Keeping Pets Calm When The Thunder Rolls

By: Pam Wiese Email
By: Pam Wiese Email

Friday night's stormy weather might have given your pet a bad case of nerves. There are things you can do to help keep them calm.

With thunderstorms rolling through and 4th of July fireworks on the horizon, it can be a terrifying few weeks for many dogs. “Thundershirts” are stretchy vests with Velcro panels that apply gentle, constant pressure to a dog's torso. Once on, it can have a dramatic calming effect on dogs, similar to swaddling a baby. The vest can calm all sort of anxieties from separation and kennel to storm and firework fears.

It comes with easy instructions, like offering treats when you first put it on so your dog has a positive opinion of the process. You'll want to get one before Independence Day and get him or her used to it during good and bad weather so your buddy doesn't see the shirt and immediately know that something scary is on the way.

The key is making your pet feel as safe as you can. So try that thundershirt and then let them crate in an interior room with Kong or toys. Turn on the TV, a fan or radio to muffle outside noise and distract your pet. And make sure they are wearing ID just in case they get out and make a run for it.

Thundershirts work on 80 percent of dogs and the company offers a money-back guarantee if you're one of the 20 percent who don't see significant improvement.

Rescue Remedy is a natural herbal supplement and a few drops in the mouth can help calm scared pets. This needs a little time to work, so give it an hour or so before the storm or fireworks are expected to hit.

Calming pheromone plug-ins like Comfort Zone can also help. These can be plugged in anytime, even before work, and left on. Thundershirts, Rescue Remedy and pheromones are all available at the Animal Outfitters retail store at the Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha.

The shelter is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at

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