Thunderstorms can be scary! Where thunder is loud to the human ear it is even more intense for dogs, whose hearing is significantly better than ours.
With loud noises and flashing lights, it’s no wonder most dogs are nervous and anxious. Thunderstorm anxiety is terrifying for a dog and can be heart breaking for an owner to watch.
Fortunately, there are ways to help calm your dog’s fears. In this post, we will go over a few of those ways so you can help your best friend stay calm and safe during thunderstorms.
Why are Dogs Afraid Of Storms?
When thunder rumbles you may notice your companion hiding in a confined space. They may tremble, shaker, bark, howl, pace and engage in destructive behaviour. These are all indications that your pup has a thunder phobia.
While it can be easy to spot the signs of your dog being anxious during a storm, the reasons why dogs are afraid of thunderstorms is much more complicated. The top reasons are noise aversion and static electricity.
With thunderstorms comes an increase in static in the air, causing a buildup in your companion’s fur. This can cause mild discomfort when they touch metals and get a small shock.
A dog’s hearing is far more advanced and more sensitive to ours, this makes them more aware of sounds. As such, a noise phobia can be the reason your dog cowers during a storm.
Tips to Calm your Dog During a Storm
- Give your dog a safe place to go during a storm. When dogs are afraid they’ll need a safe space to go to for comfort. Make sure this space is fully enclosed with no access to windows or doors your dog can escape through.
- Be calm during a storm. Consoling your dog while they are scared can reinforce these behaviours as they will attribute love and cuddles with fearful behaviour. You can distract your pup further from the noise by keeping them occupied – throwing a ball, grooming or giving them a chew toy.
- Try a thunder shirt. This is a tight-fitting shirt or wrap that applies gentle, constant pressure. This works to soothe some dogs into a calmer state.
- Supplement scary sounds. By using the TV or white noises such as rain or static to mask the severity of the storm you can help your dog feel more comfortable.
- Dog Training. The best thing you can do to help your pup stay calm during a storm is to train them through positive reinforcement. Training a dog new tricks and tasks will strengthen the bond between you and make your dog more likely to listen, even when they are anxious.
Helping Keep Your Pup Calm
It can be difficult to see your pup suffer during a loud and lengthy thunderstorm. With training from Chapter One Dog Training, the time spent with your pup will be more joyful and less frantic.