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Dog afraid of thunderstorms How to de-stress him

Dog afraid of thunderstorms How to de-stress him

Dogs afraid of thunderstorms – Thunderstorms, one of the most disturbing weather elements for animals in general, do not spare dogs. Have you noticed that long before the first clap of thunder, our dear companions already know that the sky is going to rumble and are anxious? Many animals can sense this well in advance and show a change in behavior (stress and fear). You would like your dog to be more relaxed on those dark summer days, and you ignorantly comfort him with kind words and petting. But you’ll see in the rest of this article that this is actually not the right solution. Let’s see what not to do and what method to apply to make your dog desensitized to the deafening noise of thunder.

1- What not to do with your dog during a thunderstorm

Many owners have seen their dog afraid of thunderstorms just before and especially during a storm. Some will hide under the bed, others will huddle in their kennel, others will stick to their feet to seek comfort. But consoling your dog by petting him, speaking soft words that he is used to hearing, is not a good thing. How does he interpret these intentions, which certainly start from a good feeling? In fact, you should avoid comforting your dog in this way, because for him it is as if you were telling him and acting in a way that makes him think he is right to behave in this way, stressing and being afraid. It is natural, as it is for a child, to want to comfort his faithful companion, but the result is ultimately the opposite of the desired objective: your dog will be even more afraid and will be more and more stressed.

2- What to do with your dog who is afraid of thunderstorms

In fact, it is not during the storm that the following advice should be followed, but beforehand, and if possible from a young age, so that your dog’s phobia of thunder and storms does not disturb him:

Get a recording of a thunderstorm
Play it, not too loudly at first and louder and louder as the therapy sessions progress, in a room
Change the room each time you play it so your dog doesn’t associate a location with the storm
While you are playing the sound of the storm, give your dog commands that he already knows, such as “sit”, “down”, “fetch”, etc., rewarding him for each action he performs.

If your dog becomes frightened when the volume of the recorded thunder approaches its actual volume, start again at a lower level where it appears relaxed. Then start again, gradually increasing the volume.

3- Other anti-stress solutions for dogs who are afraid of storms

It is possible to obtain from the veterinarian tablets that have a relaxing effect
Put a soothing DAP collar around your dog’s neck that diffuses the pheromones of a lactating female, bringing back the memory of suckling on his mother’s neck when he was a puppy, a soothing and therefore de-stressing sensation
Massaging your dog (see tips for massaging your dog here), only if you used to do it on other occasions than the storm
These solutions do not solve the problem, but they do help to calm your dog temporarily during the storm.

The technique of simulating the sound of thunder is very good if it is properly implemented. Even if it takes a little work over time, it will have the beneficial effect of making your dog calm in such a situation, and perhaps even make him calmer in other cases that also make him anxious, such as sometimes visiting the vet, or being in the car. Is your pet a dog that is afraid of thunderstorms?

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