Keeping Your Pet Calm During Summer Storms

Pets are like family, and it can be hard to watch them suffer when they’re not feeling well. The things that scare us could make our pets feel sick or uncomfortable.

Summer storms are one time of the year when we get to share this fear with them. Brilliant flashes of lightning, loud booming thunderclaps, and terrifying shadows are known to terrify both us and our pets.

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Suppose you are a new fur parent; it might be difficult for you to distinguish if your pet is anxious. I have identified some signs and symptoms of anxious dogs and cats.

Signs and Symptoms of an Anxious Dog and Cats

When a cat has anxiety, he may become withdrawn and hide at the bottom of his cat tree. He may also stop playing or start acting aggressively. You may notice that he eats less or if he’s not a big eater, his appetite may decrease as well. He may even stop using his litter box and instead begin to scratch, lick and bite himself.

On the other hand, here are common signs on how to tell if your is anxious:

  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness

Preparing for your pets is always a good idea in an unexpected event, particularly if the environment has already stressed them out. Being an animal owner, you’ll want to get the best possible outcome in calming your pet down.

So, I have gathered a list of a few ways to keep my pet calm during a summer storm.

8 Ways to Keep Your Pet Calm During Summer Storms

Storm anxiety can manifest itself in several ways: from a cat who won’t move to one who’s frozen on the floor and a dog who is shaking or drooling. In any case, it’s essential to be prepared to help your pet through this terrifying experience.

If your pet experiences anxiety when it hears loud noises or experiences bright flashes of lightning, you can consider the following eight ways how you can help ease its fears during those scary summer storms.

#1. Provide a safe space for your pets.

Pets can still experience some anxiety even when sheltered during storms. So, it is an excellent idea to set a designated area up for your pets to be safe and secure during the storm.

For some crate-trained dogs, it is one of the areas in your house where they feel safe and comfortable. Add a blanket and put their favorite toy to make it more comfortable.

If you don’t have a crate in your house, find a spot in the corner of your home where you can put a comfy bed. Let them hide there for a bit to ease their anxiety.

#2. Don’t panic! Act like it’s just any other ordinary day.

The best way to handle a storm is to keep calm and remember that pets often sense your emotions. It’s important not to overreact to a storm, even if your pet becomes anxious. 

If you act overly concerned, your pup may perceive that as unnatural and become even more nervous. Still, give your pets positive attention, but act normally and continue with whatever you’re doing.

#3. Play a calming music

Studies have shown that dogs at animal shelters quiet down when they hear classical music to lower their stress levels, with lower barking and cortisol levels. So, before a thunderstorm gets underway, start playing some soft and soothing music. It would act as some distraction from the noises brought by the storm.

#4. Try to interact with them by playing a game.

Another distraction technique that can keep your pet’s mind off their anxiety is playing a game. Pets love the attention, and it will take their minds off whatever makes them afraid.

Also, pets can sense when their owners are worried, so playing games like fetch or rolling a ball back and forth will help keep their minds off their anxiety.

#5. Give your pet some treat to chew on.

When dogs are frightened, they sometimes try to calm themselves by chewing on objects. One way you can counter this is to offer your pet an appropriate chew toy! Give your dog a toy to chew on (especially one that’s difficult to destroy, like a Nylabone) so that they won’t bite the furniture.

#6. Counter condition and desensitize your pet to the sound of thunder.

Two techniques can be used to change your pet’s reaction when there is a storm. First is counterconditioning, which means you reward your pet for behaving differently after hearing a sound of thunder when it typically would cause fear or anxiety. 

The second is desensitization or exposing your pet to the sound of thunder. You can play it softly and increase the volume over time until your pet stops reacting and exhibits no more fear or anxiety.

#7. Try a ThunderShirt and ThunderEase.

When you try to research online how to keep your pets calm during a storm, you’ll see different kinds of products. Among those are ThunderShirt and ThunderEase, it is said to be recommended by vets and have helped millions of dogs and cats during thunderstorms, fireworks, or when they experience separation anxiety.

Here’s what you need to know about the two:

  • ThunderShirt, like an infant’s swaddle, helps them feel calm and sleep by applying gentle and constant pressure to your cat’s or dog’s torso. It released a calming hormone like oxytocin or endorphins and was proven to be effective for 80% of pets.
  • ThunderEase is a calming diffuser that can be put in your room or where your pets are. It is free of animal byproducts, making it vegan-friendly. It mimics the pheromones that pets naturally emit to help them feel more comfortable in their environment. Its fragrance is odorless to humans but can be detected by animals, making it appropriate for any pet. Clinical trials prove its effectiveness against most cat and dog anxiety behaviors.

#8. Consult a veterinarian.

It is time to check with your veterinarian after you have tried everything to ease your pet’s anxiety and fears caused by the summer storms. They’ll likely want to examine your dog or cat, rule out any underlying health conditions, and recommend a course of medication if needed.

Give your pets reassurance that everything will be okay, show them love and attention. Try the above-suggested strategies to keep your pet calm while those summer storms are rolling in.

Also, don’t hesitate to consult with your vet as soon as possible when your pet’s anxiety becomes hard to handle.

I hope the list of 8 ways will help you keep your pet calm during the summer storm, and if you have any other ideas, I’d love for you to share them. Wishing you and your pets a relaxing summer!

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