The Dog Is Afraid Of Thunder

Autumn comes and storms start all over Italy, a phobia of many of our dogs. If you have a dog sensitive to loud noises, such as thunder, it is important to know how to behave to reassure the dog, or at least not to increase his stress level.

The reasons why your dog is afraid are not always identifiable. Good desensitisation can improve the problem, but not necessarily solve it completely. Let’s start with some useful tips.

What Not To Do

Pampering the dog too much in an attempt to calm him down (“too much” understood in a very different way from how we normally do)

  • Shout it out;
  • Show concern;
  • Watching it all the time.

Calm A Dog During A Thunderstorm: What To Do To Calm A Dog During A Thunderstorm?

  • Set up a “safe” corner of the house;
  • Invite him to play if he is available;
  • Showing peace of mind;
  • Turn on the TV at high volume.

How To Handle The Situation

Every dog is different, we always say that. What can calm a dog, can leave one of its kind absolutely indifferent. Nevertheless, there are some tricks that can improve the situation in 90% of cases.

As we said, avoiding excessive pampering of the dog is already a good start. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t touch or caress a scared dog, but you should do so in moderation, no more than you normally do. Absolutely avoid touching him if he is not looking for our contact or if he prefers to be secluded somewhere (as long as the place he has chosen is not dangerous).

Needless to say that yelling at him has no effect, because in addition to the fear of the storm he will also have to deal with the fact that you are angry and do not know why. To be absolutely avoided.

On these occasions, most dogs opt for two solutions:

  • sticking to your leg;
  • seclude himself in a place he considers “safe”.

If he’s glued to you, that means you’re his life preserver. Being close to you slightly relieves his anxiety and he prefers not to stray. Don’t send him away, but let him follow you without picking him up or pampering him too much. Do the things you normally do, in your usual state of mind. He will also follow you into the bathroom, but it is likely that he will do so even without a storm.

If he chooses to seclude himself in a safe place, take note of the place he has chosen, and for the next time let him find something comfortable waiting for him (a blanket, a pillow or something else). It is also likely to be a very secluded place with his head covered (under a coffee table, behind a piece of furniture, in the bathroom, under the bed).

Act normally without showing signs of anxiety or worry, but on the contrary be as calm as possible. This is the way he has found to relieve anxiety. Do not force him to move or follow us. If possible, let him also find a little bone to munch on. It may not look good, but chewing relieves stress.

A good gimmick is also to close doors and windows and turn on the TV quite loudly to cover the thunder noise.

Desensitize

To conclude we report some common methods to desensitize the dog to this type of noise.

The first is to let your dog listen to a recording of a thunderstorm day after day, increasing the volume of the stereo as he gets used to the noise.

This can be effective, but unfortunately the storm brings with it a change in pressure and important electromagnetic fields. Recreating the true conditions of a thunderstorm is rather difficult if not impossible, so it may not work.

Alternatively, there are commercially available coats designed to counteract electromagnetic fields during a thunderstorm. We do not doubt their effectiveness, but the big problem of thunder noise remains.

An accessory that has proved to be very useful, and that we have personally tried is the Thundershirt.