Helping Pets Cope With Storm Trauma

Did you know that pets can suffer from phobias and anxiety, just as people can? Fluffy and Fido can be traumatized by many different things, such as accidents, injuries, neglect, or abandonment. They also sometimes develop PTSD after major storms, such as Hurricane Ian, which can make coping with our ‘normal’ summer showers difficult. A Tampa, FL vet offers some advice on this below.


Calming pheromones are products that mimic the scents pets give off when they are calm or happy. These come in many forms, such as treats, collars, or sprays. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Calming Shirts

This one’s for Fido! Consider getting your pooch a snug shirt. Many of these products act like a pet version of a weighted blanket. Just don’t force him to wear it if he doesn’t want to.


Our animal companions tend to be calmer after they’ve burned off their energy. When you know a storm is coming in, walk and play with your furry buddy beforehand, so they can work off some of their zoomies.

Comfy Places

Many dogs and cats instinctively feel safer in small spaces. Fido may be more comfortable in his crate, with bedding and toys. Fluffy may appreciate an enclosed kitty condo, a box, or even a spot under a bed.

Background Noise

Turn a radio or TV on during storms. The background noise will hopefully drown out some of the noise. You may also be able to use CDs or apps that play storm sounds for desensitization.


Our four-legged friends are wired for flight or fight. Many will instinctively run if they feel scared. This can be extra dangerous in storms, where rain can obscure the landmarks and scents that would help Fido or Fluffy find their way home. Bring your four-legged friend inside before bad weather hits.


You don’t want to go overboard here: if you fawn over your furry bff every time it rains, you’ll be rewarding their anxiety, and could inadvertently end up making it worse. However, there’s nothing wrong with offering some ear scritches or a few words of comfort.


In extreme cases, anti-anxiety medications may be needed. These can help soothe nervous pets. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Reach out to us, your Tampa, FL animal clinic, anytime!

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