Is your dog scared of thunderstorms? Young dogs and puppies tend to become afraid of high-pitched noises and loud sounds. Thunderstorms with their deafening booms create panic among animals. The thunderous sound makes pets fearful and run for cover. If this is a recurring feature at your household, you must act to address this as soon as possible. You may divert his attention or ensure an enhanced feeling of safety in your dog.
Rain, lightning, and thunder are among the most common fears of dogs. The loud booms, startling lightning flashes, and the sound of raindrops hitting the roof and ground may make dogs cower in fear. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to comfort your dog during a thunderstorm and ensure he is not frightened.
Make Your Dog Feel Safe
Since dogs have an acute sense of hearing, the booming roar of thunder can make dogs feel like it is the end of the world. It is important to comfort your dog scared of thunderstorms and make him feel safe and secure.
If your dog feels safe in his crate, place it in a familiar room. Playing sounds, music, or simply turning on the television will help soften the crackling noises of the storm.
Try a ThunderShirt
ThunderShirts may not work on all dogs, but it is worth a try. They provide an extra barrier between the storm’s vibrations and your dog’s skin and have an effect similar to giving a hug to your dog. This helps calm down a dog scared of thunderstorms.
Dogs know when we are freaking out. If your pet sees you fearful of something and unsettled, he may become more rattled. This will make him anxious, distressed, and enervated. As a result, you may find the dog fearful and scared.
So, relax your own body language by breathing slowly and holding yourself in a calm manner. Your body language is an indication to your dog that everything is under control and your dog is safe. This assurance plays a part in increasing his ability to cope with and recover from panic.
When you can assure your dog that the situation is normal, he feels better and develops a sense of safety. A physical touch is more assuring than anything else. This feeling goes a long way making him understand that thunderstorms are not harmful to him. Assured and confident, he develops a habit of withering such sounds without any fear, anxiety, or unnerving attitude that sets in a dog scared of thunderstorms.
Distract Your Dog With Something He Likes
Does your dog love peanut butter, snuggling, or playing with tennis balls? You may use any food or activity your dog likes to distract him from the storm.
Distraction helps your dog forgo the sense of fear and prevent panic from overpowering him. A dog scared of thunderstorms suffers from panic and anxiety, as he is in a state of fear and apprehension. By distracting his attention, you can break his state of fearfulness and make him comfortable. This helps him forgo the apprehension and come out of his distress.
Prepare for the Next Storm
When the storm is finally over, it is time to start preparing for the next one. You can do this by showing your dog affection when he remains calm in tense situations. Let your dog become accustomed to the loud noise gradually. The more he is familiar the less he is fearful when such thunderous sounds occur.
Practice remaining calm in noisy situations by quietly playing recordings of thunderstorms or increasing the volume of your television incrementally. After lots of practice, the next thunderstorms will seem like nothing at all.
Consult the vet
Your dog’s veterinarian may be able to recommend medication to help your dog cope with thunder anxiety. There are many medications available that can help calm down a dog scared of thunderstorms. However, such medications should be resorted to in extreme cases. There is also the fear of side effects.
There is also a study suggesting that green tea can help alleviate anxiety in a dog scared of thunderstorms. According to a study published in The Journal of Veterinary Behavior, the active ingredient found in green tea produced a calming effect on dogs suffering from storm anxiety. You need to find a way on how to add green tea to the food or drink of your dog.