Springtime is almost here, and the spring and summer seasons generally mean more severe weather as the air becomes more warm and humid, thus making conditions more susceptible to thunderstorms and severe weather. Depending on where you live, tornadoes may be a somewhat common occurrence. As you prepare to keep your family safe through the season, remember to keep your precious pup safe as well. Here are a few tips that will help your pet stay safe whenever any kind of severe weather may strike.

For many people, if an unfortunate natural disaster event should strike their home, whether it be flooding, a tornado, or a hurricane, it is always important to have a plan and be prepared. For most people, if a natural disaster strikes, they will choose to go to their local American Red Cross shelter for cover and necessary provisions. However, many people may not be aware that American Red Cross shelters do not allow pets of any kind. Though this may initially sound somewhat harsh, the Red Cross is obligated to ban animals due to health, sanitary, and safety reasons. Because of this, it is important to have a plan for your pet ahead of time, in case something should happen. Plan for a place to take your pet; a relative, close friend, or an animal-friendly hotel are all excellent choices.

Just as you might prepare an emergency kit for the members of your family, it is important to not forget to create one for your precious pup. Emergency kits should be prepared well in advance before knowledge of any serious disaster may occur (because there rarely is much warning time). Be sure to keep all emergency kits in a safe and easily accessible area, and it is helpful to keep them all together in the same spot. Be sure that each one is distinctly different, so there is no confusion between Sally’s kit and Spot’s.

So, what should you include in such a kit for your dog? Items such as:
- Identification and current vaccination and shot reports
- Leash
- Detailed care instructions (daily routine, food amounts, any special preferences or needs)
- Enough food supply for at least one week’s time (two weeks, if possible)
- Any current medications
- Identification on any and all belongings
- A bone or doggie treats
- A favorite toy (such as a squeaky ball or stuffed animal)
- Your contact information (cell phone numbers, address or post office box, the number of a relative or close friend, and your name)
- If possible, keep your dog’s emergency kit near their crate or carrier, so you can grab them both at the same time if necessary

We don’t like think that disaster could strike our home at any moment; however, the reality is, no one can know for sure what will happen. It is always best to be prepared. It will make things a little bit easier on you if you have already made arrangements for your pet and your family. As you keep your family safe, remember your pet is as valuable to you as one of your own children.

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