Thunderstorms can be a huge source of anxiety for pets.  Loud booms from nowhere, gusting winds, even changes in the barometric pressure can set even the most laid-back dog on edge.  Here are some things you can do to decrease the stress of storms on your animal:

  • Create a “safe” spot for your pet. A readily accessible area where doors and windows can be closed to limit exposure to stimuli is ideal. A source of white noise often can help lessen anxiety as well.  An interior bathroom with the ventilation fan running is often a good solution.
  • Distract!  Make thunderstorms a fun time by engaging in play or practicing your obedience training.
  • Pharmacological intervention may be necessary.  For very nervous pets anti-anxiety medications or sedatives may need to be prescribed by your vet. For milder cases something like a pheromone collar or outlet plug-in may do the trick.
  • Behavioral therapy. Your vet can help you through some exercises to acclimate your pet to storms, such as gradually introducing the sound of thunder in a positive environment.  In extreme cases, consultation with a veterinary behaviorist may be necessary.

So have no fear!  You are now prepared whatever the weather may be!