If you’ve ever seen the famous dog movie Marley and Me, then you are fully aware of how a dog can be scared of thunder. Strangely enough, many trainers and dog experts don’t know the exact correlation between dogs being afraid of thunder.
Maybe the noise is too loud for their sensitive ears. Or, maybe it’s a dog’s natural instinct to panic and seek shelter during a storm. Who knows!?
What we do know is how to treat your dog’s anxiety, and help calm and soothe them through those troubling storms.
Be Comforting and Understanding
Why are dogs scared of thunder? There’s no definitive answer, but our guess is that it has something to do with their elevated sense of hearing. Thunder is loud, and often times unpredictable, which is the perfect combination to catch your pup off guard.
As owners, we have to be understanding that thunderstorms will probably give our dog(s) anxiety. We shouldn’t punish them, or fuss at them, when they react to something that scares them. Instead, be sure to comfort your dog, and let them know everything will be okay.
It may sound like a chore, having to constantly baby your dog when a thunderstorm occurs. However, eventually, your dog may learn to cope with a thunderstorm, and won’t have as much anxiety as they used to. The best thing an owner can do to help a dog scared of thunder is to comfort them, and reassure them that everything is going to be fine.
Make Sure Your Dog Has a Safe Space During Thunderstorm
To help a dog scared of thunder, owners should make sure that the dog has a safe space to escape to. In times of stress, dogs often retreat to their kennel, or den area. Assuming your dog has been trained to use a kennel, it will often times serve as the best, safest place for your pet.
If your dog doesn’t have a kennel or den area to use as a safe space, it would be a great idea to create some room for them. It provides them with a sense of familiarity and control – a literal place to call their own. You can also use a small closet area, to help reduce the noise of the thunder outside.
Distract Your Dog With Background Music
Background music is another great way to help a dog scared of thunder. It makes sense actually, using a calmer noise to block out the alarming noise of thunder.
There are tons of playlists and videos out there that are specifically created to reduce dog anxiety. Youtube and Spotify are just a couple of streaming services that we’ve used to help distract our own pets. They work well for thunderstorms, as well as keeping your dog distracted when you’re out of the house.
Distract Your Dog With Toys and Treats
What better way to reduce a dog’s anxiety during a thunderstorm than by turning it into playtime?! When background music fails, just try distracting your dog with toys and treats. Throwing balls and squeaky toys work well with keeping a dog busy. Combine play time with treats and your dog will soon be too excited and distracted to even notice the thunderstorm in the background.
Toys are also great to use if you have a dog who gets a little destructive during thunderstorms. Instead of tearing up the house, give your dog something to chew on, or give them a puzzle to keep their minds from wondering back to the thunder.
Also, CBD oil and calming chews are another great way to instantly soothe and relax your dog’s anxiety during a thunderstorm. Combining one of these anxiety-reducing supplements with the tips above is your best chance to help a dog scared of a thunderstorm.