How to Stop a Dog From Being Afraid of Storms

by Pauline Gill, Demand Media
    Some dogs panic when a storm approaches.

    Some dogs panic when a storm approaches.

    Storms with thunder and lightening can scare your dog. It's not known why some are affected while others can sleep through the sound. If you have a pooch with anoise phobia, there are ways to help her calm down and not be afraid.

    Items you will need

    • Dog toys
    • Dog crate
    • Blanket
    • Body wrap
    • Storm sounds CD

    Step 1

    Keep calm and go about your normal activities. If a storm is approaching, your pup will hear it before you do. Don't react by hurrying around to close windows. Walk to the window, shut it and draw the shades. Return to your business. You must exude a calming behavior. You are the pack leader, and your dog looks to you for guidance. Don't coddle and try to reassure her; she might determine fearful behavior is a way to get attention.

    Step 2

    Distract your dog with play. Bring out the dog toys. If you have chew toys or toys you can hide treats in, add them to the collection and play with your dog. This distraction may be enough to calm her.

    Step 3

    Provide a hiding place. If your dog likes to hide under the bed, make sure the bedroom door is open. If your dog has a crate, leave the door open and place a blanket over the top. You want to create a den environment for your pooch.

    Step 4

    Purchase a body wrap for your pup. There are a number of anxiety-relieving pressure wraps for dogs. The wrap goes around the shoulder and belly area. It provides consistent but gentle pressure on the pup, which calms her. Talk to your veterinarian to see if this is a viable option for your furry friend.

    Step 5

    Try behavior modification. Each day during playtime, play a storm CD that has the sound of thunder, wind and rain. Interact with your pooch to create a pleasant experience such as playing fetch. Begin with a low volume and only increase the sound when your dog does not react to it. Continue to play the music during playtime for several days, until you can put the CD on high volume and your pup ignores it.

    Step 6

    Talk with your veterinarian. If all methods fail and your dog continues to have fearful reactions such as trembling, shaking, urinating and hiding, you might need to ask the vet for some sedatives or anti-anxiety medication to help control the fear.

    Tip

    • Make sure your pup has access to family members during a storm. Your pet needs the comfort of her family.

    Warning

    • Never scold a dog that is reacting to fear. She will only become more afraid.

    About the Author

    Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

    Photo Credits

    • barking brown dog image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com