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Prepare the calm before the storm

Jolts of thunder and flashes of lightning can send your pet into a tailwind of emotions. As a pet parent, you should prepare a severe weather plan ahead of time by learning how to keep your pet calm and out of harm’s way. Here are a few tricks to help you get started.

How to help your pet relax

To your pet, storms can be as bad as fireworks on the Fourth of July.  They hear the noises but don’t understand what’s happening.  This allows their level of nervousness to rise and may lead to environmentally-induced stress.  While you can’t avoid severe weather, you can find ways to manage the chaos it can cause for your fur-baby.

  1. Have a conversation with your pet while the storm passes because sometimes, the sound of your voice is all they need to feel safe.
  2. Give your pet a task that will allow them to focus on something other than the noise, like chewing on a bone or a new toy.
  3. If you have adequate warning of bad weather, an hour or so beforehand, give your pet something that has a calming effect on their nerves.  Tomlyn’s Relax & Calm Chews are great for pets who have nervousness, hyperactivity, or discontentment because of environmentally-induced stress.  Just like the name says, these chews help keep your fur-baby relaxed and calm.

Prepare for big storms or evacuations

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, flooding or other major storms that may require  evacuation, it’s up to you to make sure your pet has a safe haven in a state of emergency. Make sure your pets know that you will take care of them and create a strategy that comes with plenty of time to spare.

  1. If you have a good idea of the path of the storm, consider talking to a relative or friend who isn’t expecting bad weather about keeping your pet until the storm passes.
  2. If it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for your pet. Take them with you to your storm closet or shelter to keep them safe.
  3. You should never leave your pet outside in severe weather. Create a place where they can come indoors well before the storm hits.
  4. Prepare a pet emergency kit with food, water, treats and medication just in case you can’t find something later.
  5. If you’re evacuating, plan ahead by finding a shelter that is pet-friendly. You can find a list of pet-friendly shelters in your state here.
  6. If your pet takes special medication or otherwise requires special care, make sure to see your vet before a storm comes. He or she can provide you with your pet’s records or back-up medication in the event you’ll be gone for a while and need to see an out-of-town veterinarian.
  7. As with your own preparations, make sure your pet is prepared to be gone for at least a few days if you need to evacuate. This may include packing several days’ worth of food, a pet-friendly water bottle for the car, and a favorite toy or bed so he or she is comfortable wherever you go.

Prepare yourself and your pet for the next time a storm strikes. Getting ahead of the game is a great way to ensure that your pet’s safety and happiness is intact when the rainbow finally appears.