Another benefit to these is that they help a stressed dog to relax enough to concentrate on the behavior modification plan you put together. Survey on predisposing factors to canine thunderstorm phobia. The most common behaviors associated with your dog’s fear of thunder include restlessness, destructiveness, hiding in small places, barking, whining, sitting or leaning close by the owner, trembling, pacing, panting, drooling dilated pupils, defecating, urinating and trying to escape by running away. Some dogs try to go under tables, in bathtubs, or in any other places that make them feel secure. “Talking in a soothing manner, and, if your dog likes it, pet them in long, calming strokes.”. Dog afraid of thunder, lightning or fireworks is common in dogs. Dogs may pant, whine, bark, hide, tremble, pace, spin, scratch and/or paw at windows and doors, and may become extremely destructive and panicked to the point of hurting themselves. Often times, when your dog is afraid of thunder, it’s because of the lack of exposure, which can cause panic and fear. Your dog may also be simply expressing its own anxiety and fear by barking. Tips to Help Calm Your Pet. Is this normal? Dogs are really good at communicating with their body language. Apart from this, dogs are also afraid of thunder due to Astraphobia. It is doubtful if there is a better way than with homeopathic treatment. Other dogs may have a more severe phobia which leads them to hide, become destructive, or even lose control of their bowels or bladder. Find out what causes thunderstorm phobia in dogs and learn how to manag… 2013; Mengoli M, Tancini V. 2012. When it comes to thunder, it can be terrifying to hear something so big and loud, especially when there is no way for them to understand what it is. Dogs in Cars: Should My Dog Hang His Head Out the Car Window? Astraphobia can affect both humans and animals. Science says that a whopping 93% of dogs with some type of noise phobia are afraid of thunder, or something similarly loud like fireworks. Most fireworks make some kind of loud sound. Many dogs have a general noise phobia. Below are some reasons dogs are scared of fireworks, followed by ways you can help ease your dog’s fears and keep him calm. It does seem to be more common in some breeds than others. “A lot of people misunderstand what their dog is trying to communicate.”. Fear of thunder is a common phobia in dogs. While some dogs show mild signs of stress, like licking their paws, other dogs can get so worked up during storms they may get destructive. “You can play white noise — or classical music is especially calming to dogs,” Miller says. In press. There are many dogs who exhibit one of the most common phobias that affect dogs, the thunderstorm phobia. Dogs that are afraid of firecrackers may become afraid of the children who have the firecrackers or may become afraid to go in the backyard, if that is where they usually hear the noise. Astraphobia is the technical term for this: the fear of thunder and lightning. In addition to providing a safe space that’s dark and covered, provide background noise to reduce stimulation. For dogs who suffer severely from thunder phobias (or canine phobias in general), the level of stress they’re experiencing may require a call in to the experts. Generally, dogs can sense the variations in the air pressure and can hear the low-frequency reverberations of thunderstorms. A theory that dogs suffer painful shocks of electricity caused by a build up of static before a storm hits. Thankfully there are a number of options for calming a dog scared of thunder. Dogs with thunderstorm phobia become extremely frantic and overwhelmed with fear during storms. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies. She runs and hides in the closet. it is possible that your dog is scared and trying to frighten the thunder away with noise. Medication can make him  more comfortable.Thunderstorm anxiety tips for dogs. Well, due to dog’s keen senses they may experience a variety of things during a thunderstorm that go virtually undetected by us humans. The best way to soothe your dog is by knowing their body language. Your dog might be able to feel static electricity from a thunderstorm buildup in its coat even before the first clap of thunder, causing them to react in an anxious or fearful manner. Dogs are scared of thunder. Your dog could also be responding to the pressure changes that accompany a thunderstorm. No one is exactly sure what makes dogs afraid of thunder. Indeed, dogs are afraid of thunder because of loud and sharp sounds. Some dogs afraid of thunder are actually exhibiting fear of the environmental changes that they experience prior to a storm’s arrival. Most cats don’t care for big storms either. A: Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. It does seem to be more common in some breeds than others. Why Do Cats and Dogs Greet Us So Differently? In addition, puzzle toys, kongs filled with peanut butter or kibbles, or anxiety vests are helpful. So, I can deeply sympathize with the trauma that other dog guardians can feel when they find their dog suffers from thunderstorm phobia.Dogs that suffer from thunderstorm phobia are often also sensitive to other loud noises such as fireworks and gun shots1. Says Alonso, “I don’t think people even think to get help much of the time – these just think it’s just that ‘silly dog’ and don’t understand the severity of their dog’s stress level. But, the question remains, why are dogs afraid of thunder in the first place? Dogs may pant, whine, bark, hide, tremble, pace, spin, scratch and/or paw at windows and doors, and may become extremely destructive and panicked to the point of hurting themselves. Genetics - these set the threshold for “what is stressful” and the default response of “fight or flight.” A dog with nervous parents is probably going to be on the nervous end of the spectrum - breed and breeding matter! “Any of those would be super good for dogs,” Miller says. My older dogs were that age when our house was hit by lightning, and both are still afraid of thunder.” Most of the thunder-phobic dogs in Dr. Aronson’s practice developed their fear between ages four and seven. Homeopathy works by understanding the full nature of the dog, including their sensitivities and fears. There are many reasons dogs may have astraphobia, or “thunder phobia,” though. It is ok to allow them to do this. Changes in air pressure. Noise trauma during storms may be stressful for both owners and dogs. In most cases, they will suggest that you use the medication in association with general good preparedness for the storms (especially if they are … Even in its milder forms, it’s still a very unpleasant experience for the dog. Thinkstock. Unfortunately for dogs, it also means thunderstorms, which can upset many dogs to the point of panic. “Thunder is a big part of it. Founded in 1884, the AKC is the recognized and trusted expert in breed, health, and training information for dogs. Trainers and experts might not know every reason why dogs hate thunderstorms, but Miller believes it has a lot to do with the loud sounds. Distant, low-frequency rumbles of thunder that are beyond human hearing but are loud to the sensitive hearing of a dog. You can smear the mat with peanut butter, cream cheese, soft bananas, etc. But these tips will help your dog through things like fireworks or thunderstorms. Appl An Behav Sci 145(1-2) 15-25.; Mengoli M, Tancini V. et al. 26(4) 27-33. Owners who see their dogs experiencing this fear usually feel helpless and frustrated. And if you can start identifying these behaviors before a thunderstorm, you can have a plan in place before it escalates and your dog is out of control. It is usually marked by hiding, whining, barking, pawing or even urination. With practice and a good routine/training schedule throughout the year. https://www.akc.org/subscription/thank-you. Like fireworks, thunder is loud, unpredictable and often brings unexpected flashes of light. and dogs have to work to get the food off it. When you’re a dog lover, it can be tough to watch your normally calm pup get stressed out during a thunderstorm. Female dogs and neutered males are more likely to be thunder phobic, as well was dogs that were rehomed2. Learn more about reading your dog’s body language. “So giving them that smaller space eliminates anything sneaking up on them. In fact, 2016 research in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior said noise phobias or noise sensitivities are one of the top 3 common anxieties in dogs (poor pups!). Dogs afraid of thunder . Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening. It is still not clear as what triggers this kind […] If they’re in an enclosed space where they are comfortable and familiar, that’s going to be more soothing to them.”. Veterinarians don't know all the triggers but suspect the dogs are set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static … Thank you, Daniel Dudgeon, for your A2A: Why do dogs freak out during storms? Dealing with a dog scared of thunder — my personal story My dog Grant is scared of thunder. Dogs are often afraid of thunder simply because they don’t know what it is. Perhaps you adopted your dog from a rescue shelter, and you don't know much about his past, but he flips out anytime he hears loud noises, like books falling off shelves or doors slamming. We never realized he, at six years of age, was thunder-phobic since he lived all his life in an area where there really are no storms. © 2020 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. Dogs have a more acute sense of hearing than humans, so those loud booms, crackles and whistles are alarming. The best thing you can do for your dog is to let them go to their safe space, and not punish them for any behavior during thunderstorms including destruction and whining. It would be funny since she's a 90 pound dobe, except that when i find her, her entire body is shaking and she's clearly terrified. Homeopathic treatment doesn’t try to sedate a terrified dog. If your dog is fearful of thunder, then you are not alone. Guide to Essential oils for dogs scared of thunder, essential oils for dogs fear, essential oils for scared dogs, essential oils for dogs afraid of thunder, essential oils for fearful dogs, oil for fearful dogs, oil for fearful dogs skin, oil for fearful dogs ears, oil for fearful dogs anxiety While it’s a common fear amongst dogs – some breeds more frightened of it than others – there is no explanation for what makes them afraid of it. All rights reserved. To better understand why some dogs hate thunderstorms, we talked to Trista Miller, a CPDT certified trainer, and an