Thunder, Lightning & Fireworks Oh My!

Summer is quickly on it’s way! Hooray! However, as we move through spring and approach summer, our pets face many obstacles. Whether it is thunder and lightning or fireworks, this time of year can be very tough on those of our pets that are sensitive to loud noises. With all the fireworks for Memorial Day and the 4th of July, plus the increase in thunderstorms, we see more run away and lost pets this time of year than any other time. In fact, shelters across the country see an increase in numbers right around the 4th of July due to run away pets spooked by fireworks.  You might think that your animals are safe inside, but pets have been known to jump through screens and even pull a Houdini and escape the house when scared from loud noises. We have compiled a list of ways you can ease your pet’s stress level during both storms and fireworks.

  • Know your local fireworks schedule. Try to find out when the fireworks shows will be happening so that you can be prepared. Also, stay tuned to the weather channel. Though we all know that weather forecasters have been known to be wrong at times, it is still a good idea to try and know when storms are going to be coming through your area.
  • Provide a soothing, safe place where your pet can ride out the storm or fireworks. This can be a bathroom, a kennel, a basement, ect. Any place that is comfortable, safe and away from the outdoors will work. If you have outdoor pets that you know are afraid, it is never a bad idea to bring them in for the duration of the fireworks or until the storm blows over.
  • Make the room or kennel comfortable and inviting. Add blankets, their favorite pillow or bed and water for hydration. If you are preparing a space for your cat, be sure to add a litter box.
  • It sometimes helps to leave a radio or television on to drown out the noise of the thunder or fireworks. The same goes for lighting. Having lights on generally makes your pet feel safer rather than being scared in the dark.
  • If possible, try and stay with your pet. Talk in a soothing voice and continue to pet your animal and offer reassurance.
  • Be sure your pet has proper ID with their name, your name and all other pertinent information in the case that they do get loose or run away.
  • Sometimes you can try desensitization with your pet. Playing CD’s with storm sounds can help get them used to the noise. However, if you choose this method, be careful. You want to start softly and gradually get louder. The idea is NOT to scare your pet. It is to get them slowly used to the noise.
  • Finally, if all else fails, talk to your veterinarian about medication.  Certain anxiety medications and sedatives might be able to help calm your pet down.

Spring and summer are a great time of year! We want to keep it all happy and fun. Losing a pet is the last thing we want to see happen. So, take the proper precautions and it will be smooth sailing!

By on June 12th, 2023 in Pet Care