Top 3 Tips to Help Calm Your Dog During a Thunder Storm
Statistics tell us that there is a high percentage of dogs that suffer from anxiety as a result of either loud noises or during a thunderstorm. During these times you will need to take extra care of your beloved pet. Here are our top 3 tips to help calm your dog during a thunder storm or when they are suffering anxiety.
Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?
When dogs hear a loud noise, just like us, they initially perceive it as a threat. As adults, we can comprehend what the noise is and associate it logically. Dogs are unable to do this so, as the noise continues, so does their anxiety. Some dogs get stressed from any loud noise. Further, if you have adopted a pet then you may not know the history of your dog and to what extent they are suffering anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety or Stress in a Dog
There are a range of symptoms your pet can exhibit when stressed or suffering anxiety. They may urinate (sometimes inside even when they would not normally), they may pant, try to hide, shake / shiver, look sheepish, bark and whine.
Tip 1 – Get a Thunder coat / vest
Sometimes called a thunder shirt as well as a thunder coat, this is a bit like swaddling an unsettled baby. Put this on your dog before any storm starts.
Tip 2 – Associate something positive
You can groom your dog, put on some calm music, be calm yourself and even bring out their favourite toy and play with them. Appear like the noise is nothing and show no reaction to thunder or loud noises yourself. Do this before your dog starts to show signs of stress. You want to reward positive behaviour
Tip 3 – Create a special quiet space for them.
Bring your dog in from outside. Put their favourite bed in a nice quiet area and stay around them. Do not isolate them.
Leaving a phobia related to noise and thunder left unchecked will not solve the problem. The anxiety will just get worse over time. Pay attention to your dog’s behaviour and address it before thunder starts. Encourage calmness before a storm and this will assist to lessen your dog’s stress.
Every dog is different so adjust these ideas to suit your dog and do what works. Punishing your dog will not solve the problem.