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Monday, October 29, 2018

How to Clean-up your Pet After a Hurricane

Hurricanes leave behind scenes of disaster and devastation. The cleanup effort after a natural disaster is a massive process, depending on the damage done by the storm it can take months, even years to clean up. During such devastating times it is very important not to forget about your pets. Just like the rest of their surroundings they also need to get cleaned up after a hurricane. Going through a hurricane is a very traumatic experience and the thought of having to figure out how to clean up your pet can seem very daunting at that point in time.

Let’s look at some basic tips that will help pet owners clean up their pets easy and effectively after a hurricane.

A.Higgins Photo
2 poodles groomed

Vaccinate your pet
Stagnant water left behind after flooding from a hurricane is a breeding ground for bacteria. Dogs in particular come in contact with wet soil when flooding occurs. Leptospirosis is a bacteria that lives in such wet areas, Not only is your dog at risk of getting infected by the bacteria, but the dog’s owners are also at risk since the bacteria can be transferred to them from their pet.

Puppies get vaccinated against leptospirosis, but in order to guarantee protection it is recommended to get your dog vaccinated against it annually. It is especially recommended if you live in areas that are prone to hurricanes and flooding.  

Give your pet a good scrub

Emma Bulldog photo by A. Higgins

Angela G. Clendenin, Ph.D., M.A., is an Instructional Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Public Health Department of Texas A&M University. She suggests that the first thing pet owners should do after a hurricane is to decontaminate their pet

Pet owners might think that veterinary products are needed for this, but in reality Dawn dish washing soap is the best product to bath your pet with post hurricane. Dawn breaks down the chemical components on your pet’s fur and skin leaving them clean and decontaminated.

Protect your pet against parasites

Standing water from flooding attracts mosquitoes and other insects. It is important to protect your pet against these insects. Mosquitoes carry diseases such as West Nile Disease and Heartworm which can be very costly to treat. Ensure that your pets get treated against parasites, and try to keep them indoors away from standing water after flooding has occurred.

Max Bulldog photo by A.Higgins

Keep your pet’s fur clean post hurricane

A deshedding tool is a must have item for pet owners in areas that are prone to hurricanes. Pets and dogs in particular with long fur that get exposed to mud etc. from flooding will need to have their fur cleaned properly. Must pet owners will be used to using a deshedding pet shampoo but actually a deshedding brush might be more appropriate in some scenarios. Not only will a deshedding tool get rid of tangled fur, it will also clean out their coats to protect them from diseases post hurricane.

Pet owners have a responsibility towards their pets, and during a natural disaster these animals need all the help that they can get in order to secure their safety. Cleaning up your pet after a hurricane is a must in order to protect them and yourself from diseases.

Thank you to Jenny for the great information!

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