Does your pet hate storms? Probably…I know mine don’t like them too much.
The problem is that your pets don’t understand what’s going on when they hear a storm. They don’t realise it will pass and they are safe. They just hear loud noises and can often panic or become very anxious.
How To Keep Your Pets Safe During A Storm
What Happens To Pets During A Storm?
Unfortunately if you don’t bring your pets inside the home and take steps to keep them comfortable and calm then they might suffer long term.
If left outside they might run off scared. Rescues report an increase in lost animals when there are storms as they bolt from gardens frightened by the storm. In these cases ID Chips and GPS Tracking can be a life saver.
Often animals can hurt themselves when they panic as a result of the loud noises. This could be as a result of trying to hide on top of, or under, things.
If you don’t bring your pets inside they could get hurt by fallen debris. Trees fall, gates get broken and slates can fall during a storm. All of which could hurt your pets.
If your pet is traumatised by a storm they may develop a long term fear of storms and other loud noises. Taking steps to keep them calm will benefit them in the long term
How To Keep Your Pets Calm During A Storm
#1. Bring Your Pets Inside
Your pets will be a lot safer inside your home during a storm. There are a lot of dangers from flying objects during a storm and the noise alone can cause animals to run scared.
If you can’t bring animals into the home they should be brought into a secure outbuilding or garage.
Don’t forget about small animals such a rabbits. Their cages could get seriously damaged in a storm leaving them exposed to the weather and free to escape. Also larger animals like horses and donkeys should be stabled during a storm.
#2. Create a Comfortable Space For your Pets
We all feel much more relaxed with a comfy space to go to sleep. Don’t we?
So when the storm is coming make sure that your pets have a cosy (and quiet as possible) space that they can relax in.
Certain parts of the house tend to be quieter than others and often your pets will appreciate being close to you during a storm.
#3. Play Games/Give Treats To Distract Them
Animals can be really easily distracted and a few games will certainly distract them from what is going on outside.
Cats love chasing balls and bits of string, where as your dog might prefer an indoor game of fetch.
Treats are always a good way to distract them, although don’t over treat them as they may be reluctant to make extra trips outside to the bathroom!
#4. Play Music/TV To Block The Noise
This trick definitely works for my pets. They love the radio and TV on, and are always much more settled.
However, additional noises may prove stressful for some pets. So make sure you see how they react to this and if you find that the noise is making them worse then turn off the TV/Radio.
Often in these types of situations there is a lot of trial and error to see what works best for your pets.
#5. Bring Them In With You
If you don’t like pets in the bed then this might not be an option.
However, you may find that if the storm is very bad at night your pets won’t settle without being close to you.
This is a personal choice and one which may or may not work for your family.
#6. Consider Desensitization Techniques
Some experts recommend that if your pets are very scared of loud noises that you can start to desensitize them by playing a range of noises to them, increasing the sound, so they get used to them.
During this time you would play games with them etc. to distract them.
The purpose of this technique is to help them get used to loud noises.
#7. Purchase Products To Help
There are lot of products on the market to help with anxiety during storms. The Thundershirt is a popular jacket that people use for dogs and also cats.
There are also other methods to help with anxiety included in this article.
#8. Talk With Your Vet
If you are really concerned about your pets in the run up/after a storm then always contact your vet.
They are best informed to help you with your specific circumstances.