May 31 2018
Fear of thunderstorms and lightning is very common in dogs.
Those big booms can be very scary. Many dogs can sense a storm coming from the
rapidly falling barometric pressure. Therefore, your dog may show anxiety even
before the storm can be heard.
your otherwise obedient dog begin to pace, pant, cling to you, or hide
under the bed at the first sight of an approaching storm? In more severe cases,
Bark Busters has even trained dogs that will break through a window out of
- Stay calm. Dogs can sense fear or discomfort from people, so
it is important you remain calm during storms. Let your dog stay close and try
and distract him by playing.
- Don't scold or reward. Do not try to comfort him in a sympathetic voice;
this will sound like praise and may increase his nervousness and confusion.
- Keep it closed. Keep your windows and curtains closed to reduce
noise and bright flashes. Turn on a TV or radio at a normal volume to distract
your dog from loud noises and help him to relax.
- A safe den. Provide your dog with a safe place to be during
storms whether inside or out. Create a special den-like area in your home where
your dog always feels safe and secure. If a storm is brewing, lead your dog to
his special place to help him feel calm and protected. If you cannot bring your
dog inside, cover his doghouse with a blanket to offer some protection from the
bursts of thunder and lightning. Be sure your dog can come and go freely, since some animals
become more anxious if penned up.
- Medication. Consult with your veterinarian because there are
many calming medications on the market that help dogs to cope with their fears
and anxieties. Also, like swaddling a baby, there are snug-fitting shirts and wraps
especially designed to calm anxious dogs.
- Reconditioning. Dogs that continue to panic when a storm
approaches may have to be reconditioned by creating an artificial storm with
environmental recordings. This is something you should not attempt yourself !
call your area Bark Busters Canine Behavior Therapist.
Some dogs with storm phobias are also frightened of other
loud noises, such as fireworks or gunshots, but others are only afraid of
storms. Bark Busters will help you get to the 'why' of your dog's behavior and
help you to overcome issues or phobias.