Dog Afraid of Thunder? Why and What to Do

It’s Raining it’s Pouring the Old Dog is Hiding

It was two in the afternoon, but the sky had become suddenly dark. A large group of ominous clouds had gathered in front of the sun. Large droplets of rain had began to fall against the once dry driveway. Each droplet splashing like a liquid bullet against the hard concrete.

A low rumble of thunder growled across the open air, it’s boom being felt by the stucco home. It was quickly followed by the loud slap of lightening and that was enough to send your six year old American Bully flying underneath the dining table. Her eyeballs were darting back and forth and her body shook like leaves on a tree caught in high winds .

dog afraid of thunderShe was panting and her nervous behavior was enough to make everyone in the house feel uncomfortable. She laid as flat as she possibly could under the table and with each strike of thunder she yelped. The yelp was as if the thunder had shot straight through the front door and struck her! Calming words did nothing to sooth her, soft pats to the head did nothing to reassure her that this to shall pass. Only the ending of the storm would bring her back to her overly playful self. The rainy days of owning a bully that was afraid of lightening and having a dog afraid of thunder.

Is Your Dog Afraid of Thunder?  Here’s Why

There is no scientific reason to why some pets are afraid of storms and sometimes a dog afraid of thunder hides all the time, but a large number of families deal with the issue in their homes. The behavior usually starts at a young age, but there are cases where a dog who was never afraid of storms as a pup develops the phobia as an adult dog.

The behavior can be whimpering, howling, shaking, or even urinating during a storm. We are going to give a few things you can do to try to counteract the behavior and help your bully through its anxiety during storm season.

One of the things you can do is have a crate available for your dog afraid of thunder during a storm. The crate will serve as a safe place for your pet. It will no longer have to seek out shelter, trampling and knocking over furniture to climb under couches, beds or coffee tables.

The sudden looking for safety can cause injury to not only your fragile decorations, but to your pet as well. A covered crate can be soothing and will allow for your pet to have a place of its own during the ever so frightening storm. The crate can also be used to introduce storm sounding sounds to your pet to try to help it become accustomed to the sounds of a storm for a dog afraid of thunder.

Another trick we like to encourage for a dog afraid of thunder is, making the storm a positive thing. This especially works with puppies. At the sound of a storm put some treats and toys in your pockets. When you hear thunder play with the puppy.

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When you hear the loud clap of lightning award the pup with a treat. This will teach the puppy that storms are good things and nothing to worry about. When trained properly your bully will run to you during a storm as opposed to running to find a final resting place in the constant fear that it won’t survive. Noise training can work wonders with older dogs sometimes as well.

Accustoming your dog afraid of thunder and to noises can also curb the problem. Play loud music, drop pans and pots, clap randomly. Teach your pet that sounds are nothing to fear. The unexpected becomes the expected, loud becomes normal.

Your pet may still by startled by loud impromptu noises, but it’s recovery time will improve. Make loud noises positive as stated above and your pet will look to you for treats as opposed to comforts. Always remember that our pets ears are sensitive and they should not be exposed to loud sounds for extended periods of time. Random noises are the key, if you truly want to make it a part of your daily routine incorporate the sounds during feeding time.

These are great tips in helping cope with the issue of storm phobias in a dog afraid of thunder, here are a few things I would advise you to avoid doing. Don’t coddle your pet during a storm. This will only serve to encourage the behavior. Discipline such as yelling no, or physically punishing your pet will also result in possibly creating a worse situation.

This only goes to increase the fear behavior demonstrated during these frightening moments of a storm. Lastly don’t abandon your pet by just locking it up and ignoring it’s whining and howling, again this could potentially lead to greater anxiety associated with the sounds and sights of a storm. There are medications that are available, but often times this issue can be curbed without the use of a canine prescription drug.

Storm phobia is tough, but with the right amount of patience and training any dog can become a captain of the rain and avoid a dog afraid of thunder all together!

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