Prepare the house. The house becomes your pets' safety zone, so it's important to prepare it properly.
· Keep some lights on. Keeping a light on will calm your pet and make him feel more secure, rather than being scared in a dark room.
· Dampen the noise. Close the curtains in the room and, if your animal is a caged one, cover up the cage in a thick blanket, but make sure it is breathable so your animal doesn't suffocate. This will also help to stop the flashes of light affecting your pet.
· Plan to use familiar sounds to drown out the noise of the storm. Music from a stereo or turning on the TV are likely familiar sounds that can sooth your pet. Just make sure not to play these sounds too loud.
Prepare the room.
· Select a suitable room where you can contain the pet for the duration of the storm. An inner room that is least impacted by the noise is ideal. If you have more than one pet, be sure they don't mind being confined in the same room, or select several rooms for different pets.
· Make the room cozy. Put down familiar, clean bedding somewhere pleasant such as under a table, on or behind a chair, etc. Add some familiar chew toys, scratch pads, balls, etc., to keep your pets amused and distracted.
Prepare yourself. In the desire to ease our pet's pain, sometimes we can transfer our anxiety and upset to the pet. If you've prepared properly in advance, there is no need to feel upset and worried as you can be reassured about the safety of your pet.
Provide food and hydration. Be sure to leave sufficient water and food for your pet in the confinement area. Many pets will be uneasy, or even frantic. If your pet has access to water, it will help calm him, and food supplied in your pet's regular portion will make him feel like it's a normal day.
Keep an eye on your pet, and if possible, stay with her. Comfort her and talk to her. Be friendly but don't fuss over her too much; this can increase her anxiety if she picks up on yours and can reward and encourage fearful behavior. Allow your pet to hide somewhere in the room if wished. It's your pet's way of coping and dragging them out of a safe spot can increase their anxiety levels. Don't fuss over her too much.
Check on your pet after the storm.
· Reassure her once the storm is over. Let her have free run of the house to see how she behaves before considering letting her return outside (it might be best to wait until morning, if possible).
Check for signs of stress in your pet:
· For cats, signs of stress include running away, soiling the house, hiding away and refusing to eat.
· For dogs, signs of stress include barking a lot, running away, soiling the house, hiding and cowering, clinging to owners, whimpering, trembling and shaking, pacing and panting, and refusing to eat.
· If your pet is stressed, keep him indoors overnight. Keep a litter tray somewhere in the house, or walk a dog after the storm but don't let him off his harness and be sure to stay with him the whole time.