Thunderstorms fascinate humans but can cause distress and anxiety for our furry friends. Dogs can sense the sudden changes in atmospheric pressure long before the storms arrive. The booming thunder and flashing lightning can trigger fear in many pets. Here are some helpful tips to help our pups find solace during unsettling weather:
- Create a Safe Haven:Designate a “safe” spot where your dog can retreat during storms. This may be under the coffee table, in a closet, in a quiet corner, in a crate, or even under a bed. Placing their bed, toys, and a few familiar items nearby provides security.
- Stay Calm:Pets often pick up on their owner’s emotions. Your dog will likely follow suit if you remain calm and composed during a storm. Engage in soothing activities such as playing soft background music and cuddling with them.
- Desensitisation Training:Before storm season, gradually expose your pet to the sounds of thunder. Play audio recordings of storms at low volumes and progressively increase the intensity over time. Although dogs associate air pressure changes with impending storms, these activities may help desensitise them. Reward them with treats and affection for staying calm.
- Use Calming Products:Consider using pheromone diffusers, sprays, or calming collars that release synthetic calming pheromones. These can have a reassuring effect on pets and promote relaxation during thunderstorms.
- Engage in Play:If your pup is willing, engage them in playtime or activities they enjoy. This can help divert their attention from the storm outside and associate the loud noises with positive experiences.
- Provide Distractions:Offer your pet their favourite toys and treats. Engaging their minds can redirect their focus away from the storm and help them relax.
- Physical Contact:Many pets find comfort in physical contact during stressful situations. Gently petting or cuddling them can provide security and reduce their anxiety.
- Close Curtains and Blinds:Sometimes, the flashes of lightning can exacerbate a pet’s anxiety. Closing curtains or blinds can help minimise the visual impact of the storm.
- Consult a veterinarian:If your pet’s anxiety during storms is severe, consult your vet. They might recommend treatments that can help manage your pet’s stress.
- Stay Present:Spend time with your pet, talking to them in soothing tones. Your reassuring presence can go a long way in alleviating their fears.
Thunderstorms need not be a source of distress for your furry friend. Combining these strategies and incorporating effective dog training obedience techniques can help create a calm and secure environment for your pet during storms. Remember-patience and understanding are critical as you help your pet overcome their fears and anxieties.