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Tips to protect your pet after a flood

protecting pet after flood

Natural disasters can have a big impact on our pets but there are steps you can take to protect them and prepare for the future.

The recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales have had a devastating effect on communities across eastern Australia.

Pet owners should pay close attention to their furry friend's health after a natural disaster. Like humans, they're likely to have been affected both mentally and physically by the recent events.

"This flood crisis has been devastating for both people and animals – exacerbated by the government's slow response," said Ben Pearson, Country Director at World Animal Protection.

"We also know that climate change means natural disasters like this will become more frequent and more intense, meaning animal suffering will increase. They cannot be dismissed as collateral damage."

Tips to protect your pet after a flood

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Avoid potentially contaminated water sources.

Keep your pet away from floodwaters, ponds and puddles after a flood. They may contain water-borne diseases such as leptospirosis, E. coli and salmonella.

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Throw out pet food that has gotten wet.

This can be a health hazard and isn't safe to eat anymore.

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Clear hazards before returning home with your pet.

Before moving your pet back in, check your home for any debris and hazards. Don't let your pet explore – there's a risk they'll get cut or suffer a more serious laceration. If they do get injured, take them to a vet. If you have pet insurance, you should be covered for most of the costs.

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Create a familiar environment for your pet.

If your pet has gone through a distressing time, particularly if you've had to evacuate, do your best to create a calming environment. Keep them away from loud noises and give them their favourite toys and blankets.

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Keep a close eye on your pet for stress-related symptoms.

It's common for pets to become more anxious and stressed after a major event or dramatic change like a flood. If you have any concerns, contact your local vet.

Tips for protecting pets for future natural disasters

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Restock your disaster planning kit.

It's important you do this after a natural disaster. Make sure you have everything you need in your first-aid kit again, including sanitation supplies and restock emergency food. You may also need:

  • A portable pet carrier
  • A cardboard box with sufficient air holes and secure lid (for small animals only)
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Make sure your pet's ID is up-to-date.

If you've changed your address or your pet's name tags are damaged following the disaster, you'll need to update their microchip and name tags.

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Make a plan for your pets.

States such as New South Wales and Queensland have resources to help you prepare for a natural disaster. This includes a step-by-step guide on what to do during an emergency.

More resources

Wildlife helplines

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