Bad Weather and Pets
With the recent spate of torrential weather around Australia, Pet Insurance Australia (PIA) is urging all pet owners to take care over this stormy season.
“Many pets can end up with injuries caused by terrible storms,” explains Nadia Crighton, spokesperson for PIA. “Some animals can also suffer from a form of anxiety brought on by thunderstorms, known as storm-phobia.”
Signs of anxiety may vary amongst pets; though many include:
- Rapid or excessive panting
- Destructive Behaviour
PIA is advising pet owners to seek veterinary advice if they suspect that their pet is suffering from storm anxiety before the animal is put in harm’s way.
“There are a range of treatment options available to those who have pets that are petrified of storms and the static electricity that comes along with it,” says Crighton. “Your vet can help you better understand your pet’s condition and how best to help.”
It is also important to carry out additional environmental checks during wild and unpredictable weather. Ensuring your pet has adequate and safe shelter is vital, particularly during high wind and hailstorm activity.
“Storms tend to hit hard and fast. So assuming that there will not be a bad storm before you leave for work, may be a completely different story come 4 p.m.,” Crighton suggests.
“Always check your trees after a storm and pop your dog’s kennel in a safe area away from areas that could be affected by fallen branches or large hailstones.”
Crighton also suggests that you check cat-doors daily for obstruction.
“During this type of weather, it is advisable to keep your pets inside,” mentions Crighton.
A ‘safe zone’ like a bathroom or a laundry room can give your pet added security.
“Make sure that this room has access to water, a warm soft bed, a hiding area, and even classical music that can drown out the sound of wind and rain.”
Keeping microchip and registration information updated with your local council can also assist in finding your pet if something goes wrong during a storm.
“Fences are commonly damaged, gates get blown open and pets get lost during storms of any degree,” states Crighton.
“Many times people forget to update their microchip information, even though it is a fact that microchips reunite lost animals with owners, quickly.”
PIA also advises organising an emergency kit for your pet. One that includes basic first aid equipment, a spare bed, food, food/ water bowls and a pet lead with a collar.