Controlling Your Pet’s Thunderstorm Anxiety
posted: May 22, 2018.
Summer is in full swing, and that means thunderstorms are on their way. If your pet is like many, he’s not incredibly fond of the loud booms and brilliant flashes that accompany summer storms! It’s possible that pets can also detect changes in air pressure and static electricity, only deepening their anxiety. Read on as your Pickerington, OH veterinarian gives you a few tips for keeping your pet calm.
It’s possible that a simple distraction can work to drag your pet’s attention away from the commotion outside. This is especially likely for young puppies or kittens. Try playing a game of fetch or tug-of-war when you notice a storm rolling in. You can also romp around on the floor with a favorite toy. If you’re lucky, your pet will be so engrossed that he won’t even notice what’s going on outdoors!
Create a “safe zone” of sorts for your pet in a quiet basement room. Include a pet bed, a soft blanket, and a few of your pet’s favorite toys. When a storm approaches, lead your pet to this area and stay with him until the storm has passed. For many pets, this companionship and comfort is all that’s needed to get through bad weather!
There are “thunder jackets” and other clothing items available for both dogs and cats; these are designed to wrap snugly around your pet to give them a feeling of security and comfort. Calming sprays and other items might also help. Ask your veterinarian to recommend calming products that they think may help your pet with thunderstorm anxiety.
Consult the Professionals
If the above methods don’t work to calm your pet’s anxiety, you might need to seek the help of a professional. Talk to your veterinarian or ask them to put you in touch with a certified animal behaviorist or an animal trainer. Techniques like desensitization may be needed; this often involves playing a recording of a thunderstorm at a low volume, then increasing the volume over a period of time to get your pet acclimated to the sound. For more serious cases, anxiety medication may be prescribed to keep your pet calm before, during, and after storms.
Would you like more information on thunderstorm anxiety and your pet? Need help controlling your pet’s nervousness? We are here to help! Set up an appointment today at your Pickerington, OH animal clinic.