Thunderstorm Survival Guide For Your Pets

Even before you’re aware of it, your pet has probably sensed that something scary is on its way. Thunderstorms come with some wonderfully well-needed rain but they can also leave our pets cowering beneath our feet or trying to dig a hole for themselves in the corner, let alone the howling.

Thunder and lightning, and even wind can be very, very frightening to many pets. If your pet starts shivering and panicking when a rainstorm approaches, then this survival guide is for you.

Is your pet scared of thunder and lightning? 

First things first, is your pet actually scared during a thunderstorm? Not all pets react negatively when the weather changes. Here’s how to know if your dog or cat is afraid of a storm. 


It can be relatively obvious when your dog is scared. You’ll notice them shivering, whimpering, hiding, panting, howling or anxiously moving around.


It’s not as common for cats to be scared of thunderstorms as it is for dogs but it definitely happens. Cats typically show their fear by hiding in enclosed spaces like in cupboards or under furniture. 

It’s important to help your pet through its fear because it can turn into a full-blown phobia if left alone. This can cause your pet to develop some destructive behaviours like messing inside or destroying furniture. 

Fear can also incite an aggressive response from your pet meaning they can really hurt you so it’s important to find ways to help your pet cope. 

Why pets get scared during storms 

The main reason pets get scared is due to loud noises. Ever noticed how much your pet panics during fireworks? Thunderstorms evoke a similar reaction. Your pet’s hearing is far stronger than yours and they don’t typically understand where these loud noises are coming from which can be quite startling. 

The change in sound is not the only reason why some pets become panicked during storms. There is a change in barometric pressure and a buildup of static electricity in the air that can be very uncomfortable for pets. This change in the atmosphere usually happens before humans even hear the first rumble of thunder which is why your pets seem to know there’s a storm on the way. 

What to do to keep your pet calm

There are a few things you can do to help your pet through their fear and make sure they feel safe during a storm. 

Bring your pets inside

Your pets will feel far safer inside your home than out in the elements. Even if your pet has shelter outside like a dog kennel, it is far safer to bring them inside. They will feel calmer being out of the storm and there is a lower chance of them getting injured in any way. 

Cats often try to seek shelter underneath cars during storms which can be incredibly dangerous so it’s important to find them and bring them inside before the storm begins. 

Remain calm

Your pet can sense when you’re stressed or anxious which in turn makes them stressed. If you’re feeling uneasy during a storm, try your best to remain calm. Try to find ways to cope during a storm so that your pet remains calm too, 

Make sure your pet is microchipped and up-to-date

Fear can incite the “fight or flight” response in your pet. This means they’re more likely to try and escape the storm by running away from it. 

They’ll run until they feel safe which means they could end up a very long way away from home. By microchipping your pets, you are more likely to find them when they go missing. If someone picks your pet up and takes them to the vet, the vet can check their microchip and find your contact details.  

At the very least, get your pet a collar with your contact details and address on it. 

Create a safe space for your pets

Make sure your pet has a “safe haven”. Some pets like to burrow into blankets, some dogs like to go inside a crate that’s covered with a blanket and cats like to hide away. 

Create a cosy den for your pet by preparing for the storm. Put a blanket inside your cat’s favourite cupboard so they’re comfortable when they hide. Close the curtains for your doggo so the lightning is less bright. Whatever makes your pet feel secure. 

Try calming products

There are some incredible products on the market that will calm and relax your pet during stressful times. It might take some time to figure out what works best for your pet but you find some great options for your dog here and for your cat right here, we’ve got great reviews on how these products have worked wonders on calming anxious pets, try them out on your own pet family and let us know how they like them! 

You can also ask your vet for a recommendation if you’re a little unsure. 

It’s important to be patient with your pets when they’re frightened. They can’t be their best self when their fear responses are so high so try your best to create a safe environment while letting their anxiety subside. 

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