Fear of Thunder


Dog Afraid Of Thunder | Anxiety Issues In Dogs

If you have a dog afraid of thunder, we share the absolute best information on the internet for thunder related anxiety in our four legged friends.

Signs & Symptoms

A dog afraid of thunder will pace, drool and tremble uncontrollably. These are common panic and anxiety related symptoms. Some dogs afraid of thunder will simply pace until they find a quiet, tucked away place that allows them to feel safe.

On the other hand, many dogs react differently to thunder and lightning. They too pace, drool and tremble, but also desperately search for an escape by digging, clawing, chewing and even jumping through windows. This is a condition known as “thunderstorm phobia”.

It is common for dogs afraid of thunder to also be afraid of fireworks, yet some know the difference. Our dog suffered with “thunderstorm phobia” for 14 years, but fireworks didn’t bother her at all. She could accurately tell you when a storm was on the way and she was right ninety nine percent of the time.

To Coddle or Not To Coddle

The one thing many say is “not to coddle” your dog too much. They feel this can actually make the dog more anxious and his thunderstorm phobia worse. We believe that you should always speak gently yet firmly while keeping in mind that each dog is individual and a general analysis doesn’t hold true for every dog.

We have found that by not getting worked up can actually help a dog afraid of thunder. Keeping an eye on her, we would go about our daily chores acting as if it weren’t a big deal. This helped a little. However, we would never leave her during a thunder storm or if there was even a remote possibility of thunder.

Helpful Tips for Dealing With A Dog Afraid Of Thunder

  • A snug fitting t-shirt may help a little by acting as a security blanket, but quite honestly we tried this and it doesn’t compare to the Thundershirt.
  • Others have had success with the product called “Pet Rescue Remedy” by Bach.
  • If your dog scratches at the walls and floors, we suggest placing dog boots on him/her during the storm.
  • For a dog scared of thunder, we recommend turning the radio and TV. up loudly to help drown out the sound.
  • Provide a safe place for him and encourage, but don’t force your dog to go there. Since most dogs with thunderstorm phobia will look for tight quarters, a little igloo doghouse somewhere in the home (NOT OUTSIDE) can make him feel like he’s safe. Never lock your dog in a crate. Dogs afraid of thunder will often hurt themselves severely trying to escape.
  • De-sensitization is a method used to introduce your dog to his fear of “thunder”. A CD of a thunderstorm is played at a low volume, then the volume is increased over time. Unfortunately, this does not always work for the severe cases of thunderstorm phobia.
  • Distract your dog and take his mind off of his fear of thunder by playing with him.
  • For a dog afraid of thunder, always use positive reinforcement and associate good things with a thunder storm. Stay calm and relaxed and reassure her that “it’s o.k.”, but don’t fuss over too much.
  • Homeopathic Remedies include Phosphorus HPUS Pellets, Aconitum Napellus and Bach Flower.
  • For severe cases of “thunder phobia”, prescription drugs seem to be the only help. Keep in mind that these are very powerful drugs and your dogs ability to climb stairs, etc. could be impaired. Never leave him alone when he is on any form of sedative. Most veterinarians prescribe sedatives such as Acepromazine, Tranxene or Buspirone or Propanolol and Inderol which are beta-blockers.
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