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Does your dog turn into a quivering, trembling lump of fear when storms roll in? If so, Fido is in good company. Many of our canine pals are absolutely terrified of storms! Here, a Tipp City, OH vet discusses doggy thunderstorm anxiety.
No one is quite sure why storms scare dogs so badly, but there are several possibilities. Fido’s acute senses of hearing and smell may have something to do with it. Your pooch may hear subsonic frequencies that we don’t pick up. The smell of ozone could also be scary to Man’s Best Friend. Static electricity is another possible culprit. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that dogs just find the lightning, thunder, and rain frightening.
There are some ways to comfort and soothe Fido during storms. When the skies darken, bring him into an interior room, and set him up with bedding, toys, treats, and food and water. Turn a TV or radio on to mask the noise. If your pup likes his crate, he may be more comfortable there. Running an unscented dryer sheet over your dog’s fur can also help. This gets rid of static cling, which, as noted above, may be one reason dogs hate storms. You can also try tiring your pooch out with a fun play session before the weather gets bad. Last but not least, ask your vet about using pet-calming products, such as sprays, treats, or calming shirts.
We always advise erring on the side of caution. Fido should be microchipped and wearing ID tags. We recommend bringing dogs inside during bad weather, but if you do have a yard, make sure your fencing is secure, and that your gate closes tightly.
There are some things to keep in mind when helping Fido cope with his anxiety. First and foremost, never punish him for acting up out of fear, even if he chews something or makes a mess. This may only make him even more anxious! You also don’t want to baby your dog too much. It can be tempting to cuddle your pup when he’s scared, but this could just reinforce his bad behavior. Ask your vet for more information.
Please contact us, your Tipp City, OH vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!