A pretty popular fear among dogs is the fear of thunder. As soon as there’s a storm, some dogs cower in fear at the sound of thunder and there’s no overcoming it without intervention or simply waiting it out until the weather is better.
This is obviously a very distressing time for our dogs and the worst feeling for a parent is not being able to help. This post should help you to understand why this fear happens and what you can do as a parent to help:
Why are some dogs scared of thunder?
The majority of the time, dogs fear the sound of thunder because they have no clue what the loud noise is, so it’s a very threatening experience. These dogs are usually afraid of other loud noises like fireworks that are sudden and very loud.
Remember that dogs have more developed hearing than ours and are therefore more sensitive to sound. They are also able to detect certain subtle changes in the environment such as changes in air pressure, increased static electricity, and the low-frequency sound of thunder that humans are unable to detect. Dogs will sometimes become anxious before the loud noises even happen.
What you can do
If your dog is afraid of thunder, here are some five things you can do to help:
- Socialization- When it comes on to puppies, you’ll want to expose them to as many new things as early as possible. This way, you reduce the chances of your dog developing anxiety since your dog will be exposed to different stimuli.
- Providing a safe space- Your dog should always have a safe space to retreat to whenever he/she feels scared. As a natural part of the fight or flight response, your dog will seek out somewhere to hide. If that’s not there, your dog might run away and even go missing.
- Staying calm- Your dog will feel more anxious if you create a fuss. Remember that they react to our emotions. Be patient, and avoid yelling or scolding since this can cause more negative reactions.
- Distractions- Try to distract your dog so he/she doesn’t pay attention to the noise. Try to play music or put on the TV to drown out the noise. You can also give treats or use toys as a means of distraction.
- Talking to your vet- Your vet is the best source of information for everything regarding your dog. Your vet may recommend anything from natural calming remedies to medication.