How to Calm Your Dog During A Thunderstorm

Recognize and Eliminate Fear

Thunderstorms are often a favorite part of the summer season. Don't you just love watching the lightening flicker and hearing deep rumbles across the valley? However, all the sights and sounds can be quite frightening for dogs. Some dogs make it obvious how scared they are by hiding, shaking, and whining but others show more subtle signs. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing the first sign of it. Some dogs will begin to show signs of stress shortly before a storm even starts.

Does your dog show these signs of fear during a thunder storm?

  • Shaking or Trembling
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Excessive Licking
  • Sudden Dandruff
  • Yawning
  • Hiding

Every dog lover wants their dog to be happy and healthy. Seeing your dog be fearful of something as natural as a thunderstorm is truly heartbreaking. Lacking the power to change to weather, what options are you left with? There are many great dog training exercises you can put into motion and helpful dog training tools for alleviating stress and calming your dog during a storm.

How To Calm Your Dog During A Storm

  • Play Classical Music: It may sound crazy but it works, and its backed by veterinary science! Research from Colorado State University studied the impact of music on dogs' stress levels and found that classical music had almost an immediate affect calming dogs and it actually encourage sleep as well. They also found dogs responded better to a variety of classical music instead of the repeating the same songs.
  • Play a Game: Get out your treat pouch and start playing a fun dog training game like Hide and Seek. Distracting your dog with fun activities will train your dog's brain to ignore the storm with practice. It will even begin to signal to your dog that storms are a time for fun, not fear.
  • Diffuse Lavender Essential Oils: We all know lavender helps calm and relax humans but did you know it works for dogs too? A study done by Canine Behaviour Centre in Ireland found that dogs spent significantly more time resting and sitting when lavender oil was added to the dogs environment.
  • Try a Thundershirt: It's like a weighted blanket for your dog! The Journal of Veterinary Behavior contains research that showed pressure wraps like Thundershirts yield positive results in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
  • Hire a Dog Trainer: Trying to deal with your dogs anxiety during a thunderstorm can be impossible if your dog is paralyzed with fear. A positive reinforcement dog trainer can design exercises and games for you to practice before the next big thunderstorm. Breaking this issue into smaller steps will help your dog progress and learn to relax.

Ask a dog trainer what they think the best solution is for your dog. Schedule a Free Meet & Greet with a positive reinforcement dog trainer today to have your dog's behavior evaluated and create a personalized dog training plan to fit your needs!

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