Thunderstorms can be a huge source of anxiety for pets. Loud booms from nowhere, gusting winds, even changes in the barometric pressure can set even the most laid-back dog on edge. Here are some things you can do to decrease the stress of storms on your animal:
- Create a “safe” spot for your pet. A readily accessible area where doors and windows can be closed to limit exposure to stimuli is ideal. A source of white noise often can help lessen anxiety as well. An interior bathroom with the ventilation fan running is often a good solution.
- Distract! Make thunderstorms a fun time by engaging in play or practicing your obedience training.
- Pharmacological intervention may be necessary. For very nervous pets anti-anxiety medications or sedatives may need to be prescribed by your vet. For milder cases something like a pheromone collar or outlet plug-in may do the trick.
- Behavioral therapy. Your vet can help you through some exercises to acclimate your pet to storms, such as gradually introducing the sound of thunder in a positive environment. In extreme cases, consultation with a veterinary behaviorist may be necessary.
So have no fear! You are now prepared whatever the weather may be!