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Ask Modernistic: Pet Safety Tips for Flooded Basements

Posted Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

If my basement floods, is my pet safe?

Dear Modernistic,

My dogs love being in the basement. Ever since they were puppies and were kept down there during potty training, they prefer to eat, sleep, and play down there most of the time. One thing I worry about is how safe it is for them to be down there in the event of a flood. Sometimes the drain backs up and parts of the basement get wet. It hasn’t gotten too bad yet, but with as wet as the weather has been lately, I just don’t know. Are there any pet safety tips for flooded basements?

Sincerely Worried,

Debbie L.

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Dear Debbie,

One thing we really care about at Modernistic is family, and some of the most adorable and vulnerable members of our families are our pets. Making sure your home is scoring high on the pet safety meter can be a full-time job, so let’s help set your mind at ease with these crucial pet safety tips for flooded basements:

1. Keep your pets away from the drain!

Even with common drain backups that may only result in a small amount of water, there are still things you can do to protect your dogs, cats, and other pets. Let’s say for instance you had a light rain, or your washer backed up and you have some dirty water sitting around the drain. Yes, this isn’t a serious flood situation, but even in this scenario, you may want to attach a small steel cage cover or barrier that extends at least a foot around the drain. This will help prevent your pets from drinking any contaminated water that could get them very sick.

2. Make sure they aren’t locked in!

If you are in the situation every homeowner dreads and your basement is fully flooded, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to keep your pets from drinking the water. What you can do though is take some precautions to make sure they aren’t stuck treading water.

One surefire way to make sure your pets aren’t forced to swim for their life is to make sure they have an exit plan. Now, more than likely your basement has stairs, but not all basements have landings on that stairway. If your stairway to the basement does not have a safe space for your dogs to rest on a landing above the flood waters, then make sure to leave the basement door ajar. This is a huge pet safety tip. If your dogs like to get into stuff and show their unruly side in the rest of the house, then we recommend some sort of pet door or gate to keep them out of the rest of the house, while still allowing them to escape the basement in times of emergency.

3. Elevate food and water!

The easiest way to prevent your dogs from trying to drink any contaminated flood water or eat any random floating objects is to make sure their food and water are safe.  A flooded basement can bring up all kinds of nasty things you don’t want your dogs (or anything else) to be eating; things like half-used paint cans, unsecured flammable liquids, dead rodents, and any number of things your imagination can come up with. It’s a good idea to put your pets’ food and water in a safe, high place away from the rising floodwater. Places like the top of the stairs, or a landing if you have one, are perfect.

4. Keep them out of the basement!

…if you can, anyway! If your basement is prone to flooding or you live in a high-risk area, it might be wise to keep them upstairs at all times, just to be safe. In our 40+ years of restoring homes after water damage, we know one thing for absolute certain: You never know when a flood might happen!

If you can follow some of these pet safety tips for flooded basements, your dogs will be just fine. One great thing about technology today is that there are all kinds of in-home cameras you can install to keep an eye on your little furry babies when your away from home too. We hope this helps Debbie!

Sincerely,

The Modernistic Mitigation Team

We love our pets here at Modernistic, and we want to help keep yours safe too. Contact us 24/7/365 for all your emergency water damage and flooding needs!

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