Google Maps location for Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery

Jimboomba Veterinary Surgery
1/10 Euphemia St
QLD 4280

1800 217 794
07 5546 9079

Understanding Thunderstorms and your pet's phobia


Queensland is renowned for loud and scary thunderstorms, and the 2014-2015 season is shaping up to be another big storm season.  Here at Jimboomba Vet Surgery, we always have an influx of lost dogs turn up at the surgery in the days following a storm.  We recommend Microchipping and name tags on collar as a first priority, but fear prevention and treatment also plays a vital role in keeping your pets safe during storm season.

Dr Cam Day, a specialist in small animal behaviour suggests the following tips:

  1. Predict the problem - thunderstorms are often predicted ahead of time.  Use the tools available, BOM Radars, news reports etc to be prepared ahead of time.  If you won't be home at the time, make sure your dog is in a safe place prior to the storm coming.
  2. Be home - if you can.  The animal's anxiety will be reduced somewhat if you are around.
  3. Remove your pet from outside if at all possible.  By having a secure place inside or within a crate, your pet will not be able to escape the yard and be less likely to destroy doors trying to "inscape" inside.
  4. Place your pet in a safe "den".  Prior training such as crate training or having a particular area that is considered safe and desirable for your pet (such as the laundry or a particular blanketed area, means when a storm comes, placing the pet in or on this area will make them feel considerably safer.
  5. Use masking noise or music.  Turn the radio or TV up a bit louder so the thunder claps aren't as audible.  Dog and cat hearing is much more acute than ours, so this is more of a distraction tool then a drowning out of the noise.
  6. Use pheromone products such as Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats.  These collars and diffusers release pheromones that calm the anxious dog or cat in times of high anxiety.  They can also help with other anxiety related behaviours, so talk to one of our nurses for more information.
  7. Be calm yourself and use relaxing, calm techniques.  By having a calm, soft demeanour yourself, your pet won't feed off your anxiety.  Try something like massage or gentle strokes of your pet to calm and relax them.

These are all great ideas for dealing with storm phobic pets.  Training your pet to not panic and run when storms approach isn't an overnight event, however with patience and consistency, your pet will find a safe place within your home to go to when they feel anxious or nervous..