Tips for Storm Stressed Pets

Dog under bed during storm.Thunderstorms, hurricanes, windstorms and tornados are not always predictable, making storm phobia a particularly difficult fear to treat in pets, and for owners whose pets exhibit these fears, it can be equally distressing. Not only do the pets show signs of nervousness (pacing, panting, chewing and drooling), they will also display behavioral signs (hiding, owner seeking, trembling, vocalizing, trying to escape and destruction), which can be even more upsetting, and even dangerous. For example, phobic dogs have been known to break through screen doors or windows in an attempt to escape, causing serious injury to themselves.

Here are are a few tips to keep your pet calm and safe during storms:

  1. Leave your pets at home and indoors. Most pets are afraid of storms and may try to run away.
  2. Close all doors and windows and put on background music to muffle the sound.
  3. Close curtains and blinds to block the lightening.
  4. Be sure that your pets are wearing identifications tags or have microchips in case they do run away
  5. Try to distract your pet with toys and games, or play with another pet that does not share the fear.
  6. If you have time, desensitization techniques with appropriate sounds CD's, such as thunder, fireworks, train, sirens, etc. may help pets get used to the sounds at a lower volume. When they become more comfortable, gradually increase the volume.
  7. If these suggestions do not help, give us a call and we'll help you decide upon behavior drugs for sedation or decreasing anxiety.