WARNING: How to stop fur babies stressing in storms
WHILE thunder can be scary for adults and young children, the fear is much more acute for animals and pets.
Condamine Veterinary Clinic Dr Christine Stirling has asked pet owners to keep an eye on their furry loved one during storm season.
Dr Stirling said it was not unheard of for pets to present at the clinic with storm related injuries.
"If the animals are really anxious they can injure themselves while climbing fences, digging under things and getting into places they shouldn't be," she said.
"Some can even go through glass doors so we see a lot of cuts, sore legs, torn nails and that sort of thing."
Animals get a sense of an approaching storm well before humans do and Dr Stirling said this gave them extra time to get worked up.
It's important for pet owners to be aware of their animal's behaviour and take steps to calm them down before things get out of hand.
"Depending on what they are freaking out about sometimes pets can respond to patting and gentle words but some will panic no matter what you do, so put them in a nice calm place where they can't hurt themselves."
This can be a laundry or toilet with a soft bed to curl up in and if you keep your pet on a leash in a shed or dog kennel be sure there's no way they can strangle or tie themselves up.
Dr Stirling said all breeds of dog were prone to storm-related stress.
"Staffies might be more prone to anxiety but as a general rule it's variable, each dog is an individual," she said.
Along with pets, Dr Stirling will often see injured wildlife and birds present at her clinic after a storm.
Some can be stunned from a fall or injured by debris but just because they look hurt, residents should not necessarily rush them to a vet.
"If you can see actual injuries I would take it to a vet, if you can see a nest and if you see they have been blown out sometimes you can place them back in it, but it can be tricky, It's best to not move a wild animal too far from where you've found it so you have to weigh the benefit against the costs."
The key thing to remember when preparing for a storm event is to make sure your pets are micro-chipped, that way if they do escape the vet or pound officer can easily find their owner.
"Pets can lose their collar in a storm or sometimes they might not be wearing one but the microchip is permanent," Dr Stirling said.