For some people, a raging thunderstorm rolling in, with lightning splitting the sky, is a thrilling sight, but their pets may have different ideas, as they cower behind furniture. Many pets are affected by crashing thunder, barometric-pressure changes, bright lightning, and howling winds, and will seek a dark, den-like space to ride out the storm. Since your pet can detect an approaching storm long before you can, help her cope with her anxiety by creating a storm shelter where she feels safe. Before the next lightning show rolls in, follow these tips.

#1: Choose a safe space for your pet
The ideal storm shelter for your pet is a dark room with no windows, such as a closet, bathroom, or small basement area. The space must be accessible for your pet at all times, so she can retreat to her shelter if you’re not home. Artificial lighting in her haven can help mask lightning flashes, so consider leaving on the light.

#2: Provide fun distractions for your pet in her storm shelter
Outfit your pet’s safe space with treat-filled toys, food puzzles, or long-lasting chews. Keep frozen canned food or tuna in a Kong ready for your dog or cat to enjoy as a storm approaches. Add your pet’s favorite bed, blanket, and toys to help her feel relaxed and comfortable, using food puzzles to keep her distracted.

#3: Calm your pet with pheromones and acoustic therapy in her safe space
Diffuse pheromones to help your cat or dog feel calm and relaxed, or spritz a pheromone spray on your pet’s bedding. To help drown out the thunder and wind, set up a white noise machine or anxiety-relieving playlist.

Do storms stress your pet and leave her cowering in terror? Schedule an appointment to discuss anxiety-relieving options to help your furry pal cope with her storm fear.