Helping Your Dog Cope With Thunderstorms

Does your canine pal run and hide during thunderstorms? Does Fido turn into a furry, trembling bundle of fear when the sky darkens? Many of our four-legged patients are absolutely terrified of storms! Here, a McHenry, IL vet offers tips on keeping dogs calm during storms.

Pet Shirts

Consider getting Fido a tight-fitting shirt to wear during thunderstorms. Many people report that these really help keep their pups calmer when it’s stormy out.

Safe Zone

If Fido has a crate, have him go into it when bad weather approached. Ideally, your pup should think of his crate as a safe little den, so make it comfy for him by adding bedding and toys. Don’t close the door: you don’t want your four-legged buddy to feel trapped, as this may increase his anxiety. If you don’t have a doggy crate, bring Fido into an interior room.

Background Noise

The noise associated with storms may be one reason Fido is frightened of them. Turn a TV or radio on for your furry friend, to help mask the sounds of the storm.

Pet Calming Treats

Ask your vet for advice on using pet-calming products, such as sprays or treats. These can also help settle a nervous pooch.

Desensitization

When the weather is clear, play recordings of thunderstorms. This may desensitize Fido to the sounds of heavy storms.

Basic Safety Measures

If Fido is really frightened, he may try to bolt. Make sure he has been microchipped, and is wearing current ID tags. Better safe than sorry!

Playtime

Tire Fido out with a good play session before the bad weather arrives. Your furry pal may not feel quite so excitable if he’s a little tired.

Dryer Sheet

Running an unscented dryer sheet over Fido’s fur can also help. This will remove static electricity, which may be one of the things dogs hate about storms.

Tips

If Fido is really scared, he may dig, bark, pace, chew, or soil inappropriately. Never punish your canine buddy for something he does out of fear: this can backfire, and could even make him more scared. However, you don’t want to go overboard with trying to soothe your pup, either. You don’t want your pooch clamoring for attention every time it starts raining!

Do you have questions about caring for your dog? We can help! Contact us, your McHenry, IL animal clinic, today!

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