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Are Dogs Scared of Thunder? How to Help Dogs Afraid of Thunder

Are dogs scared of thunder? How do you help? In this article, we’ll teach you how to help dogs afraid of thunder by using the simple but incredibly effective “Relax” command. You’ll also learn why dogs are afraid of thunder, and of course how to treat the root cause of all of this fear.

We’re also going to go over handling a dog panting during thunderstorms (or shaking, barking, etc.), and how to calm a dog during a storm vs. how to calm a puppy during a storm. Finally, we’ll fill you in on home remedies for dogs scared of thunder, including safe spots and dog thunderstorm anxiety medication. Keep reading!

Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

Many dogs are scared of thunder due to the loud, unpredictable noises it creates. This fear can vary in intensity among different dogs, ranging from mild discomfort to severe anxiety. Understanding and addressing this fear is essential for the well-being of a thunder-phobic dog.

Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

Dogs are scared of thunder primarily because of its sudden, loud nature, which can be overwhelming to their sensitive hearing. Thunder also produces vibrations that dogs can feel, adding to their discomfort. Additionally, dogs may not understand the source of the noise, leading to confusion and fear.

What to Do When Your Dog Is Scared of Thunder

If your dog is scared of thunder, it’s important to create a safe, comforting environment for them. Close windows and curtains to muffle the sound, provide a cozy space where they can feel secure, and remain calm and reassuring.

Avoid over-coddling, as this can reinforce their fearful behavior. Instead, engage them in calming activities and offer treats or toys to distract them.

Calming Dogs During Storms with “Relax” Command

Training your dog with the “Relax” command can be helpful in calming them during thunderstorms:

  1. Choose a quiet, comfortable spot and wait for your dog to be in a relaxed state.
  2. Say “Relax” in a calm, soothing tone, and gently pet or massage them to encourage relaxation.
  3. When your dog is calm, reward them with a treat or gentle praise.
  4. Gradually introduce recordings of thunder sounds at a low volume while giving the “Relax” command, rewarding your dog for remaining calm.
  5. Slowly increase the volume over time, ensuring your dog stays relaxed and responsive to the command.

What Can I Give My Dog During Thunderstorms?

During thunderstorms, you can give your dog wraps or thunder shirts, which apply gentle, constant pressure to soothe anxiety. Ensuring your dog gets plenty of exercise before storms is also very helpful. Anti-anxiety medication often causes many unwanted side effects (lethargy, wanting to be left alone) and should only be considered in extreme cases.

In summary, many dogs are scared of thunder, which can manifest as mild anxiety or even severe panic. Creating a safe and comforting environment and using training techniques like the “Relax” command will help them remain calm during thunderstorms.

It’s important to remember, however, that the underlying issue with anxiety that was causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog freaking out during thunderstorms and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog being scared of thunder ever again!

Why Are Dogs Afraid of Thunder?

Why Are Dogs Afraid of Thunder?

Dogs are afraid of thunder for several reasons, including its loud and unpredictable nature, and the vibrations it causes. This fear can vary among dogs, with some exhibiting mild anxiety and others showing severe distress. Understanding the cause of this fear is key to helping your dog cope with thunderstorms.

Dog Scared of Thunder and Hiding

If your dog is scared of thunder and hiding, this behavior is their way of finding safety. Dogs naturally seek out a sheltered area to escape what they perceive as a threat. Creating a dedicated safe space for them, such as a cozy corner with their favorite blanket or a covered crate, can provide comfort.

Playing soft music or using white noise can also help mask the sound of thunder, further reducing their anxiety. Remember, while comforting your dog is important, it’s also crucial to act normally to avoid reinforcing their fear.

Training your dog on the “Relax” command can also be a big help for situations like this. You can learn it now by going back to the first section.

It’s important to get this handled now as it will also help your dog to stay calm during other similar situations. You then won’t have to worry about things like your dog being scared of fireworks, your dog not going potty outside without you, or your dog hiding under the table because something frightened them.

Dog Afraid of Thunder All of a Sudden

If your dog is afraid of thunder all of a sudden, it could be a reaction to a particularly loud or close storm that frightened them, or it might be a sign of developing sensitivity. As dogs age, they can become more anxious about things that previously didn’t bother them.

This sudden change could also be linked to a change in their health, so it’s advisable to watch for other signs of discomfort or illness and consult your veterinarian for a thorough check-up.

Does Thunder Hurt Dogs Ears?

While thunder can be uncomfortable for dogs due to their sensitive hearing, it typically doesn’t cause physical pain in their ears unless the thunder is extremely loud or they are very close to the storm. The main issue for dogs is the fear and anxiety caused by the unpredictable and loud nature of thunder.

This fear can be exacerbated if they are already sensitive to loud noises or have had negative experiences with loud sounds in the past. Using ear protection designed for dogs during storms can help those with extreme sensitivity.

In summary, dogs are afraid of thunder due to its loudness and association with storms. Providing a safe space and comfort during storms can help alleviate their anxiety. If your dog is afraid of thunder all of a sudden, contact your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for their well-being.

Dog Panting During Thunderstorm

Dog Panting During Thunderstorm

A dog panting during thunderstorms is often a sign of stress or anxiety. This behavior, along with other symptoms such as shaking or barking, can indicate that your dog is uncomfortable or frightened by the noise and atmospheric changes associated with thunderstorms.

