News and Media

PAL PREVIEW: Extreme weather and your pet

October 22, 2015

We love summer! Its arrival signals the start of warmer weather, Christmas, New Year, summer holidays and, most importantly, the beach.

However, the arrival of summer also marks the start of the most significant period of the year for the country’s climate. Bushfires, tropical cyclones, heatwaves and severe thunderstorms tend to be more frequent and extreme during the summer months – impacting ourselves and our pets.

Tomorrow on Pets-A-Loud from 12pm on JOY 94.9, the team will be talking about extreme weather and your pet. We will explore the ways you can plan to look after your family and your pets this summer and provide you with some handy tips on what to do if your pet is scared or injured by an extreme weather event.

To tide you over until then, here are some tips on how you can look after your pet during thunderstorms.

Tips for thunderstorms

  • Always make sure your pets are identified with a microchip and collar tag. It is also paramount your contact details are up-to-date, so that if they go missing, you will be reunited.
  • Always stay calm during a storm and go about your activities as normal. Your pet will take its cues from you.
  • If your dog is fearful during the storms don’t pat or cuddle him/her – this can be seen as reinforcing the behaviour that teaches your pet that storms are something to be feared
  • If a storm is predicted, take your dog for a longer walk before it hits to help tire out and relax them.
  • Provide your cat or dog with a safe space to retreat to, for example, a crate or their bed.
  • Consider using a number of means to de-sensitise pets to storms, such as playing a CD with the storm sounds.
  • If you know your dog or cat is fearful during thunderstorms and fireworks and is at real risk of fleeing, the very best thing you can do for them is to stay home.
  • Signs of fear: your pet may seek refuge by running under the bed, or onto your lap.
  • Signs of a phobia: out of proportion reaction to a stimulus, they tend to react out of proportion, pace, pant, whining, trying to escape, often create a lot of destruction like breaking down a door.

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