Hopefully you have a plan in place on how to protect yourself and your pets should you need to evacuate or shelter in place during hurricanes or other major disasters, but what about during normal storms that come and go? Many dogs and even cats get anxious during thunderstorms and can act out of character. Knowing how to help your pet stay safe and calm can ease these situations.
Create a safe space.
If your pet usually spends time outdoors, bring them inside. Make sure they have a comfortable area to retreat to with their bed or some favorite blankets and toys. Some dogs prefer to go into their crate, so give them this option if it’s where they feel safest, just leave the door open. Don’t try to force them to come out of hiding if they scurry under a bed or behind the couch. Moving to an indoor part of the house away from windows and exterior walls can also help create a quieter space.
Keep calm and carry on.
The more anxious you act, the more anxious your pet will become. They can sense the change in your emotions, so keep yourself calm. Go about doing things as you normally would. While you can give your pet a little extra love, don’t make a big deal out of showering them with affection because it can make them more alert that something isn’t quite right.
If they’re frightened by the sound of thunder or pounding rain, try to take their attention off of it. Put on some music or a movie, or turn on a fan to drown out the noise of the storm or at least dampen it a bit. Keep your pet’s attention on something else by playing with a ball or rope, giving them a treat toy, or just sitting together giving them a good brushing, belly rub, or stroke of the head. Physical closeness can help some pets feel more secure while others prefer to go off on their own.
Talk to your veterinarian.
If your pet becomes an anxious, restless ball of fur during storms, you may want to talk to your veterinarian. They may recommend resources such as a Thundershirt or provide a prescription for medication to help your pet calm down. Discuss what may be the best option based on your pet’s health, age, personality, and disposition.
Board your pet.
Are you planning a trip out of town? Instead of leaving your pet home alone and having someone stop in periodically to check on them, considering boarding them. Pop-up storms are common, especially during the spring and summer, so you don’t want your pet to be caught off guard and find themselves alone.
At Lake Wylie Pet Resort, they’ll have a comfortable space where they can relax, they’ll be surrounded by other animals, and staff is on hand to comfort and care for them. You can rest assured that they’ll be safe and not sitting home by themselves in the dark and quiet if the power goes out. Contact us to schedule your pet’s stay!