The Dogs Trust has published advice for concerned pet owners in the face of Storm Ophelia. The handy tips include advice on how to distract pets from becoming scared by unsettling sounds, and how to ensure our pets use up energy if they're unable to be walked.
- If the storm is disrupting your dog’s exercise routine, activities such as a toy filled with food so that they can use up some energy playing and ‘exploring’ for food, often work well. Games like this are also a great distraction from any unsettling sounds. If you are able to head out safely, always keep your dog on a lead in case they get scared by any sudden noises.
- If you need someone to care for your dog during the storm, in the first instance try friends and family, otherwise try your local authority. Remember lots of organisations, including local authorities, may be affected and may not be able to offer immediate help. But, they may be able to recommend licensed boarding establishments.
- If you know of any neighbours, relatives or friends who have pets and might be affected then please keep in touch with them. When extreme unforeseen events like this happen, there are so many things to think about that it is very likely they will need your support.
- If you are near an area that may flood, be aware that flood water could contain raw sewage, and might be contaminated. Keep you and your pet out of it as the water could contain toxins, which could be dangerous to your pet if swallowed, and could remain on their coat if not bathed properly.
- Pet owners should know where their pets are at all times. If there is any risk to pets kept outside, ensure they have a safe shelter, or if appropriate bring them indoors. They may be scared and unsure, and will need reassurance.