Dogs and cats—and even humans—become afraid during storms with the deafening sounds and light displays. If you have a dog or cat who hides as a storm approaches, trembles, seeks constant attention, drools, or otherwise becomes distraught, it is important to first recognize that this is not out of the ordinary.
Yet for some animals, storms can be debilitating.
Why do some pets get afraid? Is it the change in barometric pressure? Do they hear the storm long before we can? Nobody knows for sure. Many pets do not demonstrate these fears in their early years, but rather develop this anxiety over time. Indeed, one shih tzu in our family has been known to jump into a bathtub to wait out a particularly strong storm. And one of our cats immediately heads for far reaches under the bed, grooming frantically in an attempt to self soothe.
A certain level of vigilance appears to be a survivalist, evolutionary response. It is difficult to know for certain what causes this response to become exaggerated in some pets. This makes contending with it hard.
The best recommendations that veterinarians and animal behavior specialists offer are:
When a dog or cat expresses these fears, however, it is important not to do certain things: