DOG GUIDETraining & Behavior

How to Calm a Dog from Thunder

If you have a dog terrified of thunderstorms, the prospect of a thunderstorm in the forecast is your worst nightmare. During a storm, your dog may pant, pace, whine, and may even become destructive to the environment. You are concerned about the psychological and bodily harm they may inflict on themselves due to this very stressful situation. So, How to Calm a Dog from Thunder?

Calm a Dog from Thunder

Here are eight suggestions for keeping your dog quiet during a storm:

⚡️ Make your way back home with your dog.

A dog that already has thunderstorm phobia will only get more anxious if left alone during the storm. If severe weather is predict. Try to remain at home or arrange for someone to look after your dog while the battery occurs.

⚡️ May create calmness.

Provide your dog with the comfort and attention she needs to reduce her anxiety. A nervous dog cannot learn because it is overstimulate and emotionally charge, which means that soothing does not alleviate stress. Try giving your dog a relaxing massage to help relax throughout the storm.

⚡️ Distract people from your work.

If a dog is chastise or neglect during a scary incident, the anxiety may probably develop even more. Provide your dog with a positive stimulation, such as soft stroking, to divert attention and calm down instead. If your dog is still willing to participate. Try a game of indoor fetch or tug-of-war, or give a high-value chew.

⚡️ Provide a Protective Environment

Calm a Dog from Thunder

Place your dog’s crate and bed in the room with the best sound insulation in your house. A dog’s natural, psychological protection is the crate. It may have a significant impact on how comfortable the dog is at any one time. It is also beneficial to shut the blinds during a storm to protect your dog from distract by the visual stimulus.

⚡️ Compete Against Background Noise

When there isn’t a fully soundproof space available, compete with the noise by listening to music or using a white noise generator. Dog-calming music may also be beneficial for very anxious dogs. Since it can assist in masking the sound of the storm.

⚡️ Remedies for Reducing Stress

Natural treatments are beneficial in the treatment of mild to moderate storm anxiety. A thunder jacket is a device that simulates swaddling and may help your dog become more relaxed. Bach flower extracts (such as those contained in Bach’s Rescue Remedy), lavender oil diffused in the air. Dog pheromones may all help to induce relaxation.

⚡️ Should practice desensitization.

Using a stormy sound CD, you may try to desensitize your dog to the sound of storms and thunder. Begin by playing the CD at a low level. While providing your dog with lots of high-value goodies and opportunities for positive reinforcement. Desensitization may achieve by gradually raising the volume over many weeks. Resulting in a reduction or complete elimination of fear during storms.

? How to Deal with a Dog Who Is Scared of Rainstorms 

What to act if you have a dog that is afraid of thunderstorms. 

Dogs that have been well-behave for a long time. Suddenly start pacing, panting, clinging to their owners, hiding in the closet, or jamming themselves behind the toilet. It may be painful to see. The increasing fear causes them to claw through walls, eat carpets, and smash through windows in extreme instances. 

According to veterinarians, the fear of thunderstorms in dogs is genuine, not unusual, and shouldn’t be disregarded. 

According to Matt Peuser, DVM, a veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital in Kansas, “usually they don’t outgrow of it on their own. Many will become worse with time if nothing is done.” 

What causes storm phobia in dogs? What you can do if your dog is suffering from it are both discussed here. 

? Storm Phobia is a fear of thunderstorms. 

Veterinary experts don’t know what causes the dogs to get agitate. Still, they believe it is a mix of factors such as high winds, thunder and lightning, barometric pressure fluctuations, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles before a storm that humans cannot hear. According to one hypothesis, dogs suffer unpleasant shocks due to static accumulation in the days leading up to the battery. 

As storms grow more common during the season, the anxiousness often worsens as a result. 

Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Barbara L. Sherman, Ph.D., DVM, professor of veterinary action at the North Carolina State University College and past president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, says that dogs frequently experience storm-related panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. 

Calm a Dog from Thunder

As Sherman explains, “owners come in and say, ‘He didn’t look like this last year.'” the opinion, it is very heartbreaking to see these dogs, who are generally peaceful companions, become badly disturbed by thunderstorms. 

Based on the results conducted by Tufts University researchers, herding breeds such as border collies may be prone to the issue. Dogs that exhibit other anxious tendencies, such as separation anxiety, seem to be more susceptible to panic attacks. 

Unlike some dogs terrified of storms, others who fear other loud sounds, such as fireworks or gunshots, are exclusively afraid of storms. 

