How Flooding Can Affect Your Pets

February 11, 2021

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Flooding in and around the home can affect all your family members, and that includes the four-legged ones. Pets can be at risk during and after a flooding event, with challenges ranging from contaminated water to mold spores to drowning risk. Below are some tips to keep your pets safe during and after a flood.

Whether it's a minor flood in your basement, or major flood in your yard, standing water can pose risks to your pet. Small dogs and cats can be at risk for drowning in just a few inches of water. Plus long exposure in standing water can harm your pet’s skin, especially on their feet and between their toes. Standing water can also be contaminated with chemicals from paint, carpet, and other materials, as well as sewage and bacteria. Some pets may be tempted to drink the water, especially if they are outdoors. This can be very harmful to your pet’s health, leading to things like heartworm or Leptospirosis.

Try to keep your pets out of flood water. If they are small enough to carry, keep them in your arms or a carrier. If they are bigger, find dry platforms (like a deck) for them to stay out of the wet. If the water damage is in your home’s basement, keep your pet upstairs or in a covered space like a garage to keep them out of the water until professionals arrive to clean it up. Make sure they have fresh, clean water to drink to keep them away from the contaminated liquid.

Pets can be effected by a flooding event even after the water has receded. Some pets may experience stress or trauma depending on how much the flooding affected their routine. If your pet is visibly shaking, licking, or displaying other signs of stress, increased exercise and play can help alleviate some of their trauma-based anxiety. If the problem persists, talk to your vet. 

Floodwaters outside the home can wash away scent markers your pets may use to navigate the outdoors. Keep your pet on a leash or if they’re chipped, keep the information up to date. You don’t want your furry friend running off and getting lost in potentially still flooded areas.

It’s not just outdoor flooding that can cause issues for your pet after a flood event. Interior water damage can cause a multitude of health issues if not cleaned up properly. Mold spores can be a major problem to your pet. If you notice your pets scratching, exhibiting extreme lethargy, wheezing or coughing, or disruption in regular eating habits, your pet may be suffering the long-term effects of black mold exposure. Contact your vet right away if you see these symptoms.

Flooding can be a major issue to your four-legged family members. Whether indoors or out, following the tips above should help keep your pets safe. Another way to keep them (and the rest of your family) safe is with DriBot. DriBot is an advanced sump pump system designed to help prevent the common reasons homes flood. Want to learn how? Visit