Dog behaviourist Caroline Spencer shares tips to keep your pet calm and stress-free as the UK braces to be hit with blood rain thunderstorms from the Sahara this weekend
Image: Getty Images)
The Met Office has predicted that the UK may be hit with blood rain thunderstorms this weekend.
Loud bangs and flashes during storms are often extremely frightening for pets and can cause stress, anxiety and unpredictability, potentially putting their safety at risk.
As well as the noise, the change in pressure, dark skies and static energy can all add to the anxious environment.
Canine behaviourist, Caroline Spencer, from Bella & Duke, says there are things you can do to limit the amount of stress your dog feels during this time.
Sign up to our TeamDogs newsletter for your weekly dose of dog news, pictures and stories.
What are the signs my dog is feeling anxious?
Dogs feel the changes in the atmosphere before the weather takes a turn, meaning their anxiety can set in prior to the storm even starting.
Some signs to look out for and notice if your furry friend is feeling anxious include panting or hiding, pacing and yawning.
Their eyes may also widen and they may stick their ears back.
How can I keep my pet calm during the storm?
Caroline offers five simple tried and tested tips to help keep your pets calm during the noisy nights ahead:
- Calming sprays and chews – A calming treatment like Calm & Balmy can help with anxiety, and a dog chew will help to keep them occupied.
- Prepare in advance when you can – Desensitise your pet to thunderstorms throughout the year by playing storm sounds, starting off quietly and gradually building up the volume until your pet is more used to it.
- Shut your curtains – Keeping the curtains closed can help to dampen the sound and limit the sudden flashes of light.
- Provide a safe haven – Your pet might run to find somewhere to hunker down and hide, so ensure they have a cozy, safe hideaway to retreat to.
- Be a calm presence – Be there for them, hold them, show them there’s nothing to worry about and use your calm presence to reduce their level of stress
Caroline added: “There are many aspects of thunderstorms that shake our pets and it is important that we are by their side to get them through this.
“The goal is to remain calm and unflustered. It’s so important to reiterate how you react and feel during these times has a huge bearing on how your puppy or dog reacts.
“If you are expecting a negative reaction you will get one. Like anything, let’s be positive about anything new or different.
“Just because a friend’s dog or your last dog never reacted badly to thunderstorms. it doesn’t mean all reactions will be the same. Be relaxed and just take it as it comes with no preconceived ideas.”
Do you have a story to tell? Contact email@example.com.