Pet sitters, amongst other pet professionals, can help pet owners prepare for severe winter weather. Advising on the need for pet storm preparedness can help keep everyone safe and avoid disaster.

Certainly, keeping pets safe during stormy weather is really all about planning and careful consideration. After all, the moment a storm hits can be quite stressful for humans and animals alike.

Having a plan in place and lists to easily grab, can make things a whole lot easier.

5 pet storm preparedness tips

The following pet storm preparedness tips might help you to take care of a pet you’re looking after. Alternatively, you might like to pass them on to your clients to help them get storm ready.

1. Keep an eye on the weather alerts

Cats and dogs can sense a storm way before that first roll of thunder. Indeed, a simple change in the atmosphere can send a pet into a trembling mess.

As such, a trusted weather app can come in really useful. An app, like AccuWeather or Weatherzone for example, can keep you clued up on incoming storms.

Furthermore, if a pet requires medication to calm them during stormy weather this will need to be administered prior to the storm hitting. This can sometimes be tricky. However, keeping an eye on the weather forecast can help you to provide an animal with medicine in a timely manner.

2.Use distraction techniques

Having the television on or music playing can help to reduce the noise of the storm. This can be comforting for some pets.

If your dog is still happy to engage with you, try a game or offer a treat. A bone or Kong can be a useful distraction. Unfortunately, some dogs become so anxious during storms that they’re not interested in treats.

3.Stay calm

Pets can feed off their owner’s emotions, so it’s important to stay calm. There are several techniques that owners can try to help calm a frightened pet. This includes:

  • Massage—using hands or a device such as a pet massager
  • Thundershirt—which uses pressure to help reduce anxiety and bring comfort
  • Natural remedies—such as Bach Rescue Remedy
  • Essential oils—lavender is said to be useful for relieving anxiety in pets. Always use essential oils with caution though, as many are toxic to pets
  • Exercise—taking your dog for a walk before the storm hits (providing it’s safe to do so) can help relieve some of their anxiety

4. Meds to managing anxiety

In some cases, no matter what actions you take, it’s impossible to calm your pet. In this instance, a trip to the vet might be warranted. A vet may prescribe some anti-anxiety medication, which will help your pet settle during stormy weather.

5. Up to date ID

Some animals become so worked up during a storm that they will find any way to escape. This can result in a lost dog or cat. As such, it’s crucial to keep pets’ ID up to date and make sure they’re wearing their tag at all times.

Indeed, if you notice your client’s pet is missing its tag, make sure you highlight this and remind the owner why tags are important.

Managing a storm emergency

Some storms may lead to an emergency situation where you are forced to evacuate. This is where pet storm preparedness really comes into play.

Important actions that need to be taken before the emergency arises include:

  • Packing a pet emergency kit
  • Training pets to be settled in a cage or carrier (to keep them safe)
  • Ensuring vaccinations are up to date
  • Making sure you have an adequate medicine supply (if the animal is on any medications)
  • Training pets to feel comfortable in the car

Discussing these actions with your clients can help encourage them to prepare. For example, if they don’t have an emergency kit, you can encourage them to create one. Likewise, if your client knows their pet is uncomfortable in a crate, perhaps you have some advice you can offer on crate training.

Pet storm preparedness is about having meaningful conversations and helping people to recognise the actions they need to take to keep their pets safe and healthy. Ultimately, it’s about putting effort into planning to help avoid disaster.

Image source: Anton Malanin on Unsplash

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Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure for the past 12 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals.

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