Natural phenomena such as a cyclone can be pretty harsh on humans so you can only imagine how it would be on animals. As the Cyclone Nisarga approaches us, here are some bits of advice with which you can protect your pet or a stray from the forces of nature.
How to create the right atmosphere for pets?
1.Areas of the house such as balconies and terraces should be out of bounds. Do not take your pet outside for walks or not even to do their business. Staying indoors at all times should be your topmost priority.
2.Make sure that your pet is in a quiet room with all the doors and windows shut.
3.Make sure all your pets are wearing an identification tag with your phone number on it so that it will be easier to locate if they get lost.
4.Keep all your medicines and a supply of pet food and water inside watertight containers along with other necessary emergency supplies.
5.If you have to evacuate, refrain from leaving your pet behind or tied up. Take them with you in a carrier or a leash.
6.Have a first aid kit in a high place so that in a scenario where water enters the house, the kit won’t move from its place. Make sure it is clearly labeled and easy to handle along with every member of the family knowing where it is kept.
7.Keep your vet’s phone number handy and in clear sight for anyone to spot in case of any emergency.
How to support your pet during a cyclone/storm?
1.Play some soothing music to counter the noise of the storm or start the TV to distract your pet from what's going on outside.
2.If your pet wants to go and hide in some other place during the storm then let them do so and make sure that the part of the house where they’re hiding is as soundproof as possible.
3.Do not force your pets to watch what's going on outside in the effort to reduce their fears as it may worsen their behaviour and possibly make them more difficult to care for.
4.Be there for your pet to keep them company during such times cause it can drastically help. However, some animals prefer to be left alone when frightened so you should do what your pet is more comfortable with.
How to reach out to strays and help them?
1.Please provide shelter to strays in your home or in the building. They could be stray dogs, cats, cows or even birds who are looking for a warm spot.
2.If you have a few unused cardboard boxes, spread a blanket in them and let those pups or strays reside in them.
3.Keep a bowl of fresh water and food (could be rice and curd mixed or even some extra dog food that you may have). Biscuits are fine too.
4.If you happen to come across a stray who is injured, please reach out to an NGO or a Pet Support helpline.
These few steps can not only help them stay more comfortable during the cyclone but can also save lives. To all the pet parents in Mumbai and other areas where the cyclone will be intense, stay safe and stay strong. We will get through this together. Remember, the smallest of helping hands can make a huge difference!