5 Tips on How to Calm Your Dog During Thunder Storms

Thunder phobia is something a number of our furry family members suffer from. Anxiety from storms can often result in whining, howling, hiding, slobbering, panicking or even scratching. None of which is fun for you or your precious pooch. We’ve got some handy hacks on how to calm your dog during thunder storms to make the experience less stressful for both of you.

Why are dogs afraid of thunder?

Well, some dogs are just naturally scared of things and panic over everything. Some may just be very sensitive to sound. Your dog can actually sense a change in the air pressure and even hear low-frequency rumblings that you can’t hear.

While you’re here, read this: Why do dogs have wet noses? Plus what a dry nose means

How to Calm Your Dog During Thunder Storms

1.     Create a safe space

Provide your dog with a safe indoor space like a crate with blankets and leave the door open so that your dog doesn’t feel trapped. If your dog is not used to a small space, then fill your dog’s bed with “happy” items such as his favourite toy, a nice treat, and a water bowl nearby. Close the blinds or curtains too so that your dog cannot see outside as bright flashes of lighting and stormy weather are often very scary for them.

2.     Distract your precious pooch

Play calming music and drown out the sounds of thunder. There are dog-friendly playlists online designed specifically to calm your dog – pretty cool, right? Play with your dog if he feels like playing or distract him with treats and his favourite toys. Giving your dog a treat when there is a storm will also help him to associate happiness with stormy weather which could help in the long run.

3.     Start to prepare for upcoming storms

This might sound strange but download some sounds of thunder storms. The trick with the these sounds is this:

Start to play the sounds of thunder storms to your dog before a storm hits. While it is playing, play with them – give them treats and make them feel special. Then, over the weeks, start to increase the music volume, this gets your dog used to the sound of thunder and helps them to associate the noise with happy times of play and treats with their best friend – that’s you.

4.     Find out about products for nerves

There are all sorts of things available online that can help your dog remain calm in a thunder storm. One great example is calming jackets. Calming jackets give sensory pressure and help alleviate anxiety, much like swaddling a baby.

You can also create your own by using a small shirt and putting your dog’s front legs through the armholes and fitting it snugly around their torso – also, just think how cute they will look! Of course, only do what your dog is comfortable with. Don’t force anything on them.

Don’t miss this interesting read: Why do dogs lick your face? 4 reasons explained

5.     Speak to your vet

Speak to your vet (we recommend getting pet insurance to make those visits more affordable) about any techniques or even medication they may have for your scared pooch. In severe cases, your vet may suggest your dog takes some low dose anti-anxiety medication.

And finally – you also need to keep calm.

Your dog will pick up on your emotions and if you are acting scared or panicking because they are, then this will only result in the two of you having thunder phobia, running around in circles crying together and the cat laughing at you both. Cats are like that. If you have one, you will know.

In any case, we hope this list helps when the next storm hits and that you and your bestie keep calm through the thunder – thunder buddies for life!

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