Be prepared for the worst
Embrace the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of an emergency and not have the tools you, your family, and your pets need to survive. Russell Hartstein, acclaimed dog and cat behaviourist, trainer and nutritionist, says that the most common mistake people make during a natural disaster is leaving pets behind. “You can’t leave a dog or cat at home thinking they will be OK with a bunch of food and water. They won’t be OK, and they will likely die,” he warns.
Keep extra food on hand
Always have enough food on hand to last your pet for at least two weeks, recommends Hartstein. Keep plenty of treats handy as well, he says. These can help your pet stay calm and happy. The treats will also be useful for getting your pet to behave during this stressful time. Lastly, buy a few collapsible bowls for your pet to eat and drink out of; they’re easier to transport and take up less space.
Grab some comfort toys or blankets
Hartstein emphasises that it’s essential to have “special toys or comfort items to relieve boredom and reduce stress.” Whether your pet has a favourite toy, blanket, or just loves bones, it would be helpful to have their comfort items on hand to help them relax. Going through a natural disaster and heading to an unknown destination is scary for your pet; these familiar items will put them at ease.