Help for dogs and cats who freak out dur­ing storms

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Animal Life -

SIGNS OF PHOBIA Your scaredy cat or dog may pace, pant, trem­ble, drool, bark/ meow, hide, soil the house or even try to es­cape from home in a bid to ‘run away’ from the thun­der­storm.

HELP­FUL HINTS Con­sult your vet for spe­cific ad­vice, but the fol­low­ing tips may lessen your pet’s anx­i­ety dur­ing storms.

• Pro­vide a noise-proof refuge for your dog or cat – un­der a bed or in the bath­room, a crate or box. Turn on ‘white noise’, like a ra­dio or TV.

• Re­as­sure your furry friend by talk­ing calmly and qui­etly to them. Gen­tle stroking may also help.

• Play a game or dole out treats, say a chew bone or food-filled toy.

• Help re­duce anx­i­ety – a Feli­way Dif­fuser for cats, or Adap­til dog ap­peas­ing pheromone.

• Try a Thun­der­shirt or Anx­i­ety Wrap. These pro­vide gen­tle pres­sure around the body, sim­i­lar to swad­dling a baby, and give your pet a sense of se­cu­rity.

• Seek ad­vice from your vet or vet­eri­nary be­haviourist about anti-anx­i­ety med­i­ca­tion (not seda­tives) to help your pet cope bet­ter with storms.

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