With a double Typhoon warning this week, we had a handful of pet owners & sitters reach out to us to ask about tips on how to keep a pet calm during a thunderstorm.
There are a bunch of tips you can find on the good old internet, but in this post we list out our personal favorites and what has worked for our fur kids. And yes, we have tried the jackets, calming sprays, drops, even an expensive weighted blanket….so again these are just what have worked for us, but we thought we would make a post out of it in case we were able to help more pet owners/ sitters/ lovers who have pets with storm anxiety.
Before we jump right in, if you have a favorite storm pet tip that has worked for your pet please leave a comment below as we are always looking to share new ways that work!
🐶🐱Please note that all of these tips are not just for dogs! Cats can benefit from some of the same tactics and treatments that help dogs.
Don’t stop the music
Sadly, we don’t mean have a house party with Rihanna’s 2007 dance hit BUT what we do mean is that since we can’t control the thunder, we can compete with the noise. Turning up the TV or having some soothing background music on will help shift the focus off of the thunder or at least drown out some sound of the storm.
Hide & Seek, but don’t touch
I know it’s hard to see a pet stressed out but let your pet decide what is comfortable for them during the storm. We call this one Hide & Seek, but don’t touch, because you should allow your pet to hide, you can seek or check on them but leave them alone. This is not the time to force a snuggle session as you never want to force any kind of interaction when your pet is stressed. All pets will cope in their own way and this is completely normal.
Create a safe hideout
Following up from our last point…give your pet a designated spot to chill out and feel safe. This could be under the couch, bed, in a closet, next to you on the couch. Whatever or wherever this space is, make sure during the storm it’s a complete safe zone.
A side note we feel the need to point out…if your pet is not allowed on furniture or in the closet but during the storm they have chosen this spot as there safe zone, we suggest to press pause on the punishment/ correcting this behavior and let it slide during this stressful time for them. This goes for all reinforcements, including accidents, destruction and crying, please note this is most likely due to the stress of the storm.
Fake it until you make it
Thunder? What thunder? Our pets look to us for comfort so when we are anxious, they get anxious. If you hear thunder, best to completely ignore both the sound and your pets nervous behavior. They will be looking to you and watching your body language to see how they should react. It’s best to stay calm and just continue with your daily routine inside the home as normal as possible.
Some last quick tips:
If you are able to cancel plans this weekend to be home with your pet during the storm, do it.
Make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly. If you have a cat that is allowed both inside and outside, for the next couple days please play if safe and just keep them indoors. Having a pissed off cat is way better than a lost one !
Avoid having food delivered or a bunch of strangers coming in your home during the storms peak time. This will just add more stress to an already stressful environment.
Pay attention to how long it takes for your pet to return to normal after a storm.
If your pet doesn’t calm down in a certain amount of time after a storm passes and the anxiety or stress gets worse you can sign in to your Spare Leash account here and ask our verified vet partner, AVC for more professional information.