wind, your animals could get injured or killed.
Protecting Pets and Livestock During Hurricanes: AFTER the Storm
Once danger has passed – and please, make sure danger is truly passed – inspect your property and your animals. Make certain they are not injured, and check for debris, downed power lines, and other storm damage.
Local Animal Shelters and Resources:
We have the privilege of fostering animals, both livestock on house pets, in our home, and work closely with some of the area’s animal shelters. The lovely people here are always helpful and kind, and can connect you with people like us, who are willing and able to take and house your livestock until you are able to return home and get everything under control again:
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