Be mindful of pets during storm events

AS BRISBANE, Southeast Queensland and possibly the Northern Rivers brace for three days of thunderstorms and a potential 'super cell' - read our story here - veterinarians are urging pet owners to prepare their animals and look out for signs of storm phobia.

Dr Guy Weerasinghe, President of the Australian Veterinary Association's (AVA) Public Health special interest group, said that veterinarians often receive calls from concerned animal owners in the lead up to and during storms.

UQ Pets Tootsie Clinical Studies Centre. Photo Contributed
UQ Pets Tootsie Clinical Studies Centre. Photo Contributed Contributed

Signs of storm phobia can include:

  • panting
  • pacing
  • dilated pupils
  • licking lips

which may lead to animals hiding, self-harming or even running away.

Triggers can include:

  • loud thunderclaps
  • flashes of lightning
  • a drop in barometric pressure.

"If your pet shows signs of storm phobia, contact your veterinarian to help create a storm plan and ensure your pet is microchipped," Dr Weerasinghe said.

"Unfortunately, with climate change exacerbating extreme weather, such impacts on our animals will only get worse as these weather events become more frequent and intense."

Dr Weerasinghe said pet owners should be prepared for natural disasters, and the AVA recommends setting up a natural disaster kit with food, water and any medication the pet may require.

The Australian Veterinary Association is currently developing a policy statement on the impact of climate change on animal health.



70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

70 firefighers, 8 water-bombing planes help at bushfire

"Challenging" bushfire still being controlled, but conditions may change

Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

premium_icon Inside the century old hydro plant which could power a town

It was first opened on Christmas Eve way back in 1925

Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

premium_icon Heartbroken bride-to-be has wedding ring stolen

Nightmare robbery just two weeks from couple's big day

Local Partners