Caring for Your Pet During Severe Weather

The Northeast has been hit with its share of thunderstorms and rain, causing flooding and wind damage. The South has had to deal with hurricanes (particularly Harvey in 2017), and the West with wildfires. No matter where you live, severe weather events are something we all have to deal with.

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And for those of us with pets, there is an added concern about caring for your dog during severe weather. Dogs, cats and other animals are easily frightened by pounding rain, high winds, thunder, lightning, fire, and other severe weather. The sudden changes can cause anxiety or panic.

So it’s a good idea to know how best to care for your pet when severe weather strikes and how to prepare. Here are a few tips.

  1. Identification

This is essential, even if you are not expecting severe weather. There are various types of identification devices for pets – a metal tag, tattoo, or microchip – which can enable rescuers to return your pet to you if he or she becomes separated during some kind of severe weather event.

Most shelters have microchip scanners, and after finding an animal, the first thing they do is scan to see if there is a chip for identification. The nice thing about a microchip is that it is inserted under the skin, so there is no chance of it coming off the animal.

  1. Vaccinations

You want to be sure they are up to date. If your dog should become separated from you during severe weather, he may end up in environments that are less than sanitary, where he is more likely to contract some illness. So being immunized will ensure he stays healthy.

  1. Preparation

Every dog is different, and each responds differently to severe weather, so your preparation needs to take that into account. Some may not have much of a reaction at all to a storm, while others may start panting or shaking or becoming hyperactive.

The best way to help relieve their anxiety is to create a spot for them inside where they will feel safe, somewhere away from the sound and sight of the weather. It could be something like a crate or blanket placed under a bed where the dog will feel secure.

If your pet’s reaction is a strong one, you may have to consult with a vet to get the animal a mild sedative. And if the animal does become anxious, you need to stay calm. Do not reward the dog’s anxious behavior with treats or attention and don’t reprimand him either. If the dog wants to hide, let him do it.

If you need to evacuate, make sure you have emergency supplies ready.

Barney’s Ranch provides day and night boarding for dogs throughout the Carrollton area and surrounding region. Contact  us at (469) 273-1661 for more information our boarding services.

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