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Keep Your Pet Calm During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th every year. The threat of high winds, flooding & storm damage can drive anxiety through the roof for home and business owners, but thunderstorms and hurricanes can also be frightening to our four-legged friends because they are very perceptive to human emotions and changes in the atmosphere. Most homeowners create a hurricane checklist to prepare their property for inclimate weather, but often forget to make a formal plan that may help their pets calmly ride out the storm. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies and solutions that can help hurricane season feel a bit less stressful for everyone.


Before we begin reviewing how we can help our pets during this time of the year, it is important to understand exactly why storms affect them so significantly. Storm systems literally charge the air with electricity, making it easier for static buildup to occur in the coats of animals - especially larger dogs and those with double or long coats, such as Huskies, Pomeranians, and Sheepdogs. If your furry friend has static buildup in its coat, they may feel a static shock on the tip of their nose when they touch it against metal or another conductive surface. These tiny zaps may frighten your pet, causing them to take off for the bathroom or another enclosed space in your home when a storm is coming because these places are often naturally grounded, which means the threat of being shocked will decrease. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, dogs are especially sensitive to barometric pressure changes; they can “feel” the storm before they can see or hear it, and their acute sense of smell enables them to detect rain and an approaching storm. Changes in barometric pressure can affect dogs' behavior as well. Yours may become agitated if they are afraid of wind or storms, or they may become over excited and curious, ready to pick up scents in the air and go exploring without sensing the danger outside. 


Before investing in toys and supplements meant to calm your pet, first, create a hurricane checklist specifically for them. Your checklist should include:

✰ Food & water bowls

✰ Food & fresh water - enough for at least three days after the storm. Moist or canned food is even better, because they will not have to drink as much water. Dogs and cats should have 1 ounce of fresh water for every pound they weigh, each day.

✰ Treats, toys & a calming wrap (like a Thundershirt or weighted blanket)

✰ First Aid Kit for pets (including products like Remedy Recovery or Vetericyn)

✰ Pee pads, paper towels & garbage bags for clean-up

✰ Contact information for your regular veterinarian, the nearest emergency vet clinic & the nearest pet-friendly shelter. Several hotel brands like Red Roof Inn and La Quinta are always pet friendly. You can use sites like GoPetFriendly.com or PetFriendlyTravel.com to find a room as well. 

✰ Make sure your pet is up-to-date on medications, prescriptions, and vaccines before stormy season arrives. Keep those medical records handy in a water-tight container or some other waterproof envelope with the rest of your family’s supplies.


If your pet appears to be experiencing storm-related anxiety, there are several natural supplements readily available without a prescription (but please check with your veterinarian before trying anything new). Pet CBD oil is, by far, the most commonly used natural remedy for stress and anxiety management. Both humans & animals have cannabinoid receptors throughout our central nervous systems. Your pet’s body releases endocannabinoid chemicals on its own as part of the digestive process. These connect with the receptors that stimulate their natural ability to create serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer. Research shows CBD can help relieve seizures, pain, anxiety and even inhibit cancerous growths in both humans and pets, which is what makes this natural remedy one of the most trusted today.


Other remedies for stress mediation may include applying essential lavender oil to their coat before the onset of a storm or car ride, treats that contain Chamomile, Passion Flower, or L-Tryptophan, or even simply playing soft music. Keeping your furry friend at ease during an otherwise stressful time will help manage everyone else’s stress as well. Pets and other family members are equally important during hurricane season; ensure they are all safely accounted for before the storm hits by reviewing your checklists with anyone else who may need to know that information, and stock up on all your pet’s needs early before the stores are in low supply. 

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