Linda Ryder, D.V.M.

Some pets--especially dogs--get very anxious and nervous in storms. As the summer is approaching, we are having storms more frequently, and some can be rather harsh.

Dogs can sense a change in air pressure and my even hear low-frequency noises that humans can’t hear. Vets have further surmised that some dogs may be more prone to experiencing shocks from the build-up of static electricity that comes with storms as well.

Here are a few coping mechanisms to help soothe your pet in these scenarios:

1. Provide a safe space--indoors. One option is in the pup’s crate with a sheet over it. If you dog doesn’t typically use a crate, a small space such as a bathroom is a viable alternative venue. If the room has windows, close the blinds or curtains so your canine family member can’t see the outdoors.
2. Distract your pup--such as by using calming music at a low volume, or play with the pup using his or her favorite toy. Offering a treat at such times can work well also.
3. Some dogs feel more secure wearing a “Thundershirt” which can be purchased on-line or at your favorite pet store. It is the same principle as swaddling a baby. If your budget is rather restricted, a snugly fit t-shirt will also serve the purpose just fine.
4. Call you vet to ask for counsel on your pet’s specific issues.

It’s important not to scold or punish your pup or other pets for storm or weather- related manifestations of fear. In short, compassion is essential.

Source: www.purina.com

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