Many dogs experience severe anxiety during thunderstorms.
Scientists have proven that certain dogs have canine noise aversion, a fear or anxiety associated by noise. The noise and darkness from storms, with dropping barometric pressure sensed by dogs can contribute to anxious feelings.
If not dealt with properly, this anxiety can result in destructive behaviour or causing harm to themselves.
It is important to not over indulge your pet with too much attention. Whilst you want to make them feel comfortable, you also need to carry on going about your normal routine. Attempting to distract your pet by engaging in activities with them can reassure them. However, do not try and force them to engage with you if they are finding it stressful.
To help comfort your pet through a storm, follow these steps:
Do not punish or shout at your pet for showing signs of stress. This will only increase your dog’s anxiety. Instead, comfort your pet and show them that you are there to help.
Attempt to distract your pet by engaging in activities. Keep your dog occupied by playing with their favourite toy or a favourite activity. This may take your dog’s mind off the issue and relieve stress.
Provide a safe space for your dog to escape to such as under a bed. Alternatively, try to make your dog’s crate as comfortable as possible to act as a safe haven for when your dog needs to calm down.
Secure the house so that it is impossible for your dog to escape. Often, dogs will try to run away, as they might not understand what is happening. They may not stop running until they are completely lost. Avoid this by keeping the house locked up.
Identify your dog with an I.D collar, or better, by having them micro chipped. Should the above step fail you, and your dog manages to escape, having them I.D’d will speed up the process of getting them back and ensuring their safety.
Medication is available for extreme cases, and is safe to take when distributed by your vet. Always visit your vet first to discuss the best possible treatment for your dog.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Petplan.