by PetAlive on June 2nd, 2012 at 7:00 am
In the summer months, it’s pretty common that there will be more thunderstorms than normal due to the rapidly rising warm, moist air. For some of us, an afternoon thunderstorm is the norm and we don’t worry too much about what we should do with Fido or Fluffy. However, for times when the weather will be really bad, you need to have a plan in place for your pets.
To humans, thunderstorms are very common occurrence and not a cause for concern; however, your pet may be afraid of the “boom” thunder makes. It is important for your pet to feel safe during these times, and a great suggestion is to make a safe haven for your pet. Safe havens can be anywhere that is cozy and warm. Cats sometimes like to get under the bed, or hide under furniture. Dogs are sometimes more keen to hang around their owner. Whether your pet is by your side or somewhere else, make sure they know you are not scared. Talk in a gentle manner as if everything is alright. Remember, our pets feed off of our emotions.
Just as you would make a plan for yourself during a highly anticipated storm, you should make one for your pet, as well. Along with creating a comfortable spot for your fur-kid, you may want to put on some background music or have the television on. Distractions are important for easily scared cats and dogs. If the storm starts to get more intense, you too may want to relocate into a more secure part of the house. Calmly reposition yourself and your pet into your safe place. Don’t forget to bring the treats for yourself and your pet! Reassuring with a treat is a great reinforcement tool that shows your pet everything is fine- just make sure your pet doesn’t get an upset stomach due to the nervousness they may feel.
Lastly, what if a storm strikes while you are away from your house? Take some time to get to know your neighbors and tell them that you would like them to be your pet’s safety-sitter while you are at work or at another engagement. Some owners like to know that their pet is safe at someone else’s home, while others would rather the pet be left in their familiar surroundings but checked on and put in their safe place. Alternatively, you could have your neighbor stay at your house, as long as he/she isn’t neglecting his or her own storm responsibilities.
In conclusion, remember that pets are like children and sometimes can’t tell you when they are afraid, so it is good to know the signs to recognize when your pet is anxious, nervous or upset. To see all symptoms of pet anxiety, check out anxiety in pets.