Scared PetMonsoon season is now in full swing. And as much as we love to hear the thunderstorms in typically-dry Arizona, unfortunately for pets, this is a time that can be very scary!

Monsoon season is full of loud crashes, lightening and heavy rains that can frighten and startle pets – but we can help our furry friends to be more secure during the storms.

The first thing we can do to keep pets comfortable during the storms is to keep them safe and secure in a room. If your pets are outside, they can become frantic with running the yard trying to find places to get away. Because they cannot escape the storm, the fear can build up to a point they may attempt to escape by digging under or jumping over the fence.

By using a room you can easily close off the windows and doors to create a more comfortable and dry environment. If your pets are particularly scared of the seasonal storms, you can put on a radio or TV to help drown out the chaotic noises outside. More often than not, this will be all that is required to help a pet feel much more secure during a storm. However, if it is not there are other ways to help.

Thunder VestThere are products available that can help anxious pets cope as well. Things like the Thundershirt, a vests that provides constant, light pressure which can make a pet feel more secure. Similar to a mother swaddling a baby, this pressure will make them feel more enclosed and comfortable.

If you are available, sitting with your pet during the storm can help tremendously. More often than not, you are a great source of confidence for your pet. When you are around, they may feel much more secure than if they are left on their own. Simply sitting with them and reading a book can be all it takes. When you are calm, your pets will be too. Pets pick up on our subtle body language, so be sure to do low key activities and remain at ease while in the presence of your frightened pet.

It is very tempting while sitting with your pet to constantly touch them and assure them it’s okay. However, this can inadvertently make them more fearful. What we view as coddling our animal to feel safe, we may actually be telling them it’s okay to be afraid. So when you are sitting with your pet, be sure to do just that. Let them work through the situation as much as you can on their own. Pets are much smarter than you may think!

InterMountain Therapy AnimalsIf your pet is very stressed, please talk to your veterinarian. They may be able to prescribe medication to reduce the stress they are feeling through the season’s storms.

With enough repetition and exposure, some pets will grow out of their fears of storms!  Some however, may need a helping hand to feel safe during this scary season.

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Elisabeth Haugan

Marketing and Outreach Director