Thunderstorms and fireworks can be a massive cause for anxiety in your dog. If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms you may find it difficult to keep them calm.
A dogs hearing is much more sensitive than our own and the crashes of thunder can be deafening to your pet, causing them to run or hide in fear. Severe reactions such as destroying furniture, soiling themselves or running away can all develop out of fear of loud noises but there are ways to help keep your pet calm and safe during storms and fireworks.
Tips for Calming a Dog during a Storm
Act like nothing is wrong.
It’s easy to forget how our emotions and demeanour can be picked up by our pets. If you are calm and ignore the storm your dog may see that it’s not as scary as they think. This also means avoid over comforting and coddling your pet as this could freak them out more. They may also see blatant pandering as an excuse to misbehave.
Find a quiet(er) spot in your home.
Let your dog stay with you in a quiet room where they can shelter with a warm blanket.
Turn off the TV or radio
Some people suggest putting on the TV or radio for your dog, but this will add to the noise of the thunder.
Try a distraction
Playing with your dog’s favourite toy or rewarding them with treats can help them take their mind off the noise outside. Hopefully, this positive play will help your pet associate lightning and thunder with good things rather than bad.
Some dogs with a phobia of storms may also struggling during fireworks or other loud noises associated with the country such as bird scarers which can cause problems when out on a walk. If they’re unable to find a quiet place to hide on the walk they may try to run away. Take some treats and ensure your dog is secure on the lead when walking in more rural areas close to farms.
While there is no easy fix to cure anxiety over loud noises, creating positive association is seen to be a helpful way to keep pets calm. Do you have any tips or tricks you use with your dog? Comment below, we’d love to hear them.