ENCINITAS–Just like us, pets want to be warm, safe, and dry during the winter storms. Rancho Coastal Humane Society reminds owners that pets want to be indoors, not in the back yard, a dog house, or a garage where they will be cold, wet, and alone.
Rancho Coastal Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante says, “If it’s not possible for your pets to stay inside while you’re gone, make sure they have warm shelter in a place that won’t flood. If your pet is already cold and wet, it’s even worse if they have no way to escape rising water.”
Whether pets are indoors or outdoors, they can still be frightened by the rain, wind, and thunder. Owners can help their pets stay comfortable by following a few guidelines.
· Reassure your pet that everything is fine. Speak in a soothing voice. Remember that your pets can tell when you’re upset.
· Make sure they have access to their “safe zones” to hide if they need to. This might be a crate, an open closet, or other room where they have access to food, water, and blankets or beds.
· You might try a “Thunder Shirt.” A Thunder Shirt is a form fitting wrap that gives pets the feeling of being hugged. The shirts come in a variety of sizes and they are adjustable to fit individual pets.
· Leave them with something that smells like you. Your scent helps to reassure pets when they are frightened or unsure. Leaving them with a shirt, towel, or blanket that smells like you can reassure frightened pets.
· DO NOT force them out of a place where they feel safe. If your cat or dog hides under a bed, behind the couch, or in a closet…leave it there. Try coaxing it out with treats or affection, but do not force your pet to leave the place it feels safe.
One of the care providers in the kennels at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society gives her dog half of a Benadryl to keep it calm. Pet owners should check with their veterinarians before giving pets any medication.
For cats, many veterinary professionals recommend using a synthetic pheromone spray such as Feliway. Feliway imitates the pheromone that a mother cat releases to her kittens, helping to calm frightened cats. It’s available at most pet supply stores.
For more information visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or log on towww.sdpets.org.