Summer is the season for trips to beach, holidays, travelling and fun in the sun weather – and thunderstorms! Storms can present a real challenge for our furry friends who are scared of loud noises. If your pet is afraid of storms, check out these simple ways to keep them calm when the thunder rolls.
- Give them a safe space: Ensure they have a room or kennel inside with their favorite toys to try and distract them during the storm. Ensure the room or kennel contains their favorite blanket, toys or a cozy towel that provides familiar smells and is comfortable. If possible, keep them company during the storm by playing with them, keeping them engaged with their favorite toys or provide comfort (and snuggles!). This can help make the time seem to pass more quickly. If your dog typically stays outside, create a place for them inside that will keep them safe and dry and make sure their microchip details are up to date in case they run away during the storm.
- Provide distractions: Try playing calming music during the storm to help drown out the noise. Some pets also enjoy watching TV – many cable packages now include pet TV channels!
- Limit visuals: Keep windows and shades closed to help block the noise as much as possible. This can help limit the visualisation of the dark sky that looms in the distance or any lightning that may occur with the storm. Decreasing any sensory input (visual, auditory or otherwise) may help lessen the level of your pet’s anxiety in that situation.
- Keep yourself calm: Your pet has an acute sense for your emotions and knows when you’re nervous or afraid. Try to remain calm and keep your actions as even-keeled as possible.
- Try a calming supplement: Start your pet on a natural calming supplement in advance of the storm to assist them in better coping with their fear. If you live in an area where storms can be frequent and unpredictable, look for a supplement that is ok for both short-term and long-term use, such as Zylkene. Before starting a new supplement or medication, always ask your veterinarian for advice.
Important! Many pets go missing during thunderstorms. Ensure your pet is microchipped and the details are current. Always try to keep your pet inside if you are worried about the weather changing. Taking a few simple steps to make thunderstorm season easier on your pet can make a world of difference. If you need additional tips on how to help your pet make it through a trying time, reach out to your local veterinarian.