Dog Scared of Thunder and Shaking

If you have a dog scared of thunder and shaking, this is a clear sign of fear or anxiety. Shaking or trembling can be an involuntary response to their heightened stress levels during a storm. Providing comfort, a safe space, and staying calm yourself can help reassure your dog. It’s important to approach them with a gentle demeanor to avoid escalating their anxiety.

Dog Scared of Storms and Barking

If you have a dog scared of thunder and barking, it’s their way of expressing distress. Barking during a storm can be a reaction to fear or a method of trying to communicate their discomfort. Creating a quiet, secure environment and using soothing techniques can help. Distractions such as toys or soft music might also reduce their need to bark as a stress response.

Dog Scared of Thunderstorms: Health Concerns

When a dog is scared of thunderstorms, it’s important to consider the potential health concerns. Chronic fear and anxiety can lead to longer-term health issues, including behavioral changes and stress-related physical problems.

If your dog’s fear of thunderstorms is severe and affecting their quality of life, work on providing them with a calm environment and start training them on helpful commands. You can learn “Relax” now in the first section.

In summary, panting, shaking, or barking during thunderstorms are common signs that your dog is experiencing anxiety. It’s important to provide a calm and secure environment for them during these times. Understanding and addressing the fear your dog experiences during thunderstorms is key to their emotional and physical well-being.

How to Calm a Dog During a Thunderstorm

How to Calm a Dog During a Thunderstorm

To calm a dog during a thunderstorm, it’s important to create a sense of safety and provide comfort. Dogs can become anxious due to the loud noises and atmospheric pressure changes that storms bring. Using various techniques to soothe and distract them can significantly reduce their stress levels.

How to Calm a Dog During a Storm at Night

To calm a dog during a storm at night, create a comfortable and secure environment in a familiar space, like their crate or a favorite room. Using a white noise machine or playing soft, calming music can help mask the sound of thunder. Ensure that your dog has a comfortable bed or blankets and try to maintain a normal routine to help them feel more secure.

How to Calm a Puppy During a Storm

To calm a puppy during a storm, provide them with a safe and enclosed space where they feel protected. Being close to them and offering gentle reassurance can also be comforting. Puppies might benefit from chew toys or interactive games to keep them distracted from the noise. Remember, it’s important to stay calm yourself, as puppies can pick up on their owner’s emotions.

Dog Afraid of Thunder: Preparing Before Storms

If your dog is afraid of thunder, preparing before storms can be beneficial. This includes getting them used to the sound of thunder gradually through desensitization techniques, using recordings at a low volume and gradually increasing it over time. Establishing a safe haven in your home where your dog can go to feel secure during storms is also helpful.

In summary, calming a dog during a thunderstorm involves creating a safe and soothing environment, using sound to mask the noise of thunder, and offering reassurance and distractions. For puppies, providing a secure space and keeping them engaged with toys or activities can be especially effective.

Preparing in advance for storm season by desensitizing your dog to the sound of thunder and setting up a safe space can also help reduce anxiety. If your dog’s fear of thunder is intense, go back to the first section now where we’ll teach you the “Relax” command.

Home Remedies for Dogs Scared of Thunder

Home Remedies for Dogs Scared of Thunder

For dogs scared of thunder, home remedies can be effective in providing comfort and reducing anxiety. These natural approaches can help manage your dog’s fear without the need for medication, utilizing familiar environments, routine activities, and comforting strategies during thunderstorms.

Home Remedies to Calm a Dog During a Storm

There are several home remedies to calm a dog during a storm. Creating a comforting environment is key. This can include providing a safe space like a crate or quiet room, using calming music or white noise to mask the sound of thunder, and offering familiar toys or blankets.

Gentle massage or petting can also be soothing. For some dogs, distraction with treats or engaging in play can help take their mind off the storm. The “Relax” command is also great for these types of situations; learn it now by going back to the first section.

Dog Anxiety Medication Thunderstorms

While home remedies are often preferred, in cases of very severe anxiety, dog anxiety medication specifically for thunderstorms may be necessary. These medications can help calm your dog during particularly intense storms.

One important thing to remember with dog thunderstorm anxiety medication is the potential side effects, which include lethargy and a disinterest in physical contact. Consult with your veterinarian before administering any medication, as they can advise on the appropriate type and dosage for your dog’s specific needs.

Dogs Scared of Thunder: Building a Safe Place

For dogs scared of thunder, building a safe place can be a significant comfort. This can be a quiet room, a crate with their favorite blanket, or any area where they feel secure. During storms, this space can provide a retreat for your dog, where the sounds of thunder are muffled, and they feel protected.

Adding familiar scents, such as a piece of your clothing, can also help make this space more comforting.

How to Help Dog With Thunder Anxiety Through Exercise

Helping a dog with thunder anxiety through exercise is another effective strategy. Physical activity can help expend excess energy and reduce anxiety levels. A well-exercised dog is generally more relaxed and may cope better with the stress of thunderstorms.

In summary, managing a dog’s fear of thunder can involve a combination of home remedies, including creating a safe space, using exercise to reduce anxiety, and considering medication for only severe cases. The key is to provide comfort and security, helping your dog to feel as relaxed as possible during thunderstorms.

I’m sure you’re ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about why dogs are afraid of thunder answered, so I’ll let you get started. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “Are Dogs Scared of Thunder? How to Help Dogs Afraid of Thunder.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.