News & Features

Keeping Animals Safe during Heavy Rain and Severe Wind

Friday November 05, 2010

When it comes to severe weather, it seems some animals have good instincts, however, companion pets such as cats, dogs and rabbits etc., due to being domesticated, may have lost a lot of their instinctual urges and need our protection. This also includes farm animals.

So, given Met Eireann’s  latest ‘potential severe weather’ forecast (issued 5th November), the DSPCA would like to remind pet parents to keep their animals safe.

Below are some of our top tips:

* Make sure your pets are micro chipped.  In the event of a storm/flash flood, pets can panic and may run away, become disoriented and get lost.  A micro chipped pet has the best possible chance of being returned to its owner.
* Make sure all your pets’ vaccinations are up to date.
* Make sure your animal has plenty of shelter.  Ideally, all animals should be kept indoors during severe weather conditions, especially during heavy rain/flooding.
* If you are allowing your pet outside to pee or poo, put them on a lead and walk out with them. Only allow them limited access to relieve themselves and take them back into the house as soon as possible.
* If you have pets living in your back garden, e.g. rabbits, please make sure their hutches are brought indoors or are placed safely into a sturdy garden shed/garage.  Do not leave rabbit hutches around or near a fence/tree that may collapse onto it during a high wind.
* If your home is located in a flood area, make sure that, in the event you are required to evacuate, all pet carriers are kept by the door in preparation for such an emergency and you have stocked up on plenty of sustenance for your animals; including bedding.  Hotels, guest houses or shelters will not always provide food and water for your animals.
* If you own exotic pets, make sure you have extension leads so that you can plug in heat lamps and if you have an aquarium, invest in a back up air filter.
* For farm animals it’s advisable to fence off a pasture area on high ground. Cows and horses are examples of farm animals that can be caught off guard during flooding and will require a safe pasture before water rises in order to secure their best chances of survival.

NB! The above advice concerns this weekend’s flood warning, however, for seasonal/winter advice, please go to our Winter Pet Care Advice section located under ‘Seasonal Holiday and Pet Care.’

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