Does your dog fret every time there’s a thunderstorm? Who can blame them – it scares a few two-legged creatures too! Thunderstorms are frightening for dogs, and also dangerous – in their panic they may run off, get lost, or run onto roads & traffic.
Here’s some tips on what to do in a thunderstorm to calm your pet:
Have a secure, cozy safe area for them – preferably indoors. If you can’t have them indoors, make sure they have a place that is sheltered and enclosed. Don’t wait for the thunderstorm to try this. You need to prepare and practice well beforehand to let them know this is their safe area.
Gently encourage them to go into their area, and give them rewards for spending time in there. Then when the storm hits, they are familiar with their safe area.
Calm & Treats
You might be surprised, but comforting your dog with pats, cuddles and soothing voice actually reinforces their fear. Instead, just maintain a happy voice and relaxed attitude.
Distract them by playing with a toy. This tells your dog that there’s nothing to fear, chew treats are a great way to distract them too.
This gives the animal a feeling of security. Make sure you put it on well before the dog has started to stress out or get scared of the storm. It’s like using a rug or coat for us humans – it give a feeling of safety.
You don’t need to go out and buy and expensive one – there are jackets to suit all budgets, you may even come across a knitted one at a market!
If you find that nothing is working for you & your dog, speak to one of our friendly veterinarians about medication to relax your pet, and reduce their anxiety.
This is usually a last resort, but your vet can talk about all of the options with you.