Pets and Thunderstorms

Rain, rain, go away! Just like humans, some pets can be afraid of thunderstorms. Learn all about pet thunderstorm phobia.

Recently, a huge storm passed through the U.S. that caused a lot of destruction. I don’t know about you, but it scared me! If these storms can scare humans, imagine how some of the animals feel?

If a dog is scared of thunder, it is called thunderstorm phobia, and it is a very real concern. According to veterinarian Matt Peuser, DVM, most of the time, they don’t grow out of it on their own. And many will get worse with time if nothing is done. Some signs of thunderstorm phobia are pacing, panting and hiding. More severe signs include clawing at walls and chewing through carpets. If you can tell that a storm is affecting your pooch, here are some ways to help make it feel more comfortable.

  • Create a safe place. This could be its crate, or an area that partially blocks out noise or lightening flashes of the storm. Basements or bathrooms might to the trick. The best thing to do is to watch your pet and let it pick its safe spot. After your animal has found it, make sure that the area is accessible during the storm.
  • Help desensitize your dog to the sounds of a storm. To do this, play a CD or recording of thunder at a low volume that doesn’t frighten your pet. If your pet remains calm, reward it with a treat. Continue with this practice over time, while gradually increasing the volume of the recording.
  • Consult with your veterinarian. Your pooch may need some help keeping its stress at a healthy level, and your animal doctor can determine if medication is needed. Your veterinarian can also help you come up with other ideas on how to help your pet remain calm.

Is your dog afraid of thunderstorms? How do you help it remain calm? Share your tricks with us in the comment section below!

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