Thunderstorms

How are your pets coping with the thunder and lightening?
Here are some tips on how to help them? 

We’ve had some pretty amazing thunderstorms already this winter and they’re likely to keep on coming.
Some pets will be absolutely fine with the storms and sleep through them; others however can find them VERY frightening!

Here are a few tips that could help you. Remember no two pets are the same; you may have to trial a few different ideas or a combination of things to find out what will help your pet.

  1. Keep them near you: Being around you can help calm your pets, as you will make them feel safe and more secure.
  2. Keep them inside: Being inside reduces the noise from the thunder and if you close any curtains/blinds you also reduce the visibility of the lightening.
  3. Make a den: Having a safe place to go can really help. It offers comfort and can reduce the commotion of the thunderstorm.
  4. Clothing: As strange as it sounds wearing clothes can help relax pets (as long as they like wearing clothes and it’s not going to scare them more!!) There are jackets available that have been specifically designed for pets to wear during high anxiety periods to make them feel calmer.
  5. Noise: Having the radio or TV on helps reduce the impact of the noise from the thunder. Remember that you may need to turn the volume up louder than usual.
  6. Entertainment: Get your pet doing something to take their mind of the storm. If they know any tricks get them practising, or hide treats around the house for them to scent out, or you could even create an indoor obstacle course for them…anything that will distract them from the scariness outside.
  7. Holistic remedies: There are some essential oils available, which are known for helping calm your pet. These can work wonders, but please make sure you are using remedies specific for the species. Essential oils can be toxic if ingested so ensure they are not where you pet or another can reach them.
  8. Training remedies: Talk to a behaviourist or trainer as they may have some exercises to put in place to help desensitise your pet to the thunderstorms. Use positive methods of training, as you don’t want them to associate anything to do with thunderstorms in an even more negative way.
  9. Medical remedies: If you are seriously concerned about your pet hurting themselves during thunderstorms then talk to your vet about possible prescription medication to help them.

These tips can help your pets be more comfortable during a thunderstorm, remember to be realistic: the idea is that your pet will be able to cope with the thunderstorm NOT to suddenly be happy that there’s a thunderstorm. What may work one storm may not work the rest so be prepared to try a couple. These tips can also be used to help your pets during fireworks too.

dogstormlow

For further information or advice you can contact Laura on 0508 PET FIRST or laura@petfat.co.nz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *