One of the delights of living in the subtropics is enjoying a good storm. Unfortunately many people now view storms with trepidation due to their dog’s phobia. So why do some dogs become so upset by storms, and how can you help them cope better?
To a dog, a storm is a dramatic and terrifying change in the environment – they hear thunder 100 times more acutely than we do, can smell the ozone in the air, feel the barometric pressure change and of course see the light intensity change. This can be seen as a threat to their safety. Your pet sees a storm as a predator which has entered its territory, and their instinctual response is to get away from it! They may do this by escaping and running away (but alas as soon as they get out of the yard, the noise follows them), hiding, seeking their leader (you) to protect them or to bravely bark to scare it away. Hiding is what we want to encourage. That way your pet is in no danger of harming themselves and your house and yard are safe from destruction.
Providing a small, dark, soundproof area for your dog to seek during storms is a safe way for them to cope with this anxiety. A room under the house or an internal room with no windows could work well. Perhaps a cupboard or shed which has been renovated with soundproofing and insulation. Then teach your dog to seek this area as they don’t naturally know to go to this spot.
It is also important for you to be calm and confident as your dog will be watching you for guidance. Severe storm phobias may need the help of medication.
If you have a dog with storm phobia and want to know more, call us on 38991495 and we can organise a consultation.