Keeping Your Dog Calm During Storms
If your dog gets scared during storms, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common fears of dogs. It will take some time and effort, but you can help your dog become more comfortable during storms. Let’s take a look at the signs, causes, and what we can do about it.
Signs of fear your dog may exhibit include panting and rapid breathing, excessively salivating, shaking, barking and whining, hiding, and destructiveness. In extreme cases, your dog can hurt themselves, chew your belongings, and even escape your home. If your dog gets antsy and you are worried about him escaping, consider investing in a GPS tracker collar just in case.
It is between the ages of 12-36 months that most fears and anxieties develop in dogs. If not tended to, these fears can escalate into phobias, which have more severe reactions and are more difficult to reverse. Let’s take a look at what you can do to help your dog feel safer and more comfortable during these storms.
Bring Him Inside
If you know a storm is coming, bring your dog inside. Dogs can sense pressure changes, so there’s a good chance he will know the storm is coming before it actually arrives. If left outside, your dog might panic. They could get hurt or damage property trying to escape the yard, trying to get inside, or just being destructive our of fear and anxiety.
Provide a Safe Space
A crate is a perfect place for a safe space, but it doesn’t have to be. Be sure your dog has access to wherever he feels safest. This is generally a low-traffic area of the home where he feels protected on multiple sides, like a den.
If you know a storm is approaching and you are able to be home, try to do so. Dogs tend be less stressed if not left alone during storms. It’s also helpful to do something fun during the storm, such as playing or using treats for tricks.
If the sound of the storm seems to cause more stress for your dog, try adding other sounds as a distraction. This can be the radio, music, podcasts, or television. You can also try moving your dog to a room where outside noise such as thunder is quieter.
Close Blinds and Curtains
Sometimes the sights of the storm cause more stress for dogs. If you can, close windows, blinds, and curtains, blocking out the lightning and rain. Turn on lights in rooms your dog will be in as well.
Try these out and see which ones work the best for your pooch. You will probably need to repeat these actions many times before you see a difference in your dog’s comfort level when it comes to storms. If you think your dog’s storm phobia is extreme, consult your veterinarian. He or she might suggest medication to calm him or ulterior methods for calming.