Dealing With Your Pet’s Thunderstorm Anxiety

It’s no wonder our pets become fearful during thunderstorms. Not only are the loud booms and bright flashes frightening, many pets may be able to sense changes in air pressure, potentially causing further anxiety. Try these tips from a Lafayette, LA veterinarian for the next time a summer storm rolls through.

Safe Zone

Set up a “safe zone” of sorts in a quiet back room or the basement. Include a soft pet bed and several blankets, and bring a few of your pet’s favorite toys. When storms arrive, lead your pet to this area and sit with them until the storm has passed.

Distractions

It’s possible that your pet can be distracted from a storm, especially if they’re a rambunctious puppy or kitten. When you know a storm is coming, begin playing with your pet using toys and treats. Keep this up throughout the entire storm. With luck, your pet will be so intent on the game you’re playing that he or she won’t even notice what’s going on outside!

Desensitization

Desensitization techniques help acclimate your pet to the sounds and feelings associated with a thunderstorm, ultimately getting them used to it so that they’re less frightened when the real thing comes along. One common technique involves playing a recording of a thunderstorm at a low volume, and gradually increasing the volume over time.

Before attempting a desensitization technique on your own, consult your veterinary professional. You don’t want your plan to backfire and result in an even more frightened pet!

Calming Products

Ask your veterinarian to recommend a few great calming products for use before and during summer thunderstorms. This might include something like a thunder jacket, which is a tight-fitting clothing item designed to comfort your pet during storms, or a “calming spray” that utilizes pheromones to keep pets from becoming overly anxious. Products like these can do a great deal to keep your pet stable until a storm has passed.

See Your Vet

If you still can’t seem to get your pet’s thunderstorm anxiety under control, or if you think your pet’s anxiety during storms is severe, it’s time to set up an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can offer further suggestions or put you in touch with a certified animal behaviorist or animal trainer who can help.

Does your pet need veterinary attention? We’re here for you! Call your Lafayette, LA animal hospital today.

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