Some people enjoy thunderstorms – they like the sounds and watching the lightning that may accompany it. Some pets, however, do not enjoy this weather spectacle. It can leave them scared and anxious.
If you have a pet that does not do well with thunderstorms, there are some ways in which you can help them keep their cool during a thunderstorm.
Find a comfortable place in your home that can act as their “safe haven.” This should act as a shelter for your pet where they can go during a storm to feel a little bit safer. This could e a dog bed, a crate, rug, or even the bathtub. Ensure the space is quiet and provide a bed or blanket to keep them comfortable. You may also want to include their favorite toy to help distract them.
Speaking of distracting, this is also a helpful tip when trying to calm a pet during a thunderstorm. By distracting your pet you are taking their focus off of the thing that is scaring them and directing it towards something more enjoyable. Play their favorite game or play with their favorite toy. Reward them with treat. The idea is to associate the scary experience with good things that they life. This can make the experience better and it may help condition them in the long run to become less afraid of the storm.
Turn off the TV, radio, or any other loud noise. These noises could make the situation worse. However, light, gentle music should be fine.
Remember to not over do it – you want to comfort your pet but you don’t want to excessively coddle, comfort, or soothe your pet. If you over do it or appear anxious yourself, they will pick up on it and remain anxious, or it could potentially make them even more freaked out. While still being with them, try to act like there is nothing wrong. If your pet sees that you are calm, this may help them gain some composure.