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How to Protect Pets During UK Floods

10/02/2014 13:27 GMT | Updated 09/04/2014 10:59 BST

Areas around the UK are being battered by severe floods and bad weather right now and apparently the worst is yet to come. This is disrupting traffic, damaging homes and it will potentially cause a lot of problem for pets. Whilst the weather is bad it's important to consider ways to make things easier for your pets and the pets of other people in your neighbourhood. The RSPCA have even made reports of cats being lifted up and carried off by the wind. Cats and small dogs could easily be carried away by rushing streams caused by flooding. Here are some ways to help provide for and protect pets in your area.

  • Regularly check your cars, garage, outhouses, greenhouses and any outdoor spaces as cats particularly may go in seeking refuge. Check your roof, your attic and anywhere a critter could creep into. If you can provide any high up forms of shelter to keep animals away from rising water levels, please do so.

  • Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification so that, if they go missing or find shelter during the floods, they can be properly identified and returned home safely. Your pet is safest if they have a microchip as well as an identity tag with their name and your phone number and any important medical information that requires attention in your absence.
  • Make sure to stock up on pet food and any necessary medicine.

  • Try to keep cats inside and maybe provide a litter tray as it will be much safer for them to stay inside if the floods in your area are severe.

  • Make sure to always provide clean water in your home to minimise the amount of muddy water in your dog or cat's system if they tend to drink water whilst out and about.

  • For dogs, plan a safe route to walk your dog so you can keep an exercise routine without endangering you both. Make sure that you accompany your dog at all times.

  • If your cats are out make sure to keep an eye out for them if you don't have a cat flap so that, when they return, they can get in immediately.

  • If you have outdoor animals like guinea pigs or rabbits find somewhere inside to keep them. If you put them into a garage then make sure their cage is high up. Ensure any cages and enclosures are water-proof and that you routinely check them to ensure safety.

  • If you do find any animals on your property then contact your local animal shelters and RSPCA branches to find out if any animals have been reported as missing. Keep an eye out for missing pet posters and make authorities and the community aware if you've found a household pet so that it can be appropriately rehomed.

  • If you have horses then make sure to plan a safe evacuation route to get them into their horse carrier and drive down a non flooded road. Also look into temporary paddocks for your pony.

  • If things get bad and you have to leave your home it's best to have pet carriers so you can transport your pets to safety. Make sure to keep updated with the situation and severity in your area. If you have friends who are able to take in your pets for a few days if things get really bad then make sure to prepare in advance.

Keep your pets safe and stay safe yourself.