Spring is almost here and with it comes the onset of thunderstorms, not a problem unless Rover has storm phobia. Storm or Thunder Phobia usually develops between ages two and four in dogs. The anxiety caused by the phobia can progress quickly, and cause hiding, whining, scratching, slobbering or sheer panic.
Thunder Phobia shouldn't be ignored, it is very real and not uncommon. Veterinarians are not sure what all actually triggers this behavior. However, they suspect dogs anxieties are activated by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can't hear.
A few ways to help calm a dog with storm phobia.
Investigate products that may help your dog weather the storm. Such as tight jackets such as the Thundershirt that provide a sensation of pressure, which can alleviate pets’ anxiety. Some swear by CBD oil designed for pets.
Divert your dogs attention away from the storm. Keep your dog distracted with treats and favorite toys, try playing a favorite game if dog has one. Try calming music to drown out the claps of thunder.
Provide your dog a safe space to wait the storm. Make available a safe indoor area, like a crate or deep bed. Fill it with familiar items like comfy pillows and blankets that the dog can snuggle into. Be sure your dog can come and go freely, since some animals become more anxious if confined.
Do not scold or punish your dog for displays of storm phobia, remember that his behavior is not about disobedience, the dog is suffering from high levels of fear. Do whatever it takes to help your dog feel better during storm season.