How To Help Your Canine Friend Deal With Their Fear Of Thunder

You look out the window and see dark clouds rolling in.  It looks to be a bad storm, and you know there will be thunder.  You look at your furry friend and can see that they are feeling the change in the atmosphere already.  In that instance, a loud crack of thunder, and under the nearest chair or table they go.

This happens to more canines than just your own.  But, the question is, how can you help them through this difficult time.  There are several ways to reassure your furry friend during a thunderstorm.

Image: Wide Open Pets

The first method to try is to change the environment that your canine is in.  When it is thundering, a method that works well with my own Jack Russell is to place her in the bathroom, with her favorite bed, and turn on the box fan.  The droning noise from the fan can help in muffling the sound of the thunder.  She seems to calm down well with this method.

Another method that some pet owners use is a form of positive reinforcement.  Basically, you replace something that may cause your pet anxiety and fear, with something they like.  In most cases, when your pet starts to exhibit their anxiety or fear of the thunder, you would give them a nibble of their favorite treat.  This way, when the thunder starts, they will think of the treat and will associate the two together.


Image: The Balanced Kanine

One last way to soothe your frightened friend during a thunderstorm is to keep an eye on the weather forecast.  If your weather service is predicting storms, maybe take your canine friend for a brisk walk.  This will help to boost their serotonin levels, which are good for a calming effect, as well as tire your friend out.  With this combination they may be able to more successfully ride out the storm.

The one thing to never do is to scold or yell at them for their anxiety.  The only thing that will do is make the anxiety worse, and harder on both them and you.