Hefner Road Animal Hospital Blog

Storm Anxiety: Keeping Pets Calm

Puppies Scared in StormBeing a dog in Oklahoma definitely has its perks! Many canine friendly parks, restaurants and activities  are available to keep even busiest bee preoccupied.  We enjoy a wonderfully lush spring most years but with that comes the rain. If you have lived in Oklahoma for any amount of time you will know that we endure some pretty tough storms that can send our pets into an anxiety driven frenzy.  This can stress both you and your pet to the max. Some pets hide in closets and under beds while other tear through doors and escape their backyards at the most inopportune time. Thankfully, there are measures to help keep your pet cool and collected during these peek anxiety times.

Thunder Struck
No, not like the kind Kevin Durant wears. Just like a hug, Thunder shirts provide a soothing sense of calm for your pet during a stressful situation much like swaddling an infant. The tight fitting garment can be used to aid in separation anxiety, fearful car rides and in many cases, storm anxiety. This drug-free option may be the solution for your pet. However, this may not work best for pets that refuse to wear clothing. No worries, there’s still help out there!

Pet Anxiety Supplements
When other means have failed sometimes medication may be the key to your pet’s storm anxiety. Anti-anxiety meds can help your pet through the storm by balancing them chemically. Sometimes these medications need to be given a couple days before storms hit and some can be given within 30 minutes to provide relief. If medications don’t seem to be the best option, calming chews are also available. Nutraceutical products that often contain comforting ingredients found in a mother’s milk are also worth a try for those pet’s who can’t weather the storm.
Some Preventive Measures for Pet Anxiety
While we can try as we might to change our anxious pet’s behavior sometimes our behavior can help calm our beloved pets during a storm. In the off season, try playing soothing rain sounds over the stereo on a nice day. This can help desensitize your pet and show them there is no danger here, so when the storm does hit those noises are less frightening.
When our pets show distress our first reaction is to coddle and protect them from whatever may be causing it. Sometimes this can just add insult to injury. We should reward calm behavior and attempt to stay as level as possible because our pets often times mirror our emotion. Keep our pet near you, sometimes on a leash at your feet is the best place. This practice should also be done in the off season as well in order to promote the calm setting when in need.

If your pet finds comfort in their kennel then allowing them to take shelter there can help. Providing a safe place for them to hang out during the storm is a great way to keep their mind off things. An interior room where music is playing is a great idea if you have it available. Be sure your pet is able to move freely because sometimes a confined feeling can heighten their anxiety trigger the need to escape.
You never know what the weather will do in this great state of ours so why not be prepared. Taking the right steps to make your pet comfortable during storms may take some strategy but it most definitely is worth it in the long run.


posted in:  Pet Health