Does your dog get scared whenever a thunderstorm rolls in? It’s common for pets to fear thunder and lightning because of the loud noises coupled with the bright flashing lights. It can be worrying and stressful to see your beloved pooch so afraid, but by knowing how to calm them, you can help. Learn how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm with these four helpful tips.
Create a Safe Space
Have you noticed your dog run to their crate or hide underneath the bed when it begins to thunder? That’s because dogs feel soothed when they’re in an area that’s familiar to them. As dogs are descended from wolves, they still take comfort in den-like locations like their ancestors once lived in. This means having an enclosed space available to your pet, like a bathroom or closet, is perfect for when they hear thunder.
While your dog’s safe space can technically be in any room of the house, there are certain locations and actions you can take that will make it more soothing for them. Any soundproof rooms in the home will be ideal, as they can help block out the sound of thunder. Additionally, lowering the blinds and closing the curtains so the lightning can’t be seen will also help dogs with storm anxiety.
Cultivate a Calm Environment
Knowing how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm involves more than just finding a safe place for them. As a pet owner, there are many things you can do to help calm a dog during a serious storm. For example, they’ll be less stressed if they’re unable to hear the thunder or can’t hear it as easily. This means that turning on background noises for your dog is an effective method of calming them down. A white noise machine, relaxing music, and even your television are all alternative sources of sounds that can be used while a storm rages outside.
Additionally, understanding how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm also means knowing how you should act around them. Pets are able to identify if their owners are scared, which can further their fear if you’re afraid of the storm as well. Therefore, remaining calm during a thunderstorm will keep your dog calm too. However, you shouldn’t comfort them too much when they’re afraid. While this may seem counter-intuitive, it will only reinforce their fearful behavior.
You can help a dog’s fear of thunderstorms occupy less of their mind by providing a fun distraction. This positive outlet will help them stay calmer during a storm by giving them something to do. Some distractions include:
- Playing games with them, such as throwing a ball.
- Bringing a dog their favorite toy to chew on.
- Give them a puzzle toy, like a kong, for them to focus on.
- Brushing their hair to help relax them.
Prepare Them for Future Storms
Learning how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm also includes planning for future events. Overcoming a dog’s fear of thunder can’t be done during the storm itself, as they may be too anxious to learn anything. If you know they’re scared of extreme weather, desensitize your dog to storms by playing the sounds of thunder for them. Increase the volume over the course of several months so they can get more used to it.
Additionally, if your pet has extreme thunderstorm anxiety, consider taking them to a veterinarian for assistance. They can offer professional advice on how to calm a dog in a thunderstorm and even prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help your dog feel better during stormy weather.
If you’re searching for reliable dog care in Philadelphia, PA, for your beloved canine, reach out to Pooch Care Plus. We offer some of the best pet sitting in Philadelphia for dogs as well as cats. For more information, call us today.