We’re heading into storm season in the low country, which is definitely going to help my yard look a bit nicer. Unfortunately, my dogs are not going to be happy with the rain and thunder that is sure to be coming our way. My older pup, Indy, is always terrified of storms and it’s just heartbreaking to watch. He can feel the storm long before we even see any clouds and he makes sure to run over and give me his storm whimper to alert me it’s on the way. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years about how to keep your dog calm and relaxed during storms, so I wanted to share them so other pet owners can help soothe their dogs.
Having a fear of storms is very common for dogs. The loud noises, bright flashes, pounding rain, and electricity in the air can definitely put them on edge. Luckily, there are a few things that pet owners can do to help a dog who is scared of storms.
An exercised dog is a tired dog, and if they are tired enough, they might sleep right through a storm. If you know a storm is coming soon, then get your dog out for as much exercise as you can fit in. If you don’t have time – let Charleston Dog Walker help by scheduling a dog walking visit. With lots of exercise, hopefully they will be zonked out when the storm reaches you!
If your dog has a favorite treat that takes a while to polish off, storms are a great time to whip them out. If they are distracted by chowing down on a treat, then they may ignore the bad weather going on outside. Treats also help create a more positive association with storms, which can help them understand that there isn’t anything scary about storms. We love filling a Kong with peanut butter and tossing it in the freezer. When the storm comes, they’ve got a peanut butter popsicle to lick for quite a while!
Music is a great distraction since it can mask the noises of the storm. Try playing this music medley loudly for your dog so they can’t hear the thunder. The mix is specially designed to help your pet calm down and go to sleep.
They don’t work for all dogs, but we’ve definitely heard Thundershirt success stories from people that say it will keep your dog calm and relaxed during storms. It applies gentle, constant pressure, similar to swaddling an infant, to help dogs when they are stressed. The Thundershirt costs about $40 so it’s not a huge investment, but can have a wonderful impact on your pup.
We’re a fan of Happy Traveler, which is a natural, herbal calming chew to ease anxiety. Composure is another calming supplement that creates a relaxed state without causing drowsiness or impaired motor skills.
Hopefully one, or a combination of some, of these tips will help keep your dog calm and relaxed during storms. Most dogs will find a spot that they feel safe in, like a closet, bathroom, or another dark and confined space, to curl up when the storm comes. Go ahead and let them stay in their safe spot – there’s no need to stress them out more by insisting they move. The best thing is to comfort them if they need it, but also allow them to self–soothe, like a baby, so they learn how to handle the storms on their own. When you add in some of our tips above, your dog is sure to have a much better experience the next time a storm passes through.
Charleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!