How to Calm Your Pet During a Thunderstorm

If you are a pet owner, you know that animals have an amazingly heightened set of senses. This heightened sensitivity can also extend to how they experience extreme weather and why animals are so afraid of thunder and loud noises. First, let’s learn the science…

What occurs in pets that cause them to be so fearful?

Animals may feel the electrical volatility on their skin or coat; they may sense the change in barometric pressure; and loud noises can harm the delicate structures of a pet’s middle and inner ear. All of these factors may cause pain, but most often your pet may be scared because they simply do not have the capability to understand what thunder or lightning is, and that it will not harm them or anyone they love.

What behaviors do pets exhibit when they are scared, fearful, or when loud noises are hurting their ears? A few may surprise you…

  • Trembling
  • Hiding
  • Following you closely
  • Panting or drooling
  • Pacing or appearing restless
  • Whining, barking or meowing
  • Cowering
  • Appearing hypervigilant (continuously looking around as if danger is nearby)
  • Attempting to escape or chewing on furniture, or their crate
  • Constant licking their feet
  • Scratching their ears or rubbing their ears against the floor or against furniture

What you can do to comfort your pet? Here are several suggestions all widely used within the Veterinary Industry:

  1. Move the dog to an area with the least amount of windows. Shut all curtains, close shutters, and blinds. If the flashing of lightning can still be seen, you may want to cover the window area by taping up dark towels or bedsheets. If the pet is in a crate, you may want to cover the crate but this may cause additional fear since they can not see you.
  2. Play comforting music and light a lavender-scented candle or incense prior to and during the storm.
  3. Be calm. Although you and your kids may enjoy the excitement that a volatile storm brings, your pet does not. Everyone should be talking calmly, not screaming, or running around the house.
  4. Provide close comfort, and cuddle with your pet only if they approach you first. Scared animals have been known to bite in response to being scared, fearful, or in pain.
  5. Plan ahead. Thunder and lightning storms do not occur without warning. Create a space that is quiet and away from the busyness of the house ahead of time that includes blankets and favored toys. Place a water bowl next to the area so the pet will not need to venture out when thirsty.
  6. If appropriate, use pet CBD or prescription medicine. CBD takes 30-60 minutes to take effect and usually lasts from 7-8 hours. Continue to give CBD every 7 hours and there have been no known overdoses of pet CBD.

Which CBD product should I use? Oils work the quickest and chews that contain ingredients known to increase calmness. WildLifeRx sells both.

  • Pet Releaf Hemp Oil 1700 for Dogs
  • Pet Releaf Edibites Sweet Potato Regular for Dogs
  • Pet Releaf Edibites Sweet Potato Large Breed for Dogs
  • ElleVet Calm and Comfort for Dogs
  • ElleVet Complete Oil for Dogs
  • Joy Organics CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Charlotte’s Web CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Holista Pet CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Receptra CBD Oil 16 mg for all pets
  • Receptra CBD Oil 25 mg for all pets
  • ElleVet Complete Feline Oil for Cats
  • Pet Releaf Hemp Oil 330 for Cats and very small Dogs

If you have additional questions, please contact WildLifeRx and ask to speak to a Licensed Veterinary Technician.

*Information taken in part from a 2016 article titled “Help Your Noise Adversed Dogs Through Thunder and Firework Season.” written by Dr. Kelly Ballantyne and Dr. Valerie Jonckheer-Sheehy, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


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