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After the disaster: Keeping pets safe and healthy when returning home

Returning home following a disaster like Hurricane Irma can be stressful and even dangerous to pets. Take steps to ensure the health and well-being of your pets after a disaster. (PRNewsfoto/AVMA)

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Millions of people in Florida were forced to evacuate their homes before Hurricane Irma made landfall last weekend, and many brought their pets with them.

As people prepare to return to their homes, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is encouraging pet owners to take steps to ensure the health and well-being of their pets, in what could be potentially dangerous or stressful environments.

When returning home with pets following a disaster, the AVMA recommends the following:

  • Survey the area inside and outside your home to identify sharp objects, dangerous materials, dangerous wildlife, contaminated water, downed power lines or other hazards.
  • Do not allow pets to roam free outdoors until the area is safe for them to do so. They could encounter dangerous wildlife and debris if allowed outside unsupervised and unrestrained. In addition, familiar scents and landmarks may have changed, and this can confuse your pets.
  • Allow uninterrupted rest and sleep to allow your pets to recover from the trauma and stress of the evacuation and disaster.
  • The disruption of routine activities can be the biggest cause of stress for your pets, so try to re-establish a normal schedule as quickly as you can.
  • Comfort each other. The simple act of petting and snuggling can reduce anxiety for both people and pets.
  • If you notice any signs of stress, discomfort, or illness in your pets, contact your veterinarian to schedule a checkup.

For more information on pets and disasters, visit the AVMA website at avma.org/PetReady.

To speak with an AVMA expert about keeping pets safe and healthy following a disaster, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA senior media relations specialist, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or msanfilippo@avma.org.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 89,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine. Visit www.avma.orgfor more information.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Michael San Filippo
Senior Media Relations Specialist
American Veterinary Medical Association
Tel: 847-285-6687
Cell: 847-732-6194
msanfilippo@avma.org

 

SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association

Comments

Bay Area boy living in the desert. You’ll usually find him playing some type of Blizzard game or tinkering with some electronic device in his house.

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