Dog parents know when their furbaby is anxious: whining, pacing, panting, chewing, and clawing are telltale signs of a pup who's feeling nervous and out of sorts. One common trigger for dog anxiety is a thunderstorm. Storms can be scary and difficult for dogs, so how can you help them be more at ease in the face of thunder? If you need some tips for helping your doggo brave a storm, take a look ahead.
Why Are Dogs Scared of Storms?
If your pup gets scared of thunderstorms, know that they're not alone, as this fear impacts up to 30% of dogs. Where does dog storm anxiety come from? The answer isn’t clear-cut. One theory is that thunderstorms can trigger dogs with noise phobia, so loud thunder can cause anxiety — in fact, dogs can hear low-frequency rumbles before humans. Some vets think that dogs get uncomfortable shocks from static electricity buildup. Ultimately, different parts of a thunderstorm can cause fear in different dogs.
Can Dogs Sense Storms?
As humans, we know that a storm's coming when the sky darkens and the air feels humid. Dogs are sensitive creatures, so they can sense storms pretty early on, too. When a storm approaches, the air changes and dog noses can detect this change. Their sensitive ears can detect changes in air pressure, too.
How to Calm a Dog During a Storm
During a storm, what you can do is remain a calm, grounded presence for your doggo. Speak in a playful, pleasant tone, and distract your pup by playing with them — a game of tug or catch can definitely keep their minds off of the scary storm. No matter what, don't punish or ignore your dog for their behavior during a thunderstorm!
Do offer your dog a safe indoor place during storms — this can be anything from a closet to their crate. Create designated calm spots with comfy bedding to help your pup rest and relax. Some dog parents also find it helpful to close blinds to remove the visual aspect of a thunderstorm. During extreme weather that escalates into an emergency, make sure that you have an evacuation plan for both you and your pup.
Can You Give Anything to Your Dog for Storm Anxiety?
So, what can you give your best pal if they're incredibly anxious during a storm? Some dog parents have found that thunder jackets and soothing noises, either from music or the TV, can help calm their pup. If your dog is very anxious, consult your veterinarian to see if it's appropriate for your pup to take any medication.Of course, one of our favorite distractions at "I and love and you" is none other than a tasty dog treat. Feed your pup Super Smart Hearties to divert their attention towards a yummy chew full of DHA and Omega 3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and brain development!