Loud noises such as thunder, heavy rain and lightning flashes can make pets feel unsettled. For many of our four-legged companions, thunderstorms, they can be very traumatic often presenting a range of behaviours that we would not ordinarily see in our pets.
Some of these anxious behaviours include; hiding under furniture, drooling, pacing, barking and sometimes destructive chewing and even attempts to escape from the backyard or home.
There are many safety measures that you can take to keep your pet safe and relaxed during thunderstorms.
Talking to your local Greencross Vets would be the first step to helping your dog overcome their noise phobia. There are many options available to assist in desensitising your dog to storms and depending on the severity of the phobia it may be as simple as providing some of the following:
1. Provide your pet with a safe and familiar place
A small space like a bathroom or laundry can make your pet feel secure. Ensure they have access to their safe space even when you are not at home.
2. Contact your local vet
Your local Greencross Vets team can recommend the best calming solutions for your pet, which may include behaviour training along with calming wraps such as thunder jackets, pheromones (DAP) or medication if determined necessary after all other options have been explored.
3. Playing soothing music before the storm hits and during
Calm music can help your pet maintain its composure or help to reduce their stress levels by masking the storm noises.
Recordings of thunderstorms are available, which can be slowly introduced to expose your dog to the common noises of storms noises. This will, in turn, begin the process of desensitisation.
5. Reassurance and comfort
If your dog is seeking your comfort provide them with calm reassurance and attention.
All of these techniques should be used in conjunction with training and positive reinforcement.
If you find your pet is intensely afraid or anxious, contact or visit your local Greencross Vets to discuss the best method that will assist in modifying your dog's behaviour during storms and loud noises.