Here’s how you should care for your pet during a hurricane

With Hurricane Irma lurking in the Atlantic, preparations should be made ahead of time for the safety of pets.

Here are some supplies that you should have prepared:

  • Water - at least three days worth is recommended by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division
  • Food - at least three days worth
  • Medications
  • Pet first aid kit
  • Collar with ID tag, leash or harness
  • Crate or other pet carrier
  • Sanitation materials such as a litter box, newspapers, paper towels and garbage bags
  • Familiar items like toys and treats in order to reduce stress

Pets should be kept inside and with their owners at all times throughout the storm.

“This storm, if it hits us, the best thing is just to leave town with your pet,” Dean Anderson, veterinarian with the Grand Strand Animal Hospital, said. “Definitely keep them inside where you can get to them if something bad does happen.”

Anderson does not recommend boarding pets in the hurricane prone area in the case of an evacuation.

“I wouldn’t want my dog boarded in a place through a hurricane because they’re going to have a tough time getting to the boarding facility,” Anderson said. “In my opinion, I think the pets need to be where the humans are, out of town in a safe place.”

While a mandatory evacuation has not been implemented in South Carolina, it is important to know where pet friendly hotels are located in case you decide to evacuate.

Vaccinations should be up-to-date and micro-chips are a good option if a pet is separated from its family. It is important to have tags that ID the dog and the owner.

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic