Springtime often brings loud thunder and lightning. Dogs are often afraid of thunder because they do not know what it is. Much like fireworks, thunder can be loud, unpredictable, and often bring unexpected flashes of light. The fear of thunder is also known as astraphobia and it is a lot more common than you think!
You are probably wondering why dogs fear thunderstorms. According to a research study completed by Purina, depending on a dog’s personality and past experiences, different parts of a thunderstorm can cause fear or anxiety. Another reason why dogs may fear thunderstorms is the change in their daily routine. This is something that they do not experience daily so it can have quite the impact on sensitive hearing. Oddly enough, certain dogs may experience shocks from the build-up of static electricity that accompanies thunderstorms.
There are many ways in which you can calm your dog during a storm.
- Stay calm – This is a very important piece of advice. The best thing that you can do is to remain calm around your dog during a thunderstorm. If you plan to make a big fuss about the storm, it will only make matters worse.
- Distraction – If your dog is afraid of thunder, try turning on the TV or playing fetch.
- Safe Place – Provide your dog with a safe indoor space to go when he is scared. This may be a different room in the house or even in their crate.
As always, we recommend that you speak with your veterinarian. They are the best person to talk to when it comes to dogs and thunder. They may recommend a vest, shirt, or wrap that applies light, constant compression. This will be good for alleviating anxiety during some of the worst storms. Just remember that you are in this together!