How to Ease Dog Anxiety in Thunderstorms

dog anxietyWe often think that humans are beset by unreasonable phobias but many times – our pets also have fears that when left untreated, can cause serious injury to themselves and their surroundings. One such form of dog anxiety is noise phobia – a condition that often manifests itself during storms.

The reasons why dogs are afraid of thunderstorms have not been accurately determined yet. Some say that it is because of the electric charge in the atmosphere, the drop in barometric pressure, or simply because like humans – the dark and loud sounds are scary. Whatever it is, this particular fear is rather common among dogs and have worried many of their owners.

Dogs and thunderstorms generally do not go well together. Canines with a mild case of noise phobia exhibit nervous energy, tremble excessively, or hide in corners during the time of the storm. You can help ease their anxiety by taking them to a spot that they seem to be the calmest at. It may be an open crate or a bath tub. Train him to head there whenever he is afraid and reward him when he does.

Pets that are severely affected by thunderstorms or loud noises like gunshots, extremely loud engines or fireworks, should be watched very carefully. Many owners verify that their noise phobic pets have not only destroyed furniture and things; but have also badly hurt themselves in the process. Some have clawed through hard wall and dug through the carpets until they were bleeding.

dog anxietyThere are two basic methods of behavior modification that experts employ in treating noise phobia in canines. One is desensitization. Desensitization is when the fearful noise is introduced to the dog very faintly at first, and increasing the intensity little by little until he is unafraid anymore. Make sure that when you try this, begin softly and as you progress, always keep it below the fear producing decibel your dog recognizes.

The other method to cure dog anxiety is by counter conditioning. This technique is implemented by allowing the dog to enjoy something he likes while the source of fear is gradually increased. For instance, simulate the sound of thunder subtly; as the noise is amplified gradually, give the dog his favorite doggie treats. If he begins to get overly agitated, do not continue. We do not want the dog to associate the treats with his phobia.

If the abovementioned behavior modification practices do not work, natural, homeopathic treatments like Melatonin and Phosphorous 30C, can be tried. These have been known to significantly improve noise phobia in canines. Inquire about the dosage in relation to the breed and size of your pet, and follow it carefully.

This has been a common source of frustration to pet owners through the years. Studies of dogs and thunderstorms continue to be developed in the hope of an eventual remedy to be found. In the meantime, do what you know to do and have regular visits to the veterinarian for any changes in behavior.


1 thought on “How to Ease Dog Anxiety in Thunderstorms

  1. Dog Bath

    Just like human beings each of our pet such as cats and dogs as well must have washing for their selves in a way of bathing. This is one of many ways of avoiding bacteria’s and parasitic organisms on them. It is also extremely important to remind that your dog needs to have baths daily or once a week based on the kind of the dog you have got. Use shampoo to make them smell so good and will make them look so fresh always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *