What to Do During Stormy Weather

Dog Looking On Overflowing
The Hurricane rains have made feral cats miserable! Stray dogs tremble through the storms, unable to find a dry place to rest their heads. Where can animals shelter during severe weather? The answers are surprising: under your porch, car, or inside the storage/wood shed. Sometimes they squeeze beneath the cover of your patio grill, boat or hot tub. They might shelter there for several days. When they finally emerge, their hunger drives them to raid garbage bins, gardens and nearby restaurants. If your own pet runs off during a storm, they are probably not far away, simply hiding out somewhere that makes them feel “safe”.

To prepare for a storm, make sure to shop for your pet when you make your Emergency Run: food, litter, medication and a jug of water should hold them over. Have a plan if you are in an evacuation area for your pet: don’t ever leave them behind! If you don’t have a pet-friendly hotel nearby, make sure to have a family member or friend on stand-by to take your pet. Never let a pet loose outside, walk your dog on a leash to use the bathroom in case there are dangerous power-lines or trees down.

For older pets, puppies/kittens and those that have storm anxiety:
1. Consider letting them sleep near you during a storm or putting them in their crate with a blanket over it
2. Set up a box with bedding inside, or open your closet so they can hide inside (this may help them feel more secure).
3. Create white noise: soothing music or leaving a TV on can help drown out storm sounds
4. Check with your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication.
5. If the weather is particularly stressing your pet, smaller animals can be swaddled in a towel or utilize the snug-fitting jackets available at pet stores

For pets of all ages, remember, they need extra attention and cuddling during severe weather and storms!

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