AKC CGC and Trick Dog Evaluator. Published by. “If your dog gets destructive, chewing and licking are self-soothing behaviors,” Miller says. Fear of thunder is a common phobia in dogs. Storms, especially loud and noisy ones, can trigger fear in dogs and cats. A dog afraid of thunder can have a variety of reactions, from mild to extreme. “Of course, dogs are so much more sensitive to sounds, their hearing is so much more powerful than ours, so they can often detect thunder way before we can,” she explains. Thunderstorm anxiety is a difficult, and often frightening, problem for dog parents to handle. Studies have also found that breed, age, sex and acquisition of the dog can increase the likelihood a dog will suffer from this condition. “If your dog naturally tends to do those things when they’re upset, giving them positive outlets for that can be really helpful.”. Blackwell EJ, Bradshaw JWS, Casey RA. So, I think there could also be some unheard, unseen things that dogs can catch that we do not.”. Mychelle Blake, MSW, CDBC, Lifestyle Contributor and Pet Behavior Expert, Marjie Alonso, CDBC, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, Executive Director of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, Your guide to understanding parasitic diseases in dogs, Introducing Happy Paws, from our friends at Fear Free Happy Homes. You have questions, we have answers. She also believes it’s instinctual. We are going to talk about how to calm a dog that's afraid of thunder. In my personal experience, pet guardians can be uncomfortable with the thought of using medication for anxiety on their dog, but, thunderstorm phobia can be a medical emergency if it’s severe enough. Veterinaria. If your dog suffers from thunder and noise phobia, finding qualified behavior help is highly recommended. My dog is terrified of thunderstorms. Summertime means sunshine, road trips, picnics, and boat rides. Trainers and experts might not know every reason why dogs hate thunderstorms, but Miller believes it has a lot to do with the loud sounds. © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. Here’s what we learned. No one is exactly sure what makes dogs afraid of thunder. For example, dogs that are afraid of thunder may later become afraid of the wind, dark clouds and flashes of light that often precede the sound of thunder. “It’s a survival thing to be afraid of loud noises, to want to find shelter,” she says. Appl An Behav Sci. While it can be easy to get angry at your dog for being destructive or whining during a storm, it’s important to take the time to understand why your dog is acting this way and learning how to help. It is usually marked by hiding, whining, barking, pawing or even urination. 2013 Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behavior. I know dobes as a breed don't like loud noises, but she gets frightened even when the thunder is distant and not that loud. If you find your dog is clearly stressed for long periods after the storm has passed. A far better approach to help dogs afraid of thunder is to support them in overcoming the fear. Discomfort may arise due to the barometric pressure changes, static electricity, high winds, and low-frequency rumbles. When there’s a thunderstorm and your dog starts to get nervous, here are some tips and tricks for calming them down. “Some dogs definitely have experienced something bad that makes them afraid of thunder,” says Nancy A. Dreschel, DVM, PhD, who has studied and written about thunderstorm phobia. I remember my own sense of horror when we were driving cross country from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania and my shepherd mix became extremely anxious during a thunderstorm in Arizona, to the point where my husband and I had to take turns staying in the car with him at night because we couldn’t keep him in the hotel due to his terrified barking. Download this e-book to get the explanations behind some of the strangest canine behaviors. “They can read other dogs’ body language really well, they can read our body language really well, but we’re usually oblivious to theirs,” Miller says. “This correlates to a decrease in thyroid function, which is an important component in behavioral problems,” she says. There are a variety of reasons why your dog might bark, or respond aggressively, toward thunder. If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, you might notice him or her hiding in a confined space, trembling or shaking, barking, howling, whining, restlessly pacing, drooling, or engaging in destructive behavior. Most dogs can be calmed towards thunder by applying some or all of the above suggestions. There are anti-anxiety medications that can be used to help your dog feel calmer during a storm. This: the fear of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is a space. Barometric pressure and electrostatic fluctuations thunderstorms are at the top of the list of anxiety-inducing situations re stressed. And trusted expert in breed, health, and so they still like environments. That can scare them, and boat rides shocks of electricity caused by a build up static. Give them those fun things in there. ” about reading your dog through things like,!, pawing or even urination wish to consult with your local veterinarian and see they! 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