Thunderstorms: How to Calm Your Dog
Many dogs freak out during a thunderstorm. The sound of the booms, the charge of electricity in the air, the howling of the wind, the pouring rain, and the flashing across the sky can all terrify the animal. Approximately 30 percent of all dogs are terrified of the loud rumbling of a storm. You probably hate seeing your beloved pet tremble in fear or run away to hide. In this article, we will explore how to calm your pet during a thunderstorm.
Why is My Dog so Afraid During a Storm?
Your pooch does not know where all of the noise from the storm is coming from. Most dogs will try to hide, pants, or tremble. In extreme cases, the dog might make a mess on the floor. Some dogs will even chew carpet or try to claw their way through the drywall in an attempt to escape the loud noises.
How to Calm Your Dog During a Storm
Here are just a few tips on how to calm your dog during a thunderstorm:
- Safe Place: Provide a safe place for your dog to hide during the storm. Most dogs, when afraid, will go to where they feel the safest. Many will hide under the bed or in a closet. Some even climb on the bed to burrow into the covers. In many cases, the dog might crawl onto your lap for reassurance that everything will be alright. Most dogs appreciate a crate to hide within a storm because it feels like a den. If you do not have a crate for your dog, then you might want to give the dog access to the area under your bed, your bed, or a small room of the home where they feel safe and secure.
- Stay Calm: Remain calm during a thunderstorm. Never let your dog know that you are afraid or anxious. Sensing your emotions might reinforce his fearful behavior. Even if you are nervous about the storm, avoid fussing too much and upsetting the animal. Instead, console and offer reassurance to your petrified pet.
- Distraction: Try to distract your dog from the storm by playing a game of fetch or tug of war. You can also brush his fur or share a special treat with him to create a feeling of calm and relaxation.
- Purchase a Thundershirt: Yes, they have designed unique shirts for dogs referred to as ‘undershirts. The thundershirt is a snug garment that wraps around the dog. The constant pressure on the dog helps calm and reassure the animal. The use of a thundershirt is similar to swaddling a newborn baby.
- Turn on Music or the TV: Create background noise to help distract your four-legged friend and cover up the loud booms. Classical music or something soothing is usually very welcomed by the nervous pet.
- Make an Appointment with Your Veterinarian: If all else fails, and your dog is still very nervous. You might want to book an appointment with your veterinarian to explore anti-anxiety medications to help relieve stress.
Learning how to calm your dog during a storm is the first step. In time and with a lot of work, most pets can overcome their fear of thunderstorms as they age.