Mother Nature is grand, but can also be overwhelming. The recent floods have proven just that. It always impresses me, though, that whenever tragedy hits, people come together. As difficult as a situation may be, it’s nice to see such a strong sense of community; people helping each other out and lending a hand, often to complete strangers. Having to leave your home in such a situation can be devastating and stressful to say the least. At least we can understand what’s going on and rationalise the need for our actions. We cannot explain what is happening to our pets, however, and that can certainly affect their well-being. If you have to leave your home with your pets, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
– Never leave your pets unattended
– Make sure to take with you any medication they may require as well as some food and a couple of familiar toys if possible
– Make sure your pets have their collars and appropriate ID tags on them
– Whenever possible place cats and small dogs in transport cages to avoid them getting scared and running away
– Don’t let you pets drink the flooded water, it may be contaminated
– When you do have the go-ahead to return home, make sure to check the house for any debris that could potentially cause injury
– Check their vaccine records and latest parasite protection: water and humidity can cause diseases like leptospirosis which can become a significant problem, as can intestinal parasites and fleas
– All this change in environment can be very stressful for your pet, particularly older pets, and especially cats. Some cats will even refuse to eat and hide when their routine has been changed and this could lead to further health issues. If possible, leave them with a family member or a trusted friend until things are more or less back to normal
– Many veterinary clinics in and around Montreal have offered to house pets during this crisis, you can look up the list at www.amvq.quebec
– If at any point you are worried or concerned about your pets’ health or well-being during this crisis, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.
To everybody affected by the floods, stay strong, be safe and take care of yourselves.