Dogs, as well as other animals, are scared of thunderstorms. Dogs or pets are scared because they sense a change in the air. Dogs or pets may feel scared because of the loud noises that they hear during the storms too.
A dog afraid of storms will sometimes howl, bark, chew up your clothes, take the bed into knots, and other crazy stuff.
You might then come home to find that your clothing has been chewed to bits. Have you noticed that your dog is trying to hide?
Do you see your dog shaking? While dogs, in general, are not overly frightened by thunderstorms, some are more scared than others.
Make sure to provide enough water for your dog – during periods of stress, the need for hydration will rise!
During a storm, the decibel of the high-frequency pitch of wind barely reaches our human ears, while for dogs, this pitch is much more irritating.
Dogs can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. These sounds are far too high-pitched for human ears.
That’s why dogs and other pets with better ear sight than us can feel even more scared.
Dogs have learned that they will get a reaction from you when they show that they are scared.
You come to their rescue! You can turn a scared dog into an anxiety-free dog by making all their fearful behaviors go away.
Dogs Hear Almost Twice as Many Frequencies as Humans
Sometimes dogs are afraid of sounds they don´t recognize. This could be thunder, fireworks, or gunfire. In combination with a visual effect such as flashes, this may cause your dog to be frightened.
Instead, get a recording of thunderstorm noises and play it for your pet at low volume.
Another thing helping your dog could be to let him be with a dog that is NOT afraid of thunderstorms and/or loud noises. This works only (best) if the dogs know each other and ideally are friends.
- Distract him for a while by placing his favorite chew toy nearby and allow him to check it out.
- Repeat this as often as he wants throughout the storm. Every time your dog howls, barks, or whines, try to steer his attention to his toy.
Doing this over and over helps to provide a different stimulus. He might come to associate the sound of the storm with nice things like a treat or his favorite toy.
Your dog may wish to be closer to you during a storm. He can be taught to be more relaxed by getting more affection. squeezing your pet’s paws or patting him whenever he is scared of loud noises is a good way to encourage your dog.
What Triggers Storm Phobia or Thunderstorm Phobia
- Barometric pressure changes
- Static electricity (the fur!)
- Low-frequency rumbles
“Most of the time, they don’t grow out of it on their own, and many will get worse with time if nothing is done,”Matt Peuser, DVM, veterinarian at Olathe Animal Hospital
When you comfort him, act much like your normal self, and he will follow your lead.
Humans that are afraid of storm and thunder suffer from Astraphobia
A scared dog might respond well to rewards and praise. He will, instead of getting scared, want to please you.
Praise and a special treat is a good way to steer his attention away from the things that scare him.
Patience and a loving attitude is the key to treating a dog scared during a storm. His fear will diminish, and with a little work, you can help him overcome his fear completely.