How to reduce thunderstorm induced stress and anxiety in your pet

While not every dog or cat is afraid of thunderstorms, it is definitely not out of the ordinary for pets to become nervous and scared when theythunderstorm hear the roar of thunder. If you have a puppy or kitten, you may not know whether or not your pet has this phobia since most pets develop this fear between the ages of two and four years old. Unfortunately, your dog or cat could become more anxious as they get older as thunderstorm fear can worsen as dogs and cats age. Since the Nashville area frequently experiences thunderstorms during the spring and summer months, our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share a few tips to help ease the anxiety storms can bring to your pet.

Provide a safe place inside your home.

Provide your pet with space where they feel comfortable and safe. If your pet sleeps in a crate or spends time in a crate while you are not home, your pet may feel comforted by being in their crate. If you have a wire crate, try covering it with a sheet or towel to make it more like a haven for your dog or cat. Don’t forget to put your pet’s favorite items, such as toys and bedding, as well as food and water bowls, in the space.

Provide a distraction for your pet.

While not every pet will respond to play during thunderstorms, you can try to play with your pet to engage them and distract them from the weather outside. Be sure to use their favorite toys and to give your pet their preferred treats when you play. 5 Points Animal Hospital also recommends that you play soothing and calming music such as “Through A Dog’s Ear” or “Through A Cat’s Ear” to help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by loud crashes of thunder and lightning.

Use research-based products to reduce stress and anxiety.

Studies have proven that dogs can be calmed during thunderstorms by using the baby swaddling principle. A tight garment, such as the Thundershirt, can give your pet a sense of comfort by providing mild pressure to the body.

Pheromone therapy with products such as Feliway and Adaptil can also be helpful in reducing storm anxiety.

For more advice or questions on how to reduce your pet’s storm anxiety call 5 Points Animal Hospital at 615-750-2377. We are happy to discuss your pet’s specific needs and ways that we can help your pet be more relaxed and comfortable during thunderstorms

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on How to reduce thunderstorm induced stress and anxiety in your pet

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