Storm season can be a scary time for our favorite furballs. Some owners notice symptoms of fear starting even before the thunder rolls! What can we do to help our dogs when they are scared of storms?
Read on to learn what to look for, and what to do, about storm phobia.
Why are Dogs Scared of Thunder?
Some dogs experience noise phobia in general. Any loud sound triggers certain pets. Common other noise phobias include fireworks, garbage trucks (the banging and the backup alarms), and the sounds of yelling (loud voices).
Storms present their own special category. So, even dogs not typically afraid of loud sounds may be afraid of storms. Why?
The loud crash of thunder is just one of the reasons why your dog might be scared of storms. The other reasons could include:
- Change in barometric pressure
- Static in the air, that can literally cause hair to stand on end
- Lightning and bright flashing lights
- Thunder we do not hear, quieter or below human hearing
Dogs have heightened senses of hearing compared to humans. So when you see your dog scared of thunder, recognize that those storms might be even louder to your pet. Or your pet could be frightened by the other sensations described above.
What are the Symptoms of Storm Phobia?
Most owners recognize the signs of storm phobia in dogs. But just to be sure you know what to look for, here are some of the behaviors you might see which indicate your dog is afraid:
- Whining or whimpering
- Ears pinned back
- Tail between legs
You might notice that your dog’s temperament changes, maybe even lashing out, yipping, or snapping at someone reaching toward them.
When you see those behavioral changes, it’s important not to put yourself or anyone else in danger. Your dog might be too fearful to handle being touched or reached. They might snap or bite, even when they are normally well behaved and would never wish to harm you.
Instead of putting anyone in danger, you can try the four ways listed below to help a fearful/anxious dog.
What Can You Do About Dog Noise Phobia?
First and foremost, if your dog feels scared, they feel unsafe. So you want to create a sense of safety and security. Here’s how.
If you are also afraid, it could be difficult to provide comfort to your pet. Still, doing your best to exude a calm presence will help assure your dog that everything is okay. You do this by modeling calm in your voice and through smooth, gentle motion.
Provide Physical Comfort
Next, you want to provide your dog with physical comfort. As described above, it can be difficult for you to physically comfort an anxious dog, especially if one of the symptoms of his fear is that he tries to bite or snip at you.
If you can cuddle your dog to provide physical comfort, that is a wonderful thing to do. If you cannot, however, you can still create a safe space with blankets, pillows, favorite toys, and especially anything that smells like you. Think of a cozy den that smells like their favorite person–that is what you want for your dog when he is scared.
Control the Noise
The next approach to providing calm to an anxious dog has to do with noise. A sweater that smells like you might help with static in the air or the smells of a storm, but it doesn’t address the loud crash of thunder.
So, if you are able to, provide your scared dog with a noise-free environment, like a quieter room.
Dogs do have super hearing! So even when we think a space is quiet, your pet might still sense and even hear the thunder. In that case, background noise might work better. Turn on music (classical especially), the tv, or even a fan for white noise.
Use Natural CBD
After these three steps have been completed, calm your anxious dog with soothing CBD. CBD oil works well for many frightened/anxious pets. Or try CBD treats to reward your dog, so that a storm doesn’t seem like a punishment.
The Best CBD for Dog Anxiety
At Bad Dog CBD we know that your dog scared of thunder isn’t really a bad dog, just frightened, anxious, or even terrified!
So we have the best CBD products to soothe an anxious pet. Check them out here.