Shaking, panting, whining, hiding — have you ever seen your cat or dog do these things during a storm?
It’s not uncommon for pets to become rather terrified when a thunderstorm occurs. After all, for them, it’s a harrowing experience that can’t be explained away. They don’t know why it’s happening, but they definitely do not like it.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do. Follow these steps to help keep your pet calm and reduce their stress during the next Oklahoma storm that passes by.
Close windows and curtains, and stay inside.
You may enjoy watching a storm roll in, but your pet will not. To keep the action as far away as possible, close all doors, windows, and curtains or blinds. Then, turn on a TV program or put on a CD to help muffle the noise of the thunder.
Move to a safe space.
To further minimize the storm, try moving to a more comfortable, interior room of your home. Dogs, especially, will often find comfort in going to a tight, secure place like behind furniture, under the bed, or in a closet. If they are okay and prefer to be there, let them stay, but avoid crating or restricting your pets in any way.
Distract your pet.
Does your pet have a favorite game? Try playing a bit of fetch indoors, or get the treats out for some distracted fun.
Hang out together — a little bit.
Finally, spend time with your pet during a storm instead of leaving them in a separate space by themselves. Just be sure not to fawn over them too much. Cats and dogs are keen observers of body language, and they may get overly rattled if you show too much coddling affection.
Often, pet owners can become just as upset during storms because their pets are upset. Remember that it’s completely natural for animals to get spooked by thunder and lightning. Just be sure to follow the steps above, see what works best for your pet, and know that they will appreciate your attention and care.
If your pet is destructive or is possibly going to injure themselves or other people, then medication may be needed to help calm your pet. In addition, a trainer specializing in pets with behavior issues can help your pet become used to storms. Talk to your veterinarian about medication and training options.