Protecting your pets when severe weather strikes

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Animals are a part of our family and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep them safe; but when the weather turns dangerous, do you know the best steps to take to protect your pets?

Many dogs and cats get anxious during severe weather. Anxiety can cause them to behave abnormally or run away from home. Below you'll find some tips to help ease your pets' stress.

Collar and I.D. Tag
Pet experts recommend all your animals have collars with identity tags attached. A collar alerts rescue crews and neighbors that the animal has a family. It's a good idea to include your name and phone number on the tag so if anyone finds the pet, they can contact you easily.

Microchipping
Most rescue organizations microchip adoptable pets before they find new homes. You can speak with the adoption group about how to update the animal's microchip information. If you are unsure about the status of your pet's microchip, talk to your veterinarian. They can scan the animal for a possible microchip or implant them if the pet doesn't already have one.

"If you move, you want to keep that info current so if anything were to happen, whoever finds your pet--a vet or a shelter--they know who to contact and they get directly to you," explains Ashley Romero, a manager at Pet Supplies Plus in Wichita.

First Aid Kits
Just like their humans, pets also need emergency kits prepared in case of injury. Some things to include are the pet's medications, proof of recent vaccinations, proof of ownership, leashes, gauze and bandages, and treats.

For more information about emergency kits for your animal, visit PetMD.

Anxiety Remedies
Many local pet stores offer products that help ease pets' severe weather anxiety. Experts recommend anxiety treats for dogs; some stores offer dog snacks infused with CBD that helps calm the animal.

"We also have a variety of different treats that will help keep your dog distracted during these types of things, it works as a preventative to make them not think about the storms or keep his mind off of anything going on outside," says Romero.

Other options for dogs include a Thunder Vest or stress collar.

For cats, experts recommend using a diffuser product that releases a calming scent.