Summer is here. It won’t be long when the thunderstorms will start, and you will find your dog hiding and shivering under your the table. These rainy-day feels soothe us human beings, but can cause anxiety in dogs. You can easily spot the signs, such as wide eyes, tail down, ears back, panting, yawning, trembling and lip-licking. Is your dog scared of thunderstorms?
You need to ensure your dog’s anxiety doesn’t reach critical levels, because they can harm themselves by jumping through glass doors, digging aggressively in the yard, damaging your home in an attempt to escape the fear, etc.
So, what’s the problem?
The Dropping Barometric Pressure, a Sensitive Nose or Sensitive to Noise?
Dogs can sense the dropping barometric pressure in the air when a storm is about to arrive. Coupled with the harsh noise of thunder, your dog becomes fearful. Some dogs have a sharp sense of smell, while others have a phobia of loud sounds. Others have developed a fear of darkening skies and lightning because of what those things predict.
Another explanation could be the static buildup, which their fur can catch. Lastly, there’s even talk about genetic predisposition, which makes a dog sensitive to storms.
So, there could be many reasons for dogs feeling stressed by storms. Just know that your dog will be able to tell you a thunderstorm is coming. You need to identify the anxiety symptoms and soothe your dog, so that he doesn’t harm himself or your home. A Dances with Dogs trainer can teach you how to calm your dog and show you how to help them cope.
5 Tips on How to Soothe Your Dog During a Thunderstorm
1. Use an Anxiety Wrap
Also known as a thunder jacket, this is a vest-like garment that’s specially designed to keep anxious dogs calm during a thunderstorm. The jacket puts gentle pressure on the dog’s torso, which is similar to the pressure of a hug. These jackets are also effective in controlling continual barking, hyperactivity, whining, chewing, aggression, and other troublesome behaviors. While not every dog responds to these vests, some dog guardians find them helpful
2. Be By Your Dog’s Side
Keep an eye on the weather forecast, so that you can adjust your schedule and be at home with your dog. In your absence, your dog is more likely to get into destructive behavior. Helping your dog through this terrifying time is essential. It is okay to comfort your dog when they are scared.
3. Provide Distractions
Do not ignore or punish your dog just because he’s acting out during the storm, as this will worsen his anxiety. Apart from gentle petting, which will calm your dog, try something different, such as playing indoor tug or fetch. You can also provide them with a long last chew or puzzle toy.
4. Play Dog-Calming Music
Not all homeowners have sound-proof rooms, so what you can do is compete with the noise. Play white noise, pink noise or dog-calming music on loudspeakers and comfort your dog.
5. Set up A Safe Space
Whether the thunderstorm comes through during the day or looks like it will continue into the night, set up a safe space for your dog. Your walk-in closet is a great area. Place your dog’s favorite blanket or bed in your closet, along with their favorite chew, Kong or Topple, some calming music or pink noise, and a calming spray will work wonders for your dog.
If none of the tricks mentioned above work, try hiring a force-free dog trainer to teach your dog simple calming tricks. We highly recommend you take to your veterinarian if your dog is scared of thunderstorms. As for dog training in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs for online and in-person classes. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.