Battersea Issues Advice to Keep Your Pets Safe During Storm Eunice
18 FEBRUARY 2022
As the UK braces itself for winds of up to 100mph, leading animal welfare charity, Battersea, has issued pet advice to help ensure cats and dogs are kept safe during the incoming storm Eunice.
From timing dog walks during calmer weather, keeping cats in where possible and keeping windows closed - to playing music, using stress relieving plug-ins and setting up cosy dens, the following tips will help owners alleviate stress and keep pets as calm as possible until the storm passes.
Chloe Jackson, Canine Behaviour and Training Manager at Battersea, said, "With the weather over the next day or two taking a turn for the worst, it's important that we do what we can for our pets. Cats and dogs can become stressed and anxious when the wind howls and the rain is pouring down. Fortunately, there is some advice we can offer to owners that can help to keep your pets calm until Storm Eustice passes. From scheduling walks at calmer moments, creating cosy dens, playing music and using stress relieving plug-ins, we have lots of tips that can help."
Battersea’s tips to help your pets during Storm Eunice:
- Make sure your pet is microchipped and their details are up to date
Animals can flee when they get scared. If your pet does run away from home, you can easily be reunited if they’re microchipped and their chip details are up to date. It’s also a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped.
- Avoid letting your cat or dog outdoors when the storm is due to be at its worst
By keeping your pet indoors, it prevents them being caught out and from getting scared if they’re outside. Keep an eye on weather forecasts.
Dogs – time dog walks when the storm isn’t due to be at its worst and consider if your dog will benefit from the exercise or if indoor enrichment is more suited. Ensure if taking a dog out during wet conditions to consider the use of an appropriate coat and to dry them off fully when you return.
Cats - If your cat likes to spend lots of time outside, make sure they can always get indoors if they need to so they don’t get caught out by a sudden downpour. When the storm looks to be at its worst lock cat flaps for outwards access and make sure you have a litter tray available, even if your cat doesn’t usually use one.
- Create a ‘safe space’ inside your home
If your pet is scared, they may take comfort in hiding away. If your dog is used to being in a crate, cover it and leave it open with blankets inside, or alternatively a table draped with a blanket can make a great retreat. Cat’s may also choose to hide in one of their usual cosy spots or if your cat feels more secure high up on a shelf or cupboard make sure they can get up and down easily and safely.
- Don’t confine your pet to just one room
If your dog or cat becomes stressed, they may hurt themselves trying to get out, so allow them easy access to all safe areas of the house. Some animals may also be most comfortable curled up in their usual spot with you; let them do whatever suits them the best.
- Keep the TV or radio on
To reduce the sounds of howling winds, keep the TV or radio on. Playing certain types of music that don’t have a repetitive beat or any sudden loud noises, like classical music can be very calming for pets.
- Keep your pet distracted with a treat
A new toy or treat can be a great way to distract your cat or dog from the noise of the storm and howling winds. Try a long-lasting chew toy or a Kong packed with tasty treats.
- Act normally
Animals are very perceptive creatures, and if they notice you behaving strangely (like following them around and fussing over them) they could become more anxious. If you remain calm they’ll understand the storm is nothing to worry about and it may help decrease their anxiety.
- Keep your curtains closed
It may not just be the sound of the storm that stresses your pet -if there are thunders storms the lightning flashes can worry them too. It’s important to make sure your curtains are closed and windows are covered to block out any sudden bursts of light.
- Consider using a stress relieving plug-in for pets
Stress relieving plug-ins are readily available from most pet stores and some supermarkets, consider using a specially designed plug-in for your pet to help reduce stress.
- If your pet is still stressed by the storm after following this advice, talk to your vet
A vet may be able to provide some medication to help reduce your pet’s anxiety. Keep in mind that any medicinal treatment should always be accompanied by a behaviour management plan and should only be used as a last resort.
Notes to editors
- At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere.
- In 2020 Battersea directly cared for 1,796 dogs and 1,653 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through our Communities programme, campaigning work, supporting other rescue centres and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners.
- To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ , Instagram @battersea or facebook.com/Battersea