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Is Your Pet Scared of Thunderstorms?

August 15, 2014

Does your pet become frightened when the rumbles and flashes of a thunderstorm pass over your home? Thunderstorm anxiety is a widely-recognized behavioral issue in many pets. Use these tips from a Fort Collins vet to help soothe your pet during the next summer storm.

Provide a Safe Haven

Many pets will feel a lot more comfortable if they have a space to go to during a storm where they feel safe. Set up a “safe haven” in a basement room or back bedroom. Lay down a pet bed and outfit it with warm blankets. Lead your pet to this safe zone when the storm comes, and remain with them for support. Oftentimes, riding out the storm here will be all that a pet needs!

Distract Your Pet

Some pets can be distracted by the clamor outside. Play games with your pet when a storm’s coming, using toys and treats. With any luck, she’ll be so enthralled by these activities that she won’t notice what’s happening outdoors. Another tip is using background noise. Playing music or turning on a TV show can help a pet forget about the thunderclaps they’re hearing.

Desensitize Your Pet

Try playing a recording of a thunderstorm through your living room stereo or television. Keep the volume low at first, then gradually increase it over time. If your pet hears these noises at a low volume and realizes she’s not in any danger, she may be used to it by the time a real storm passes over. Consult your vet for more help on using this desensitization technique.

See a Vet

If you still need help, set up an appointment with your Fort Collins veterinary professional. Pets with severe anxiety may be helped by medications, professional training, or the guidance of an animal behaviorist. Your vet can put you in touch with someone who can help your pet becoming calmer during storms, so don’t hesitate to call!

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