They try to hide in your shirt, and you don’t know why they’re so clingy. Wait for it: yep, here comes a thunderstorm.
Younger dogs are generally not affected by the sounds of a storm. As pets age, they may learn to expect scary loud cracks and rumbles from lightning strikes. When they hear thunder or see flashes of light from lightning or fireworks, the anticipation of what’s to come can set up an anxiety response.
You are the safety captain for animals in your house. They look to you when they’re scared. If you jump, they’ll jump. Sometimes you just can’t help but react to loud noises, and neither can they. Understand that the fear is real and learn how to help calm your pet’s anxiety.
Astraphobia and Pets
Astraphobia, or thunder phobia, can cause extreme anxiety reactions in your pets. When pets hear thunder, fireworks, or other loud noises outside, they may panic. If they see bright flashes of light from lightning or fireworks, they may have learned that scary loud noises are coming. Plan ahead, whenever possible, to make your home a safe place for nervous pets.
Prepare for Pet Safety
As with most situations, preparation can help with your reaction. If you can keep your pets safe and comfortable during noisy outside events, it will help ease their anxiety faster. Here are some safety tips that can help:
- Make sure all your pets are inside the house.
- Make a plan for the week before and the week after the 4th of July to help your pets tolerate the firecracker and fireworks whizzings and pops and other sounds of explosion.
- Pay attention to weather forecasts so you can plan to move your animals to a calm room where frightening sounds of thunder booms might not reach their sensitive ears.
- If your pet is crate trained, encourage them to take shelter in their crate.
- Keep special treats or new toys on hand to distract your pets from outside noises. Your pet may come to expect a thunderstorm will bring good things, too!
- Pull the drapes, close the blinds, even put a blanket over your dog’s crate to minimize the sights and sounds of thunder and fireworks.
- Leave the door open to your dog’s crate so they don’t worry about being trapped inside.
- Talk to your trusted veterinarian about recommended methods for desensitizing your cats and dogs to loud noises.
Is Your Pet Up-to-Date on Wellness Checks?
Underlying health conditions can increase your pet’s anxiety when under stress. Help your pets feel safe and secure by keeping them fit and healthy. MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital believes in preventive care and offers wellness plans to help your pets live happy, full lives. Call us at (916) 939‑1705 to schedule an appointment or to discuss your animal’s wellness needs. We are here for you and all your furry loved ones.