House Dogs and Thunderstorms

Depending on your breed of dog, the effects of an approaching storm may not be noticeable at all or they can be very pronounced and worrysome. Through trial and error, I have found a way to help my dogs remain calm during storms. I am most pleased to be able to share my “Thunderstorm Checklist For House Dogs” with you. Keep in mind, if your dog has any medical conditions such as diabetes or allergies, I urge you to use this checklist with caution. Alter the list as is necessary to keep Fido happy and healthy.

1. First and foremost, YOU must remain calm. If you are nervous about storms, more than likely, your dog will be too. Being the intuitive creatures they are, dogs learn to exhibit the emotions of their owners. Which emotions they learn is up to you.

2. It is always a good idea to make sure “potty time” is taken care of since nerves often play a big role in the cause for those unwanted little accidents. A second trip out after the storm is also a good practice.

3. If your dog has a tendency to inhale his or her food when anxiety strikes, you may want to reduce the amount so nausea and vomiting do not become an added issue. Once the storm has passed, resume feeding as normal.

4. Some dogs, especially smaller breeds, have an aversion to loud noises such as thunder. This is when you will need to occupy your dog with something fun, maybe a favorite toy or game. Repeat this action with each storm to help build Fido’s confidence.

5. Lightening is yet another factor that can make a dog scramble to hide under the couch. Most times the reason for this is one of two things: (A) The sudden flash of light or (B) the electrical surge in the atmosphere. This is my solution for both cases.

5A. If a sudden flash of light is the problem, keep your dog in a well-lit area. The lightning won’t seem so bright and in turn Fido can relax.

5B. If it is the static electricity that drives your dog nuts, relief is as close as your laundry room. Simply wipe your dog’s coat with a dryer sheet. The static is eliminated and your dog is happier for it.

May you and your dog have a long, happy and healthy relationship.

source: Personal experience.

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