Should I keep my pet inside during a thunderstorm?

Short answer: yes, always. With thunderstorms predicted for tonight and Saturday, pet owners should be clued up on how to take care of their furry companions. Dogs aren’t fans of sudden, loud noises and they can become incredibly distressed during thunderstorms. Always keep your dog inside during the storm, and avoid walks if you know that a storm is forecast to save being caught in it with your pup. You can tell if a storm is stressing your dog because they will be shaking, pacing, yawning, whining, drinking more, barking excessively panting or a exhibiting a combination of these behaviours. Dogs are very attuned to the moods of their humans, so don’t let a stressed dog feel that you are concerned about them and certainly don’t panic. Providing reassurance and keeping their environment calm is key.

Your pup might want to be comforted, so make sure you cuddle or stroke them if that’s helpful. It’s common for dogs to hide during thunderstorms, so don’t be alarmed if your dog seeks safety under your bed until the storm stops. If they look like they’ve found a safe place, don’t try to entice them out. Some pet owners find that keeping the TV or radio on at a low level is helpful for muffling the sound of thunder, and it’s also a good idea to keep the curtains closed so your dog isn’t shocked by flashes of lightning. In extreme cases, vets can prescribe medication for thunderstorm anxiety. It might seem obvious, but don’t shout at your pet. It will only make them more frightened. If your dog is being destructive (ripping up carpets or ruining furniture) this is just a symptom of their distress. Helping them calm down is the only way to get through it.


Cat peeking out of a box

Cats can be just as frightened as dogs during thunderstorms, but they don’t usually display fear in the same way. Your feline companion will probably hide somewhere dark and quiet and wait until the storm has completely passed before resurfacing. If your cat is out for the day or night and a thunderstorm starts, they might come to ask to be let in but they are also likely to find a safe hiding place wherever they are, such as under a bush.


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