What should I do? According to veterinarians, the condition is not easily remedied, and unless your dog is very slightly afflict, treating it may challenging. However, there are different results accessible to help you decrease your dog’s stress during storm season: 

⚡️ Recognize and reward calm conduct all year long. 

Sherman adds that many dog owners make the mistake of attempting to comfort and touch a frightened dog that is crying or climbing on them, but that doing so promotes anxious behavior. 

In addition, she adds, “We do not want owners to punish their dogs, but we also do not want them to praise their dogs for clinging behavior since this would encourage more clingy behavior.” 

As an alternative, try training your dog to settle when you say so. Sherman recommends that customers use a unique “inner” leash on their dog and practice having the pet lay at their feet while complimenting the critter on their calm demeanor. 

It is recommend that they practice when there is no storm to familiarize the dog with the routine. As soon as a storm approaches, they attach the leash to the dog’s collar and say, “Come on and lay down here,” and the dog knows what to do. 

As long as the dog stays calm, you may also try diverting it during the storm with its favorite toy, fetching it, stroking it, and giving it goodies, according to Peuser’s advice. 

Essentially, he adds, “you’re attempting to persuade them to forget about the storm and replace [their anxiety] with something good.” 

⚡️ Provide the dog with a haven where they may take refuge in the event of a storm. 

There are several options, including an open cage, a basement where the dog will not be able to hear or see what’s going on outside, an inner room with music playing, or a restroom. 

Give your dog to make a decision: Pay attention to where they go during a storm and, if feasible, allow them access to that location. 

Ensure that your dog has the freedom to come and go as he pleases since some animals grow more nervous when confined. According to the veterinarian’s notes, Sherman treat a golden retriever that had been limited to a garage and had, to escape during a storm, clawed through the drywall of the entrance leading into the home. 

⚡️ Think about wearing tight-fitting clothing. 

Calm a Dog from Thunder

According to Sherman, the use of snug-fitting shirts and wraps specifically intended to soothe nervous dogs is worthwhile. He has provided consultation for Thundershirt, a so-called pressure garment that is said to have the same soothing effect as swaddling a newborn. Several dogs have also shown positive responses while wearing the Storm Defender, a metal fabric-lined cloak that is claimed to protect canines from static electricity. 

So yet, there has only been anecdotal evidence of the advantages of these clothes. According to Nicole Cottam, MS, action assistance facilitator of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University Cummings School, “there was a thing into the Storm Protector performing better” than a remedy cape in a 2009 study. Still, the results were statistically insignificant, according to the study’s author. Researchers at Tufts University are now studying funded by the manufacturers of Anxiety Wrap, another compression garment. 

⚡️ Desensitize your dog to the noises of a storm during the winter months 

While feeding your dog treats or engaging in a game, play a CD of thunder recordings at an amount that is not too loud so that your dog is not scared. Gradually increase the amount over many months, pausing if your dog exhibits any symptoms of stress or discomfort. According to Peuser, the aim is to get your dog accustomed to the sound of thunder and connect it with positive experiences. 

In a real storm, experts warn that desensitization will be less effective than in a controlled environment since you can only reproduce the loudness and not the other variables that may be affecting the dog, such as static electricity or changes in barometric pressure. 

⚡️ Consult with your veterinarian for guidance. 

The doctor may have further suggestions for behavior adjustment, and they may determine whether or not the medication is necessary. 

“Not every dog needs anti-anxiety medicine, but dogs that are suffering from a severe case of excessive anxiety can greatly benefit from it,” Sherman explains. Some owners may keep their dogs on medication throughout the season in extreme instances, while others will give their dogs medicine first thing in the morning if there is a possibility of a storm later in the day. 

A 2003 research conducted by veterinarians at the University of Georgia showed that medicine coupled with behavior modification and desensitization resulted in substantial improvement in 30 out of 32 dogs suffering from storm phobia. 

As Sherman explains, “We’ve had the most success with a management strategy that involves altering some aspects of the environment, using some behavior modification methods, and often prescribing some anti-anxiety medication.” “Develop a treatment plan in collaboration with your veterinarian.” 

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An appointment with a veterinarian to explore pharmaceutical options may be necessary for the highly nervous dog who has not responded to the abovementioned techniques; when desensitization attempts are unsuccessful, medication use is the last option. 

Even though storms may lead dogs to create havoc in your house and on themselves, there are many pet relaxing methods that you can employ to reduce their worry and improve their level of comfort. Explain the action you took to build your dog more comfortable if she has a fear of thunderstorms (storm phobia).