There are two types of storm phobic dogs. Most dogs are simply scared and looking for a place to hide. But other dogs become frenzied and destructive during a storm. We’ve had patients chew through sheet rock or jump through windows during storms.
The best way to prevent storm phobias is to begin during puppyhood.
Dogs can be trained to tolerate loud noises and this socialization may prevent the problem. While raising a puppy, don’t avoid situations involving loud noises. Take advantage of thunderstorms and reassure the puppy so that fear is reduced.
Behavior modification can be attempted, but usually has mixed results.
By using recordings of actual thunderstorms played louder and louder, some dogs can learn to tolerate storms. Sometimes medications can also be used as an adjunct to training.
Most importantly, provide a storm phobic dog with a place to hide. The smaller and more confining the better. Plastic airline type carriers work well and can even be covered with a blanket to make it more cave-like.
Anxiety can be reduced if the dog has a safe place to go during the storm, making it safer for them, for you and for your house.
If you think you pet needs more than tips, give us a call. Many dogs can benefit from using safe medications to help them cope with this kind of stimulation.