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How to prepare your pets for hurricane season

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Whether you have frisky feline, a singing canary, or a cool golden doodle, you need to prepare for hurricane season with your pet in mind.

Cherie Wachter of the Humane Society of Broward says getting ready for storm season means getting your beloved pets ready.

"If you are starting to prepare, each time you go to the grocery store, pick up a few items for your pet," she said. "Make sure to get extra food and if its canned food, make sure to get pop tops. The last thing you want is to evacuate and not have open cans of food."

Wachter also recommends a hurricane preparation kit for your pet. Make sure it has food and water to last two weeks, treats, medication and medical records, a sturdy leash, a litter box, and a pet carrier. Wachter recommends a liner for the pet carrier to keep it clean and dry.

Another tip is to have photos of your pet so it can be identified in the event it gets lost during or after a storm. Having your animal micro-chipped is important, but it's equally important for the animal to have a collar tag with its owner's name and phone number on it.

"A collar with an ID on it is a physical sign of identification," she said. "It tells people that pet has a home."

If the need comes to evacuate, you can find pet friendly shelters in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, but they require registering your pet before a storm hits.

Wachter says hurricane season can be stressful on animals.

"For some pets, like my cat Zorro, nothing phases them," she said. "But for many others, it's very stressful. You may even want to talk to your veterinarian about prescribing something to keep them calm."

Medicating your animal should be a last resort. Preparation is the best way to protect them during storm season.

"Just remember if it's too dangerous for you, it's probably too dangerous for them," Wachter said.

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