The Sandy Storm
With “Sandy” approaching the Northeast quickly, I wanted to write a quick reminder to all dog owners and offer some tips to help you and your pets stay safe.
- Make sure you are fully stocked up on pet food and bottled water and that you have accurate information on your dogs collar. You should also have all your pets medications in an easily accessible place so if you lose power you don’t have to root around. Flashlights, batteries, etc can be kept in this area too. I suggest a large tupperwear container in an easy to find spot.
- Prepare a place in your home for your pet to go should the storm become worrying for them. A crate, covered by blankets hidden under the stairs or in a closet may be helpful. You should have it near or at the place that you and your family may have to move to should things get rough. You can sit with your dog if that is more comforting to them.
- If you have interactive toys handy, like Kongs, or even some empty bones, have some peanut butter and other non perishable goodies (squirt cheese, yummy biscuits, baby food, etc) put aside or near their hiding spot so you can continue to keep the storm a positive experience for them but loading up the toys and giving them something fun to do. I suggest doing this for dogs that even dont display anxiety, that way you are hopefully preventing anxiety from developing.
- If you can, play classical music for them if the wind, rain and noise is worrying. “Through a Dog’s Ear” is fabulous, but if you dont have access to that, try single instrument classical music like Bach or Chopin.
- Always keep your dog leashed during storms, should they spook suddenly and try to run off. If the weather is really bad, it may not be safe to take your dog out for a walk or let them out to go to the bathroom. I always have a supply of pee pads for my dogs that I can set up in a corner of the basement just in case.
- Thundershirts, calming aids, etc should be ready for you to use just in case. Speak with your veterinarian if you are concerned.
- DON’T take your dog out to watch the storm!!! Even if you think it’s cool, they don’t! Stay inside.
- DON’T punish your dog for being worried or for displaying anxious behavior. If you dog wants to be near you, or needs physical contact to help him stay calm, allow it. He will appreciate it.
- Have a list of pet friendly hotels, or places with generators that can board your dog should you lose power. NEVER leave your dog or other pets behind.