My dog is afraid of thunderstorms, what should I do?

Summer is finally here! The sun is shining, the heat is great, but so are thunderstorms… And faced with this more or less violent summer weather phenomenon that can strike anywhere in the country, many dogs are scared, whatever their size or age. If this is the case for your faithful companion, discover all our advice to calm him and help him overcome his fear during stormy episodes.

Why don’t dogs like thunderstorms?

A thunderstorm is a rather brutal phenomenon that is accompanied by loud noises and violent flashes of light over which we have no control, including your pet!

You can consider his reaction as fear if he suddenly changes his behavior at the approach/during a storm: he turns in circles, whines or barks, salivates excessively, shakes, is more sticky than usual…
Generally speaking, a dog is considered to be afraid of thunderstorms because it may simply be fearful in character, it may be poorly socialized and therefore not used to loud noises, or it may have already had a similar traumatic experience.

What should you do?

If you notice that your dog is anxious about the storm, the most important thing is to reassure him by doing simple things that will make him feel safe and secure.

First of all, give him access to a place in your home that he likes, where he feels comfortable, or to an isolated room where the noise of the storm is less and the lightning is less visible.

Having the right attitude towards him is also essential. It is, indeed, important not to change your behavior or your habits and to feel sure of yourself in order not to transmit your fear which is a communicative feeling, if ever the storm is also a source of anxiety for you. Your dog must feel safe and take refuge in you as a protective figure in order to minimize his anxiety.

Also, your pet may have uncontrollable reactions when he panics.
Even if this behavior annoys you, you must not get angry or, worse, punish him, because the fault does not come from him, but from his fear which he does not control. During these moments, it is advisable to let him do what he wants, within the limits of reason, of course, and above all, not to force him to do anything in order to reduce, awkwardly, his anxiety.

Finally, if your dog’s attitude is really problematic, even dangerous for your loved ones or for himself, you can first use naturally calming products like Zylkene or Bach flowers. If this doesn’t work, talk to your veterinarian to consider medicinal solutions.