Summer thunderstorms can be frightening for pets. As well as the loud noises and flashes of lightning, dogs may also sense barometric pressure changes and hear low-frequency sounds before humans can.
If your dog is shaking, whining, barking and pacing in bad weather, you can easily tell that your dog is scared of thunder. But it may be less obvious: drooling, yawning, drinking more water than usual, and excessive panting in dogs can all be signs of stress.
If your dog is scared of thunder, you can help by:
- staying calm – dogs can easily pick up on our emotions, so acting relaxed can help reduce their stress
- keeping your dog indoors during storms – and making sure they’re microchipped, in case they run off while spooked
- distracting your dog – giving them a chew toy or playing a game can help create positive associations with thunder
- giving your dog a safe place – close the curtains and put your dog in their crate, with blankets draped over to dull the sound of thunder
- not telling your dog off – shouting or getting angry with your pet will only make them more stressed
- quietly playing music to calm dogs – putting on the radio, the TV, or playing dog anxiety music like FRONTLINE®’s Pawfect Playlist for Dogs, can help distract your pet
- speaking to your vet – if your dog is scared of thunder and nothing seems to help, your vet may be able to offer alternatives such as compression vests, medication or desensitization therapy.