We’ve had a couple of ‘summer storms’ recently, and with the weather warming up we are bound to experience more across the coming months.
Thunderstorms can be frightening for animals, and in particular domestic dogs, due to the loud noises, changes in air pressure, and static electricity.
Here are some tips to help your dog during a thunderstorm:
Create a Safe Space:
Identify a safe and comfortable space in your home where your dog can retreat during a storm. This could be a quiet room, a cave bed or a crate covered with blankets to provide a sense of security.
Dogs can pick up on their owner’s emotions, so try to remain calm and reassure your dog with a soothing voice. Speak softly and use a calm tone to let your dog know that everything is okay.
Give your dog something to do or focus on to distract them from the storm. This could be a favourite toy, a puzzle feeder, or treats.
Use White Noise:
Play calming white noise or soft music to help drown out the sound of thunder. This can create a more soothing environment for your dog.
Create Positive Associations:
Associate the sound of thunder with positive experiences. For example, play a recording of thunder at a low volume while engaging in activities your dog enjoys, like playing or treats.
Consider using a snug-fitting garment like a ThunderShirt, which applies gentle pressure to your dog’s body and may help reduce anxiety.
Consider Professional Help:
In some cases, seeking advice from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist may help identify and address the underlying anxiety issues.
Consult Your Vet:
If your dog’s fear of thunderstorms is severe (perhaps they become destructive or put themselves in danger) consult with your veterinarian. They may recommend behaviour modification techniques or even prescribe anti-anxiety medications in extreme cases.
Stay with Your Dog:
If possible, stay with your dog during a thunderstorm. Your presence can be reassuring, and you can offer comfort and support.
Remember that each dog is unique, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for your pet. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key elements in helping your dog overcome their fear of thunderstorms.
And if you are concerned about your dog fretting through storms during a stay at Dogdayz, please be assured that they are safe and well. Our team monitor weather radars constantly and when a storm is approaching our guests are made comfortable in their cosy beds, with lights on and music playing. Our staff are on-hand to comfort fretting dogs, however it has been our experience that those fearful of storms are comforted most by the dogs sleeping peacefully around them, and they very quickly settle down to wait for the next play session to start.