Thunderstorms are never fun for children or dogs. The loud noises and heavy rain can be unnerving for them simply because they do not understand. Here are some ways you can help your dog through their next thunderstorm:
- Look for signs: Dogs who are scared by thunderstorms typically give off warning signs. It’s is almost a 6th sense for animals to predict a storm that is on its way. They will begin to pace, pant and do things to get your attention. If you see these signs, check the weather and prepare.
- Kennel: Some dogs are so frightened by storms that they will act out and destroy your home. In order to prevent ruined carpet, furniture or blinds, kennel them inside during a storm. Containing them will protect your home from getting ruined. Place the kennel in the most proof part of your home, like your bedroom closet. Place familiar toys and a blanket with your scent on it to help calm them. You can also try to cover the kennel with a blanket to help their fear.
- Puppy stage: The earlier you start the comforting process the better for your dog as it gets older. When storms happen during their puppy years, act naturally and perhaps form a routine. Play fetch and give them their favorite dog biscuit or try combing/massaging their coat. Do one of these routines each time there is a storm to help them feel at ease. If your dog is older, it is possible to ‘train an old dog new tricks’ and start this routine.
- Create a safe place: During a storm you want to create a safe place that your dog can go to. As mentioned before, find the quietest spot in your home. Bedroom closets work well because of all the clothes can help muffle noises. Place a blanket and a toy to help them feel safe. Closing the can put your dog in a state of panic, so leave the door ajar to comfort them.
- Old t-shirts: This idea tends to work on smaller to medium dogs. Take one of your old t-shirts and place your dog inside so that they wear it. Not only does the smell comfort them but the light pressure against their bodies helps them to remain calm.
During a thunderstorm, talk softly and sweetly your dog to reassure them everything is fine. Dogs can sense your uneasiness or stress, so be sure that you remain calm. And just remember it may be a ruff time but this storm shall pass too.