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• Sarasota • Lakewood Ranch • Osprey •

How to Prepare Your Pet for a Storm

With hurricane season officially beginning next month there’s a lot to get ready for, both for your human family as well as your canine friends. As you’re getting your emergency plans ready for your family, pay attention to details like what shelters are pet friendly. If you plan to leave the state entirely make sure you know what hotels allow pets on your travels and any restrictions you might encounter due to breeds, quantity, or size of your pets.

Don’t plan on boarding your pets! Many boarding facilities, like Bayside, are not hurricane grade and if they are forced to evacuate they will call you or an emergency contact to pick up your pet. If you are going on vacation during this time make sure you leave a local contact for them to call if they are forced to evacuate. If no one is able to pick up your pets, they will be left at the facility and if an evacuation order is given staff will be unable to check on them. As soon as an all clear is given staff does come back to the facility to check on any pets that were left.

From personal experience, after working in a pet store when Irma hit, it’s better to get your supplies now than at the last second when it really matters. Everything sells out quickly.


Supplies You Need:

Crates: These are required at any pet friendly shelter.

Food & Water: Make sure you have enough for at least a week.

Leash, Collar & Harness: These are essential for keeping control of your pet in a new environment. You also always want to keep a collar on them with their up to date identification cards should they escape for any reason. 

Calming Aids: Not every dog needs these but it will really help those who suffer from anxiety or are afraid of storms. Thunder shirts as well as CBD/calming chews are a good combination. 

Medication: Make sure you have enough to last a week if a storm is approaching. If your pet requires insulin or other refrigerated medications, have a small cooler on hand to keep them cold for as long as possible. 

Toys: A good variety to keep them busy but nothing they could accidentally ingest when unsupervised.  

Puppy Pads: This gives them an area to go if you’re unable to go outside. If you plan on staying home you can also fill a kiddie pool with sod and leave it in the garage. 

Vaccine Records: If you do have to evacuate, it will be good to have their most recent shot records on hand to show to any hotel or evacuation center. 

Pet First Aid Kit: Just in case something happens, it’s always good to have an emergency medical kit should your pet get cut on debris, get sores from excessive licking due to nervousness or any other ailment. 


After the Storm

After the storm passes, be sure to check in on everyone. Make sure no injuries occurred at any point. Also monitor their behavior. It’s normal if they are acting differently, hurricanes are scary and stressful for them. Their appetite and activity level might change. You might also notice some vomiting or diarrhea, which is common when a dog is stressed. If you notice that any of these stress signals begin to worsen, then contact your vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 


Storm Shelters that Allow Pets in Sarasota & Manatee County

All Sarasota County Evacuation Shelters accept domestic dogs and cats. 

The following are pet friendly shelters in Manatee County. Please note that they open based on need and will not be open for every storm. Wait until officials announce these shelters are open before you go. 

    • Braden River High School, 6545 SR 70 East, Bradenton
    • Manatee High School, 902 33rd Street Court West, Bradenton
    • Mills Elementary School, 7200 69th Street East, Palmetto


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