Several studies have recently shown that dogs, just like humans, can feel a lot of emotions such as jealousy, fear, loneliness, and so on.
As a result, a dog may have a feeling of fear, sometimes going as far as phobia. In addition to the psychic, this feeling can have detrimental consequences on the dog’s body such as an increase in heart rate.
In what follows, we will try to explain to you how to help a dog who is afraid of the storm.
Why are dogs afraid of thunder?
Some dogs are scared of cars, others of water, but we all agree that almost all dogs are afraid of the sound of thunder. It’s a terrifying moment for the dog. We do not know the exact cause of this phenomenon, but we will try to enumerate some possible causes of this fear of the storm:
- There may be a genetic predisposition in dogs for this fear
- The possibility of a previous traumatic experience related to a climatic event
- The lack of habit in the face of this phenomenon during the period of socialization of the dog
Several degrees of severity can be observed for this phenomenon. It can range from simple anxiety to dogs who are willing to seriously hurt themselves.
Several therapeutic resources can be used to treat this phobia in dogs.
What if my dog is afraid of thunderstorms?
The most important thing is never to blame the dog for being afraid of thunderstorms. it’s completely beyond his control. It’s a scary experience for the dog, so do not make the situation worse with inappropriate behavior on your part. Indeed, it would be cruel, and in addition, he will take more time to recover.
During this event, stay close to your dog, reassure him, calm him down and try to entertain him a little by playing with him. As a result, he can later associate the storm with a pleasant moment.
You can also try to minimize external noise by turning on the TV or playing music. In any case, keep calm to show the good example to your dog.
Set up a safe place for your dog
If you have a cellar at home, an attic, a top floor or a small room, you can use it as a safe space where your dog can take refuge during the storm. But to do this, you must train it of course.
In addition, several dog relaxation exercises exist and you can use them to calm your dog during a storm. The exercise of coverage is appropriate in this case.
What is it about?
During the first storms, take a blanket and bring your dog back to the quietest place in the house. In this way, your dog will associate this area with a safety zone during a storm. However, this place should include a dog house with a relaxing bed, a warm light and why not a toy.
Is it possible to eliminate fear of thunderstorms in a dog?
This can be achieved through « systematic desensitization ». This is a process that must be practiced with the help of a dog professional: trainer or ethologist.
The exercise to do is summarized as follows: Put a thunderstorm with a very low volume. Give your dog a candy dispenser toy for example to relax. Thus, he will associate the sound of storms with something positive.
You have to do 5-minute sessions every day and increase the sound of the storm every time. If you feel that your dog is getting nervous, stop the exercise and start again later.
If, despite all our advice and the exercises offered, you do not see an improvement, we recommend that you consult a specialist. In this case, your dog may need a specific therapy.
If your dog has symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, consult a veterinarian.