Monsoon Safety Awareness Week is June 9-15, 2019!
AHS wants to help keep pets safe this monsoon season, as a pets’ increased sensitivity to storms can result in an exaggerated fear of storms or storm phobia.
Storm phobia may be caused by a change in barometric pressure or an increase in static electricity in the air. A pet may be fearful of visual cues such as lightning or blowing leaves and dirt. Auditory cues such as rain and thunder may create anxiety for a pet, as well. Storm phobia is one of the most common phobias in dogs and may present as general anxiety, whining and barking, house soiling or destructive behavior.
Monsoon Pet Safety Tips:
- Keep pets indoors
- Outdoor pets may run off or be harmed by flying debris
- Outdoor pets can be more prone to Valley Fever
- Provide a safe haven with food, toys, water
- Have radio or TV on
- ID ready – make sure pet is microchipped and wears an ID tag and collar that are updated
Address storm phobias with pets by not punishing them for showing fearful or anxious behavior. Instead, create positive associations with storms by giving treats, toys and verbal praise for appropriate behavior during a storm. Obedience classes and daily interactions with pets also help reduce phobias and anxiety in pets who are more sensitive to storms.
One way to desensitize pets to storms is to play a CD or music track that has thunderstorms in the background. Specialized items such as a Thundershirt or dog appeasing pheromones can also be used to give your pet a greater sense of security. AHS also recommends consulting with your veterinarian or a vet behaviorist, if needed.