Helping Your Dog Relax During Thunderstorms

Helping Your Dog Relax During Thunderstorms

If you have a furry friend with a storm phobia, the last thing you want to see is a thunderstorm in the near forecast. It can be extremely stressful as a pet parent to see you canine in distress; especially when you feel like there’s not a lot you can do to help them. Luckily, we’ve gathered some of those most popular tips other pet parents successfully use for their dogs.

Stay Home with Fido if You Can to Provide Distractions

If your furry friend is already in fear due to the storm, being home alone on top of that isn’t going to help. If you see bad weather in the forecast, try to be home or have someone else stay home with Fido if you can. With someone home to be by your pup’s side, it can help create a more calming environment. Just being near your pooch, giving them affection, or even a simple massage can help lower their stress levels. Additionally, if your dog is up for it, try playing indoor fetch, tug-of-war, or giving them a high-quality chewy. Giving their body something to do can help take their mind off of the storm.

Create a “Safe Place” Your Dog Can Go to

When some dogs are stressed, they like to know that there is a designated space, just for them, that they can retreat to whenever they want. Giving your pooch the freedom to decide when they want to be alone and when they want to be around others can especially help if they’re feeling overwhelmed. Crates are typically used as “safe places”. But you can also create a little nook for you canine within your home. As long as your dog knows where it is and that they won’t be bothered if they go there – then that’s all that matters.

For dogs who have storm phobias, creating or moving this “safe space” to the most soundproof room in your home can be extremely useful in calming your pooch down. Additionally, closing all of the blinds and curtains in your home can help with any negative visuals your pup might experience.

Popular Calming Remedies

Here are a few things to consider getting for Fido to help with their fear of storms:

  • Calming Music: Most homes don’t have a completely soundproof room, so a great alternative is to compete with the noise by playing calming classical music, or even trying out playlists specifically made for canines with anxiety.
  • ThundShirts: These vests help provide a gentle, hugging feeling for Fido. This pressure can help significantly calm your pooch down when they seem anxious or fearful.
  • Diffusing Lavender Oil: Your canine companion has an extremely sensitive nose. This means that scent therapy can be even more effective on them than on you. Essential oils are great for this, especially lavender scents.
  • Dog Appeasing Pheromone Spray: These sprays mimic the pheromones that nursing mother dogs release to calm and comfort their puppies, and many pet parents have said it has helped calm their adult dogs as well.

Talk to Fido’s Veterinarian

Sometimes it seems like you’ve tried everything, yet nothing seems to be working. This is a good time to call up your pup’s vet to discuss other options. For highly anxious dogs, sometimes medication is the best solution – but this is usually a last resort.

There is no one cure-all. Every canine is different, so what works for one dog may not work for another. So don’t get discouraged if the first technique you try doesn’t go so well with your pup.

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