Is Your Dog Scared of Thunderstorms?

It’s no wonder that many dogs are frightened of thunderstorms—the loud booms and bright flashes aren’t something your pet is used to, and it’s likely that dogs can hear higher frequencies in thunder and sense changes in air pressure that make them even more anxious. Try these tips from a Tampa veterinary professional to ease your dog’s thunderstorm aversion:

Provide a Safe Haven

Many dogs simply need a safe space where they feel contained and secure. Some like their dog crate, while some might prefer a basement room with a comfortable pet bed. Supplement the bed with a few soft blankets, and stay next to your dog to comfort her until the storm is over.

Distract Your Dog

Distractions can go a long way toward helping many dogs forget about the calamity outdoors. Direct your pooch’s attention away from the windows and doors—play with toys on the living room floor or romp around playfully with your dog. Sometimes, playing music or turning on the television in the background can even distract a dog from thunder and lightning.

Try Desensitization

By playing low-volume audio recordings of thunder and rain when it isn’t storming, you can try getting your dog used to the sounds of a storm. Gradually increase the volume over time, and there’s a good chance your dog will become acclimated to the sounds and not be as frightened when a real storm passes overhead!

It’s best to work closely with your vet to try desensitization. If it’s not done properly, it could frighten your dog even more. Call your vet to find out more and to get started.

Visit a Pro

If the above at-home remedies don’t work, you may need to see a professional animal behaviorist or dog trainer. If you suspect your dog has severe anxiety related to thunderstorms, give your Tampa veterinarian a call to get your pooch the help she needs. Your dog will be back to her normally calm self in short order!

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