Pet safety tips and advice to protect your pets during thunderstorms.

Met Eireann issues a status yellow warning for thunderstorms, with downpours of hail and lightning expected this week!

18th May 2021

The ISPCA is asking pet owners to ensure their animals are safely secure following a status yellow warning issued by Met Eireann for thunderstorms, with downpours of hail and lightning expected this week!

ISPCA Public Relations Manager, Carmel Murray said:  “Pets can become anxious from loud noises such as thunder and they can try to escape resulting in destructive behaviour or also injuring themselves. We recommend keeping your pets secure indoors during heavy downpours when thunder and lightning is forecasted.  By gradually exposing your pet to loud noises, it may in time help desensitise your pet to the fear it associates with loud noises. If your pets are extremely anxious, we recommend you consult your vet for advice as they may prescribe medication that will calm your pet during times of stress”.

Carmel added:  “It is important that your pets are microchipped as a permanent form of identification should they escape. You should ensure that your contact details are up-to-date on the microchip database so you will be easily reunited”.

ISPCA Pet Safety Tips and Advice:

  • Consider taking dogs on short, more frequent walks after it rains keeping an eye on the forecast for thunder and lightning.
  • When out walking your dog, it is important they are kept on a short lead and under control at all times.
  • Continue to exercise and play with your pets to alleviate stress in the confines of your home or secure garden.
  • There is also plenty of ways to keep your pets entertained such as putting their favourite treats in a Kong pet toy or by using food puzzle toys or by play fetch or tug-of-war with their favourite toy.
  • Put on moderately loud music or the TV to muffle out loud thunder noises to distract your pets.
  • This is a good time to teach your pets some new tricks. The ISPCA would love to see your cute animal photos or videos so tag us on social media!
  • Cats are great at finding places to hide but sometimes these can be dangerous. They often take shelter under a car or in the bonnet, so make sure to check before you drive off.
  • Check inside sheds and other outdoor structures as pets may have taken shelter there and become locked inside.
  • Ensure stables are well grounded inside and have lightning rods when keeping equines inside.
  • Avoid using fields during thunderstorms with streams running through them when keeping animals outside.
  • Consider fencing off large single trees in exposed locations to prevent animals from sheltering beneath them, which makes them a target for a lightning strike.  Remember lightening can travel along wire fencing and water courses etc.
  • Stay safe!

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