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Keeping Your Pets Comfortable During a Storm

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Dog staring at lightning through a window. Keeping your dog relaxed will make them appreciate you that much more.

Pets don't understand storms like we do.  While we understand that it will pass, pets only hear the loud noises and instantly become anxious.  There are a few things that you, as an owner, can do to make your pet more comfortable.

How To Keep Your Pets Comfortable During a Storm

  • Provide them with a safe space.  Dogs especially, tend to feel more comfortable when in a small, interior room with few windows.  This may be a bathroom, laundry room, or closet.  Try throwing a familiar blanket, pillow, or toy in there with them as a source of comfort.
  • Minimize the storm.  Closing your windows and blinds will muffle noise and reduce the appearance of lightning strikes.  Turning on the TV or a radio will also limit the noise from the storm, potentially making your pet more comfortable.
  • Distractions, distractions, distractions.  Did your sibling ever hit you and then immediately start trying to make you smile to distract you from the pain before your parents get involved?  Well this approach is a little different, but has a similar solution.  Distracting your pet by playing a game, working on training, or grooming has been shown to ease their nerves by occupying their mind with more exciting events.
  • Keep your pet company.  Sit with your pet and offer them company, but not if you're anxious too.  If the storm is bad enough to cause yourself anxiety as well, do your best to keep yourself calm before approaching your pet.  Animals are great at reading body language which means that if they sense the slightest amount of nerves from you, it will only make theirs worse.
  • Never leave them outside.  Desensitizing your pet by leaving them outside during a storm may sometimes seem like a good plan, however, a nervous animal may do everything in its power to escape to find shelter.  This could include jumping the fence, digging a hole, opening the gate, or if the storm knocks down the fence, your pet might just walk right out.  Being loose in a storm is the last thing that you want for your pets safety.  Make sure dogs and cats are in a safe shelter, horses and other large animals are stalled, and rabbits, birds, or other animals that are generally in a cage have been placed in an enclosed area in case the cage gets damaged.
  • Try different products.  There are things such as calming supplements that can help ease your pets nerves but there are also some other things that are made specifically for certain animals in certain situations.  For example, there is a coat that can be wrapped around your dog that almost acts as a swaddle to encourage relaxation.

Sources: barkmart.com

             petsittersireland.com

As you can see, there are multiple ways to keep your pet relaxed during a storm.  Next time you experience heavy rain, hail, or thunderstorms, test out a few of these methods.  You might be surprised.

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