:10 Tips to Keep Your Pets Calm During Florida Storms & Fireworks – Florida Animal Friend

10 Tips to Keep Your Pets Calm During Florida Storms & Fireworks

Many pet owners have a love-hate relationship with summer holidays that feature fireworks, but in Florida, pet owners have another loud obstacle to navigate: tropical storms complete with booming thunder and dazzling lightning. For humans, they can be awe-inspiring experiences, but for our beloved pets, especially in the Sunshine State, the situation flips from fascinating to frightening. What can we, as loving pet owners, do to keep our pets feeling safe, happy, and peaceful during these noisy times? 

In this blog, we will dive into how to calm pets during storms to help ensure your beloved furry friends find tranquility amidst the chaos of summer events in Florida. These informative insights and practical tips are designed to ease the stress and discomfort your pets might otherwise endure from loud noises and sudden flashes of light, so hopefully you can share the magic of Florida’s summers together. 

The Symmetry of Sound: Understanding Noise and Pet Anxieties 

Before diving into the tips, it’s important to understand that, compared to human hearing, pet hearing is dramatically heightened. From being able to detect high pitches to having more sensitivity in the general frequency range, imagine the auditory experience of your pet during fireworks or storms. With the sound being so amplified, these intense noises can cause panic and disorientation in our pets. Unlike humans, pets don’t grow accustomed to loud noises. For them, it’s a sensory bombardment, causing a release of stress hormones and triggering a fight-or-flight response. It’s not mere “fear” to be brushed aside; understanding the depths of their discomfort is the first step towards helping your four-legged friend stay calm.

Each pet displays anxiety differently; it might be pacing, hiding, excessive drooling, trembling, or even trying to escape. Observing your pet’s behavior and recognizing these signs is crucial in addressing their anxiety and creating a calming environment.

Zen-Mode: Practical Strategies for Calming Your Companion

As you prepare for summer storms and fireworks, keep these tips handy:

  1. Make sure your pet has exercised: Just as we humans need to stretch our legs and get our hearts pumping for optimal physical and mental well-being, so do our pets. Ensuring they’ve worked out pent-up energy can help them calm down more easily when loud noises abound. Consider a hike or extra playtime when you know a storm is brewing or fireworks are a foot.
  2. Adjust mealtime and bathroom breaks as needed: While this may be a bit trickier for storms, fireworks have a somewhat predictable start time when the sky gets dark. Make sure your pet does not have to go outside during this time by scheduling mealtimes and potty breaks earlier in the day.
  3. Keep anxiety vests and comfort items nearby: Sometimes, all it takes is a snug fit from an anxiety vest like a ThunderShirt or the comforting smell of their favorite toy or blanket to take the edge off for your pet. These items create a sense of security, like a hug during stressful times.
  4. Educate yourself on medication and supplements: For pets with severe anxiety, a range of medications and supplements can provide relief. From over-the-counter aids to prescriptions, there are numerous options to assist your pet through the tumult. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian to discuss the best medication options for how to calm pets during storms.
  5. Create safe spaces and maintain comforting routines: Reserve a safe room in your home as your pet’s sanctuary during storms or fireworks. Equip it with familiar items to offer comfort while maintaining a consistent calming routine, as pets find solace in predictability.
  6. Add distraction techniques to your toolbox: The best defense can be a good offense; distract your pet with enjoyable activities to counteract the anxiety. Whether it’s a tasty treat or a favorite game, redirecting their focus can significantly reduce stress levels.
  7. Escape-proof your home: Ensure your home is secure against anxious pets looking for escape. A microchip and current tags are invaluable if they were to slip past your defenses in a panic.
  8. Know the early warnings: The surprise factor is part of the stress, and anticipation allows you to start calming your pet before the event. Advanced warnings give you time to implement familiar calming techniques that work for your fur baby.
  9. Avoid potentially harmful situations: Never expose your pet to the direct sounds of fireworks or storms to try to “toughen them up.” This can be a traumatic experience and only reinforces their fear.
  10. Consider professional help and training: Sometimes, professional guidance is needed. Trained behaviorists can design customized desensitization programs to help pets overcome their fears gradually.


As summer approaches, we hope you will reflect on these practices not only for the coming seasons but also as part of a loving framework that protects your pet’s emotional health all year round. After all, it’s not just about getting your pets through the tumultuous storms and fireworks. When we learn how to calm pets during storms, we ensure that our shared experiences are joyous and forge a stronger bond with our beloved furry friends. Do you have tried and true tips to share? Leave a comment below — we’d love to hear what works for your furry friends!

We consulted the following resources when writing this blog:


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