How to protect your dog against stormy weather

2017-10-12 14:45
PHOTO: Gallo images/Getty Images

PHOTO: Gallo images/Getty Images

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While warmer days and sunny skies are upon us, summer storms are often scary for our precious little pups.

Between shivering, extreme panting or running and hiding, anxiety caused by stormy weather, whether the clashing of thunder or the flashing of lightning, is common when it comes to our four-legged family members.

Here are some handy tips to help protect your precious pooch against those scary, stormy days.

Provide your dog with a safe space

Find a place in your home where the effects of the storm are less harsh, noisy or scary. This could be a room or a particular spot. It should be available to your pooch even when you’re not home and should serve as a place of comfort and escape. Don’t forget to have the place stocked with food, water and perhaps a few toys for your fur kid.

Get a storm jacket or swaddle your dog

Swaddling your pet, just like you would a baby, gives it a sense of comfort and security during a storm and helps calm it down. So during a storm try putting a storm jacket on your pooch or, if you don’t have one, wrapping it in a scarf or light blanket. Just ensure you allow its paws to be free.

Homeopathic medication (if necessary)

Humans have calming medication and the same applies to pets. Try visiting a homeopathic vet who’d be able to prescribe some natural remedies to help your pup relief some stress.

Desensitise your pet

Although the real deal can be a whole lot scarier, the process of desensitisation can really help soothe your pet during thunderstorms. You can help teach your pet to tolerate the noise by recording a thunderstorm and playing the sound back until you notice a change in your furry friend’s reaction or behaviour towards the sound. Also warm your dog up to the process by starting at a lower volume on the recording and steadily increasing it as your pet becomes more used to it.

Teach calm behaviour and use distraction strategies

As the owner it’s your job to help calm your overly stressed and frightened pet. Some coping mechanisms such as distracting it with play, giving it a soothing rub or keeping eye contact can help calm its fears. Reassure your dog that you’re there and that it’s in a safe space.

Have a plan

Many of us have a plan about how to cope during stormy weather or if the electricity is out. Make your dog part of it. Whether your plan means leaving home, keeping warm or just staying out of the rain, be sure to consider your dog as well. In severe instances, which might include floods or having to evacuate your home, make sure you have a safe place for your dog too. If it means going to a hotel or guest house, check if it’s pet friendly.

Extra sources: www.pethealth.com.au; www.healthypets.mercola.com; www.accuweather.com

Read more on:    dog  |  storm  |  protection

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