While scientists suspect a combination of barometric pressure changes, static electricity and low-frequency rumbles make thunderstorms unbearable for some dogs, no one knows for sure what causes storm phobia. If thunder sends your dog for the covers, here are some strategies to help them through the storm.
DOES YOUR PET NEED AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT HUMAN FOR THUNDERSTORMS?
HOW TO COMFORT YOUR PET DURING THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.
SOUNDPROOF IDEAS ON CREATING A SAFE SPACE.
Turn the most soundproof room in your home into a safe space for your dog. This can be a bathroom or even a closet. Bring their bed, toys and anything else that makes them comfortable into the space. If they enjoy their crate, bring that in, too.
PLASTIC CRATES VS. WIRE CRATES: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
PLASTIC CRATES/ KENNELS
More den-like, gives dogs a sense of security
Gives dog privacy in high-activity households
Low visibility for shy or reactive pets
Solid walls offer more protection during travel
Most plastic kennels are airline approved
WIRE CRATES/ KENNELS
Better ventilation than plastic
Easy to cover if privacy or lower visibility is desired
Better visibility for more social pets
Convenient to collapse for transporting and storing
Plastic tray on bottom makes cleanup easy
If you’re not sure which crate to get your dog, ask one of our team members. They can help you find the best one for your dog’s breed and temperament.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO CALM YOUR PET? A LOT.
Natural calming aids are a great way to help your dog. Test them out before a storm, so you’ll know which one works best.
Much like swaddling a newborn, the constant pressure of an anti-anxiety pet wrap can help calm your dog when they’re anxious or fearful.
Another thing you can do is to muffle the sound of thunder with a white noise machine, music or TV.
Other tried-and-true methods include playing tug of war or distracting your dog with their favorite treat or chew.
DON'T FEED INTO THE FEAR
Over-consoling your pup can reinforce fearful behaviors. Act as normally as possible to reassure your dog.
You can also try to desensitize your dog by playing thunderstorm sounds. Start softly at first, then progressively turn up the volume and use positive reinforcement to encourage brave behavior.