Here at Leesville Animal Hospital, we know that many of our Raleigh NC vet clinic clients have experienced damage due to Hurricane Florence.
Firstly, we would like to say that we hope that every member of our Leesville Animal Hospital family has made it through the storm safely.
Secondly, we have had quite a few questions about keeping pets safe after the hurricane, so today we’re going to share a few tips to help you to keep your pet safe post-hurricane as we see hurricane Florence head out of here in the next few days.
Raleigh NC Vet Clinic Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe Post-Hurricane
Keep Your Pet Indoors
Until the rain has stopped and flooding in our area has dried up, we recommend keeping your pets indoors. If your cat is an “outside cat” (Read our article about “outside cats” here), we know this won’t be a popular decision, but it’s safer for your cat. Flooding can change the appearance of the landscape and make otherwise safe situations dangerous for your cat. If you usually let your dog romp around in the yard while you do chores in the house, avoid doing this until the flooding has dried up and winds have ceased. Before letting them out, make sure that there is no storm debris (sticks etc.) that could pose a safety risk to your dog and make sure that your gate is closed and your fence is not compromised!
Be Watchful While Walking Your Pet
When leash walking your pet, be watchful of your surroundings.
- Keep an eye out for oversaturated ground that can be unsafe to walk on.
- Watch for fallen branches that you and your pet could trip over or that your dog could pick up. (Sticks can often cause damage to the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue.)
- Don’t cross any flooded paths or running water. Extensive rainfall can erode pathways making them dangerous to walk on and running water can be deceptive. What used to be a small creek may now be three times as deep with a current that could sweep your pet off their feet quite easily. Stick with dry paths that you know well and pay attention to where you are walking ie: put your phone away!
- Don’t let your pet pick anything up! Hurricane winds can blow all kinds of trash and debris around neighborhoods so it’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t pick up anything you run across while walking. Things like ant traps can blow out of people’s garbage cans, sharp tin can lids can roll across parking lots, and dangerous food scraps can appear quite tempting to your dog!
Refill Your Pet’s Medications
Ideally, you will have done this before the hurricane came into town, but if not, once the roads clear and you feel comfortable driving, make sure to refill any of your pet’s depleted medications. Just be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time to ensure that they are open and have power.
Tend to Injuries Immediately
If your pet does get cut, scraped, or hurt in some way while out walking after a hurricane, make sure to tend to those injuries right away. Depending on the extent of flooding in your area and the cause for your dog’s injury, they may be exposed to contaminated flood waters that can cause serious infection in open wounds. Begin at home by washing small cuts and scrapes with warm water and applying a pet-safe antibiotic ointment to the area. If your dog’s injury is larger than a simple scrape and requires veterinary attention (it’s always best to contact your Raleigh NC vet clinic if you’re unsure) call to check that your vet clinic is open before heading in for treatment. Be sure to notify your vet if you suspect that your dog’s injury was exposed to contaminated water. If your Raleigh NC vet clinic is closed due to storm damage, contact your closest emergency vet to see if they are open and seek treatment there instead.
Avoid Fallen Trees and Areas with Excessive Debris
If your neighborhood has excessive debris or fallen trees, it’s best to stay indoors until the area has been cleaned up. You may look outside and see a “fun obstacle course” for you and your dog to walk, but there are many hidden dangers in hurricane-related debris. Unexpected branches and downed trees can cause tripping, smaller debris can puncture paw pads, slippery sidewalks can make for unsteady feet. Always think safety first and if your dog is going stir crazy inside your home and it’s safe enough to drive and the roads are clear, consider a few hours at doggy daycare to give your dog a chance to let loose! Just call ahead first to make sure that your favorite doggy daycare is open!
Have Questions For Our Raleigh NC Vet Clinic Staff?
If you have questions about post-hurricane safety and your pet, call our Raleigh NC vet clinic staff at (919)870-7000 and we’ll do our best to give you answers!