SOS: My dog is afraid of the storm

On a winter evening or on a hot summer day, it is not uncommon for a thunderstorm to break out. This is when the ballet of lightning and thunder starts. An event that can terrorize dogs

On a winter evening or on a hot summer day, it is not uncommon for a thunderstorm to break out. This is when the ballet of lightning and thunder starts. This can be a scary situation when we were little. As we grew up, we understood what this phenomenon was all about and although we are powerless against this outpouring of noise and flashes of light, we are generally no longer afraid of it.
As for our faithful four-legged friend, it is not uncommon for this meteorological phenomenon, sometimes very violent, to transform our adorable dog into a nervous and fearful animal.

Dogs are sensitive animals to the environment and to these changes, a loud noise is never a good sign for them, it is part of their natural survival instinct.
Moreover, they are able to feel the atmospheric change, so they can feel the storm even before it breaks.
The suddenness of a thunderstorm, as well as the violent noise, vibrations and light that emanates from it, are all stressful parameters for the helpless animal.


How do I know if my dog is afraid of thunderstorms?


Each dog is different, and therefore each dog will react differently to this sudden and stressful event.
Nevertheless, we can note certain recurring behaviors:

- Seeking security from his master: The dog will tend to be very present at your side during the storm, more than he would normally be.

- Take refuge in a safe place for him: If you can't find your dog during the storm, he may have taken refuge under your bed, a safe place for him, where he feels comfortable.

- Destruction: Although your faithful friend has always respected his surroundings, during a storm he destroys everything that passes between his paws.

- Aggression: Although your pet has never shown any signs of aggression, the storm and the fear it creates may cause your dog to behave aggressively as a way of defending himself against this element.




- Punish your pet: There is no need to scold your pet when it is frightened by the storm, or even when it has done something stupid under the effect of fear, it would only make things worse.

- Behave differently: Your dog feels what you feel, if you are stressed or scared, he will feel it.

- We strongly advise against giving medications such as acepromazine as this will make the dog's fear worse. It is best to consult with a behaviorist veterinarian before giving medication.


The right things to do about your dog's fear of thunderstorms:


- Offer him a safe place: a room where he feels comfortable, a few toys to distract him, food and water... You can also add a sound background such as television or radio to drown out the noise of the storm.

- Stay calm: Don't change your habits or behavior. If the storm does not frighten you, be relaxed and reassure your pet.

- Consult a behavioral veterinarian or specialist in behavioral medicine if your pet's behavior becomes too dangerous for both you and your pet. A veterinarian will be able to offer you the best solutions for your dog.


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