Rains and flooding are dangerous to humans, but they can also be devastating to pets.
It’s important to protect your pets from the weather, especially when there is the potential for quickly rising waters. Heavy storms with high winds can also knock down tree limbs and carry debris that could injure dogs or cats left outside. As the area prepares for a potential onslaught of rain, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona reminds you to take steps to prepare your pets as well:
- Bring pets inside to protect them from lightning, heavy winds and yard flooding.
- Avoid walking in or near washes during the rain; dogs can easily be swept away in fast-rising waters.
- For pets with extreme sensitivity, create a ‘den-like’ environment, such as a crate, room or walk-in closet free of windows.
- If at all possible, remain home with your pet to provide comfort and security.
· Turn on a TV or radio to distract your pet from outside noises.
- Keep a well-fitting collar and identification tag with current contact information on your pet and have your pet microchipped; make sure contact information is current.
- If your pet becomes lost, immediately call HSSA’s Lost and Found Department at 327-6088, ext. 111, and the county shelter, Pima Animal Care Center, at 793-5900 to file a lost report.
After the rain has stopped, it’s still important to keep pets away from washes. It’s also a good idea to check your yard if there has been flooding. The lure of a puddle is strong in the desert, but those waters can have unseen dangers:
- Flooding can bring dangerous creatures into the area, including snakes and toads.
- Water in washes can be deceptively low and calm. Undercurrents are possible and can carry away smaller dogs or those that are not strong swimmers.
- Floodwaters carry a lot of debris, including broken glass and sharp metal, which can be hidden by water or buried under the sand in washes.
- Drinking flood water – or any untreated water – can lead to gastrointestinal parasites and infections.
If your pet is injured or becomes ill, be sure to seek veterinary treatment immediately.