Every pet parent knows that when a storm is coming, it could spell disaster—not just for your lawn furniture, but your pets, too! Many pets are more sensitive to the changes in the weather than we are, and they don’t always understand that those loud booms and flashes of light can’t hurt them when they’re safely inside. While we can try to keep them calm, often our soothing words fall on deaf ears. Luckily, we have some advice on ways you can prepare for the storm and suffer minimal pet breakdowns!
Keeping Calm When Seeking Shelter
As with so many things, preparation is key. The more familiar your pet is with your severe weather plan, the more likely they are to follow with no hesitation. If you need to take shelter, or even evacuate, make sure your pet has an idea of where you’re going and what they need to do. Take them through the drill a number of times so they know where you typically take shelter in your home—and don’t forget a few treats to help them along! Do the same thing with your evacuation plan. Maybe your pet needs to get used to a carrier or crate, or simply getting in the car quickly with the rest of your family. In both situations, it is of paramount importance that you remain calm. Use a soothing tone of voice and gentle movements to help your pet maintain their composure, too.
Sticking it Out Through the Storm
If you do stay at home during severe weather, you may need to be prepared to calm a terrified pet—both during the storm, and even after. Sometimes harsh storms can be loud with thunder and howling winds that traumatize a sensitive pet for days after the fact. To help your pet cope, consider these tips for sticking it out through the storm:
– Stay calm. Your pets often look to you to indicate whether or not they’re in danger.
– Even if you don’t need to seek shelter, make sure any sensitive pets are kept in an area away from windows so they aren’t spooked by lighting.
– Administer noise aversion or anxiety medication to pets who have a particularly hard time coping with storm.
– Bring your pet inside well before any storm hits. As they sense the change in weather, pets can become frightened and try to bolt.
– Keep updated ID information on your pet’s collar at all times, so if they do bolt, they are more likely to find their way back to you.
– Be patient with them after the storm. It could take them awhile to readjust. Their behavior may change considerably, so simply give them time and all the love they need!
Want more tips on pet safety during severe weather? Ask us about it at your next appointment or give us a call at (732) 671-3110!