Puppy will more than likely have a fear of thunder and lightning. Sometimes this fear can turn into a phobia. Dogs feel trapped during thunder storms. Your pet can do alot of damage to themselves and your home when they are in fear. Dogs have broken teeth, obtained fractures, caused cuts and bruises to themselves. Pets get knocked down and killed on the road from frantic running. There are also cases of pups going missing due to running off in fear. A pet that normally never strays can run off in fear and get lost. Here are some signs of storm phobia digging, jumping through windows, going through walls, running away, hiding, pacing, chewing, urinating, defecating, howling, dilated pupils, drooling, wanting owner, not eating, and shaking. Keep your pet indoors during the storm. This reduces the risk of getting lost or knocked down etc. You should keep calm during the storm.
The pup will be able to read your anxiety. The fear of the thunder storm gets worse with each exposure if you do not try and calm the situation. A pet that is afraid of thunder may become afraid of rain, wind and dark clouds as they precede the thunder. Dogs may become anxious with the reducing. The smells that come with a storm also. Certain dogs are more prone to the phobia of storms such as collies, basset hounds, golden retrievers german shepard's. These are working, sporting dogs that spend alot of time out in open fields so this could compound their fear.
- Create a safe haven. Some dogs feel safe in the bathroom during the storm. Under the bed. In their create. In the wardrobe.
- More exercise on the day the storm is coming. Dogs produce serotonin during exercise which makes them feel better.
- Reduce the noise level. Play the radio, some music or turn on the tv. Earplug for dogs.
- Be calm. Dogs can sense your fear and it will add on to theirs.
- Desensitisation. Play a tape of the thunderstorm to your dog at low volume. The dog will not be afraid usually at the low volume but he will be aware of it, do some obedience training with them. Reward the pet. Increase the volume at the next session. Do some obedience training again and reward. At the next session increase the volume do obedience training and reward. If the dog shows fear reduce the volume. Sessions should be around 20 minutes. Continue until the tape can be played loud. Play the tape when you are not around also. When the thunderstorm occurs use the same activities that you did with the tape.
- Counter the effects of electromagnetism. Done by rubbing your dogs fur to rid of static.
- If it is really strong phobia and nothing is working contact a dog behaviourist.
- You can purchase herbal remedies.
- A storm blanket for your dog. There is one called the Storm Defender. The special lining in the cape brings relief.