High winds, thunder and lightning can be traumatic to some pets during severe storms. Loud sounds, such as thunderous lightning claps, often produce anxiety, fear and a need to escape. The following helpful hints can help your pets brave the weather and reduce their fear and anxiety.
Try to create a safe place for your animals. If the animal is trying to get under your bed, give them access to your bedroom. You can also create a "hidey-hole" that is dark, small and shielded from the frightening sounds as much as possible.
Use this method when your pet is just beginning to get anxious. Encourage them to engage in any activity that captures their attention and distracts her from being fearful. Examples include playing with toys, throwing a ball to them indoors, petting them, etc.
Over a period of time, expose your pet to an intensity level of noise that doesn't frighten her. Pair the noise with something pleasant, like a treat or a fun game. Professional guidance by a trained professional is greatly encouraged for this method.
Medication may be available which can help reduce your pet's anxiety levels for short time periods.
During severe weather, don't forget to include your pets in your evacuation or safety plans. Do not keep pets tied to trees or fences during lightning, flooding, tornadoes or hurricanes. Animals should take the same cover that humans do during severe weather. Make sure your pet has a secure collar and identification tags. Also consider creating a "Pet Disaster Kit."