Wow, who would have thought that only a mere few weeks after Auckland floods another storm would be bearing down on the North Island, with Cyclone Gabrielle promising to be even more disruptive due to high velocity winds as well as heavy rainfall.
Here are some tips for those of you who are stuck at home with anxious and/or bored dogs, as well as some information on evacuating with animals, and where to go if you're in Auckland and need somewhere for your pets to be safely cared for temporarily.
Managing anxiety during a storm
Some dogs get highly anxious during stormy weather. For them the same sorts of suggestions apply as for dogs with fireworks anxiety:
- Pull the curtains and turn the TV on to block out the noise of the storm
- Set up a safe space to hide such as a dog crate with a blanket over it
- Plenty of cuddles to reassure them that it will be okay
- Try and distract them as much as possible, see the tips below
Being housebound because of the stormy weather is not much fun for anyone. You can obviously grab out the usual toys, but also consider looking up some fun new enrichment options. I recently came across a fabulous new group on Facebook called Canine Enrichment New Zealand, who have heaps of great ideas, or just google 'homemade enrichment toys'.
Evacuating with your dog
Obviously if you need to evacuate take any medication your dog is on, as well as plenty of their normal food. If you are staying with friends or family their pets may well be eating diets that contain significant ingredient and macronutrient (protein, fat and carbohydrate) differences. The last thing you want is the stress of having to change your pet's diet, especially if you have a dog with a sensitive tummy.
Don't forget to take their normal bedding, as having their own stuff, with their own smells, is really calming for our canine companions. If they have their own dog crate this is when it will be worth its weight in gold as it will provide a calming den for your dog. And toys - take lots of toys!
HuHa Temporary Animal Shelter in Auckland
HuHa (Helping You Help Animals) have set up a temporary animal shelter in Auckland at the Dogs NZ show facility in Ardmore. I have worked with the HuHa team previously during the Nelson fires several years ago and they are very professional and experienced in helping in these emergency situations. They will have vets and vet nurses checking on the animals and will be able to administer any medications your pet may be on.