Storm Safety Tips for Your Pets
Katherine Waters, DVM, MPH
Revised July 2010
Many pets are frightened by thunder and lightening. They may get injured, run off, become lost, or cause damage as they seek to escape. Planning for your pet's safety during storms can help prevent these storm-related events.
- Bring pets indoors well before storms begin.
- Make sure the pet has identification. Identification tags on a well-fitting collar and/or a microchip are best.
- Set up a "safe" area in your house for your pet. This might be a crate or carrier in an inner room or basement. Closing the drapes or turning up the radio or TV may help.
- Remember water and food for your pets when you assemble your emergency supplies.
- Take your pet's mind off the storm. Play with them, feed them and reward them for their calm behavior. Praise your pet for calm behavior; never discipline them for being fearful or reward them when they are fearful. Reinforce the good.
- Stay with your pet if possible.
- If you have tried the above suggestions and find that your pet is still very fearful during storms, discuss the situation with your veterinarian. Medications may help in some instances.