Did you know pets are afraid of thunderstorms just like you? You are probably a very brave and strong person, but even the bravest of kids can sometimes be scared during a thunderstorm. There is nothing wrong with being afraid of all that crazy booming and banging, it can be scary! And then when you add some bright cracks of lightening? Well we all kind of wish we could run and hide under our beds, right? Guess what? Your pet is afraid too and wants to join you.
Just imagine how your pets feel when bad weather comes to your neighborhood. They do not understand why the sky is being so loud all of a sudden. And they must think that the sky is falling when it hails and lightening strikes hit near by!
Many pets can sense when a storm is coming. Sometimes they even know an hour or more before it arrives! Because they are close to the ground and because they have super-dooper hearing, your dog and cat can feel that a change is in the air.
You might notice your pet suddenly pacing back and forth or whimpering a little bit for no reason. Your cat may call to be let back in the house earlier than he normally would. Pay attention and try to be ready to help your pets feel safe and calm through the storm.
When thunder rolls in the skies above your house it can be a good idea to let your dog cuddle next to you if that gives her comfort. Try not to act too scared yourself or that will make it worse for your pet. Just tell your dog or cat that everything is Ok and they are safe inside the house with you.
There are also special pet coats you can buy that can make your buddy feel snug and happy. Another way to help your pet is by having practice storms, using a recording of thunder. Play the thunder sounds and give your pet a special treat so they will think of the booming sounds as a good thing. Time for a “thunder treat!” Sometimes just turning your music up loud to mask the outdoor sounds can be helpful.
Do not scold your dog for barking at the bad weather. It is fear that is making him bark. He does not understand what is happening. So the best plan is to distract him from the thunder in any way that works best for your pet. Some dogs feels safe and happy in their crates. This is a good place to send them in a storm, if they like their crate. Outside dogs often run away during a bad storm, so try to get them into a safe and dry place when you know a storm is on the way.
Thunder and lightening happens every year in some states, so it is a good idea to know what to do to help your pet. (This is being written while a thunderstorm is happening and Layla is cuddled up right next to me!) Susie Klein and Layla
Susie is a freelance writer who has always had a dog as part of her family since childhood. Her current writing partner is Layla, a mixed breed Labrador and Cocker Spaniel. http://susieklein.wordpress.com/
Based in Phoenix AZ., animal lover Kelly Preston is an award winning author of Real Dogs Don’t Whisper, a book in which she talks about her experiences and adventures with her special needs dogs and the life lessons they have taught – how she has learned and grown from them and they have learned and grown from her. Preston also produces Mr.MaGoo’s Corner, a free monthly dog-focused newsletter that features a reader of the month, birthday announcements, green pet tips, organic dog recipes and more.