Monsoon is almost here. And while the rains bring some much required relief for us and our buddies, the same cannot be said of the thunders that come along. We have all seen our kids being scared of the Thunderous Lightening Bolts, just imagine what must be going through our fur babies who have a far superior listening capability, which proves to be more of a bane on such days.
Thunderstorm phobia in dogs is real, not uncommon, and shouldn’t be ignored, experts say. Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they don’t understand it. For them it’s just a loud noise and they perceive it as something threatening.
However, some recent studies show that it might actually the uncomfortable feeling of static electricity, especially the feeling of it tingling through their fur, that makes dog feel uncomfortable. It can prompt them to run around the house whimpering, looking for places to hide. Even the well behaved dogs begin to pace, pant, cling to their owners, hide in the closet or jam themselves behind the toilet.
Most of the time they don’t grow out of it on their own, and may get worse with time if nothing is done. Doggies with other fearful behaviours, such as separation anxiety, also seem more prone to panic. Getting your little bud to calm down during this seems difficult but here are few tips that you can follow during the next thunderstorm.
1. Background noise
Try to provide a background noise for your dog during thunder by playing audio or switching on the TV. This may help to somewhat fade out the noise of thunder or just engage them thereby lesser attention to the rumbling noises.
2. Play with your Doggie
Distraction might not be a solution to every problem but it surely helps. You can try getting your Doggie’s mind off the thundering by playing with them. Remember, you are the only thing in the world it loves more than itself. So engage with them by offering him his favourite toy, playing fetch and feeding treats(not too much though).
Snug-fitting shirts and wraps especially designed to calm anxious dogs are also worth a try during thundering. Any so-called pressure garment that is said to have a calming effect, it is like swaddling a baby. Dog jackets can also help calm down a panicky Doggie.
4. Safe Space
Your Doggie may run around here and there after hearing the sounds of thunder. It’ll help if you provide a safe space to your doggie, like a crate. Some dogs go under tables or in bathtubs. And it’s okay to let them do that if it makes them feel safe.
But even after doing all this, some dogs might not be able to calm down or are just too much for you to handle. Such a situation might require sedation or anti-anxiety medication when there is a storm. However, please consult a Vet if it comes to that and never use such medication without proper supervision. If you can't leave home, please connect with one of the Vets on DoggieTheApp Vet Chat section and ask for their professional opinion.