Protect your pets in a tornado

Protect your pets in a tornado Austin TxSevere weather can cause enough worry for us – but for pet owners there is an added level of anxiety. Fortunately, a good plan of action can help ease your worries and prepare you for those “just in case” moments.

Designate a safety area

We’ve heard it all before, and the same applies for our animals. The safest place to be in a tornado is in a sound structure, preferably underground in a basement. Because Texas basements are a rare find, the next safest area in your home is in a central, window-less room like a bathroom or closet.

Stay away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.  Get under a sturdy table (or use a mattress or heavy blanket) and protect your head and neck with your arms.  Keep everyone in your family calm, especially pets who won’t understand what is happening and may panic.

Bring your dogs and cats inside!

Even if you have a shelter for them outside, being in a thunderstorm can be scary for a pet and getting pounded by hail or strong winds can be dangerous.

Have a plan with a trusted neighbor or pet sitter

If you have neighbors you know and trust, leave a key with them in case severe weather hits when you’re away.  Have a plan to contact them if a tornado warning is issued and ask them (if it’s safe for them to do so) to put your pets in your designated safety area with plenty of water.

Have a plan with a neighbor, pet sitter or dog walker in case severe weather prevents you from returning to your pets. If you were injured, for example, what would happen to them?

Tag and microchip your pets

This is so important! Shelters are flooded with animals after severe weather because they tend to panic and flee. If your pet is not wearing a tag and is not microchipped, they are at risk of euthanasia because the shelters will fill up fast.

Have numbers handy

Keep the numbers to your veterinarian, animal control and your local shelters ready in case your pet goes missing during or after the storm.

Keep calm and carry on

Our animals pick up on our anxiety quicker than we can. They also feel nervous when storms approach so try to keep calm, stick to your plan and take action when necessary. (Gusto tip: Don’t feed into their anxiety by petting them or telling them ‘it’s OK’ when they’re scared — that will make it worse!)

Stay updated on severe weather in Austin: National Weather Service, Austin

 

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About Kristen West

Kristen started Gusto Dogs in Austin after running a pet sitting and walking business for two years in Sydney, Australia. After discovering that the dogs benefited much more from incorporating enrichment into their daily walks, Kristen decided to make it a part of every Gusto dog walk with the aim to provide a more fulfilling experience for Austin's dogs and their owners.

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