Thunderstorm season is a busy time of year for lost pets. More dogs get lost between July (from fireworks) and throughout the summer and early fall from thunderstorms than any other time of the year. Many will bolt and run in fear with unfortunate endings. Here are some helpful tips and information to help. Planning in advance to keep your pet safe and home safe can save their life.
According to veterinarians, triggers that set off dogs are from a combination of thunder, lightning, wind, barometric pressure changes, static electricity and low-frequency rumbles before storms. Preparing and securing your dog in advance are keys to keeping them safe.
1. Make a quiet, secure place for your pet where they will feel safe during a storm. An area like a closet, bathroom or laundry room where noise and light can be blocked out. Put your pet’s kennel or bed in this space so they will feel comfortable and safe. Secure doors and windows. Frightened dogs will bolt and actually break through windows to escape.
2. Be sure your pets are wearing their collars with up-to-date tags. If your pet is chipped, be sure that information is up to date. You can check here on our website for resources to update that information. Ask us if you need help.
3. Do not overly baby or try to soothe a frightened pet. This may seem mean but it does more damage than good. It will only reinforce that it’s ok to be anxious. You should just stay calm and be supportive. Do not punish a frightened pet for being obsessively clingy during a storm. You can try a Thundership but it does not work for most pets.
4. Turn on calming music . There are actual pet music channels available on Youtube to help your pet relax. Play this music in their safe room to help calm t hem. Also, playing games such as catch might help distract them.
5. Consider an advance warning weather app. These apps will give advance warning of approaching storms and exactly how far away the storms are. Skytower 13 for Android and IPhone and Weatherbug for Android and IPhone are two free apps giving early storm warnings. Weatherbug also has Spark which tells exactly how many miles away the lighting is.
If you pet does bolt, the Missing Pet Partnership suggests methods for approaching panicked pets to keep them from running further and potentially be injured.
There are no “cures” for fear of thunderstoms, but there are suggestions to help. Veterinarian, Holly Frisby, offers many tips as well as a list of medications that you can discuss with your vet such as calming methods, medications, and more.