Some pets can suffer noise phobias and with storms forecast over summer and fireworks for New Year’s Eve, the RSPCA is reminding pet owners to prepare their pets for a stress-free festive season!
Thunder and lightning is very, very frightening. Storm phobia is real for some of our pets and they may show signs of distress caused by the noise of thunder or visual stimuli from lightning.
RSPCA Qld spokesperson Emma Lagoon says, “Pets are pretty smart and some can even start showing signs of restlessness and agitation well before a storm begins to roll in.”
Fireworks can also have the same startling effect on pets. If you know parties and fireworks will be in your neighbourhood this New Year’s Eve, it’s time to prepare your pet.
RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Anne Chester advises, “Animals are more likely to cope with a storm or fireworks if they are in an environment where they feel comfortable.”
Here are a few tips to prepare your pet during storm and fireworks season:
- Create a safe and secure space for all of your animals away from visual stimuli. For dogs, a pet crate or quiet room which shields them from lightning is ideal.
- Make sure outside food and water bowels are heavy or weighed down, allowing pets continued access without them being tipped out.
- Try Feliway for cats or Adaptil for dogs. They can help calm and reassure your pet in stressful situations. They can be found at your local vet, pet stores or RSPCA World for Pets.
- Thundershirts can also help dogs and cats.
- Keep your cat indoors.
- Don’t tether your pets if they are outside during a storm. This can lead to injury if they try and break free.
- If you are home, keep your pet comfortable in the best way that you can. You can try to engage them in normal activities such as playing, and reward your dog for calm behaviour with treats or toys.
It’s a timely reminder to ensure your pet has an ID tag with your details and that their microchip is up to date.
“Storms and fireworks can lead to an increase in pets escaping with more calls to our 24/7 hotline with reports of lost and found pets,” says Ms Lagoon.
The best way to check whether your pet’s microchip is registered and up to date is by visiting www.petaddress.com.au and entering the microchip number. If you lose or find a pet, contact the RSPCA Lost and Found team for advice on 1300 363 736.Have you got an Emergency Action Plan for severe weather alerts? Find out what to do if there is a weather warning in your area.