How to help a dog that is fearing thunder

Updated 12/01/2023

dog that is fearing thunder

 The quick answer is:

  • 1. Prevent your dog to go outside.
  • 2. Provide a safe indoor area.
  • 3. Divert your dog’s attention.
  • 4. Desensitize your Dog.
  • 5. Provide a snug garment.
  • 6. Extra walks before a thunderstorm.
  • 7. Bring your neighbour’s dog.
  • 8. Do not console a fearful dog.

Is your dog being afraid of a thunderstorm? Are you feeling helpless to see your dog extremely frantic during storms?

If your answer is yes. Then, here we can help you to learn how to manage your dog’s thunderstorm phobia for the sake of your own peace of mind.

Why Is My Dog Scared of Thunder?

Dogs can fear thunder for a variety of reasons. It may be due to the loud noise, flash of lightning, and changes in barometric pressure associated with thunderstorms.

Dogs can also pick up on their owners’ fear or anxiety, which can cause them to feel scared as well. It is important to remain calm and to provide comfort to your dog during a storm to help alleviate their fear.

Is It Normal for A Dog To Be Scared Of Thunder?

Yes, it is normal for a dog to fear thunder. Most dogs are terrified of loud noises such as thunder, and fireworks.

This fear can cause dogs to become anxious, hide, or even try to run away. If your dog fears thunder, it is important to help them feel safe and secure during storms.

How to help a dog that fears thunder

It is hard to see a dog suffering from great fear during a thunderstorm. Dogs start behaving unusually.

They may:

  • Pant
  • whine
  • Bark
  • Hide
  • Tremble
  • Pace
  • Spin
  • Scratch and/or paw at windows and doors
  • May become extremely destructive and panicked to the point of hurting themselves

Prevent your dog to go outside if there is a thunderstorm

The best way to prevent your dog from going outside in a thunderstorm is to keep them indoors. Please ensure all doors and windows are closed and there is no way for them to escape.

If your dog is anxious during a thunderstorm, you may want to provide them with a safe space, such as a crate or a room that they can retreat to.

Additionally, providing them with a distraction, such as a special toy or a chew treat, may help to keep them calm.

Additionally, providing plenty of positive reinforcement during storms and consistent behaviour training can help your dog learn to cope with storms better in the future.

Provide a safe indoor area

In the case of thunder, you need to provide a safe area like a crate. A crate is preferable with a sheet to create the feeling of a haven for dogs. It will almost cover a small space like the corner of a room or a small bathroom.

Observable where your dog spends its time. Close all blinds or curtains or cover the windows, so that dog can not see any flashes of light from the storm.

Pet owners, in a clinical research survey, claim that their dogs hide in the bathtub of the bathroom during the electrical thunderstorm. This is due to the static build-up and dropping of barometric pressure that comes with a thunderstorm.

Divert your dog’s attention in a storm

Divert your dog’s attention

Your dog is probably the best weather forecaster you can ever find. Dogs can judge the change in the weather to examine the dropping of the barometric pressure.

Before the dog’s judgment, the owner should distract it with the help of music to drown out the thunderclaps. At that time, you should treat your dog in a normal but joyful mood.

Don’t miss the chance and play. With playing, you will definitely give him your own attention.  Another way to divert your dog’s attention from a thunderstorm is to give them their favourite toys.

However, If you can not distract your dog’s intention, do not punish him. Because it will only increase a panicked pet’s anxiety level.

Reactions of dogs in thunderstorms

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association studied the reactions of dogs in thunderstorms, and the results are below.

UrinationDefecationDestructionVocalisationReaction to noises

Is there a difference between the age of your dog and canine anxiety about thunderstorms?

A study by Salonen, M., Sulkama, S., Mikkola, S. et al. Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety. Thunderstorms.

2 Years2-4 Years4-6 Years6-8 Years8-10 Years10 Years

Desensitize your Dog to thunderstorms

Desensitization is basically training, the dog, to diminish its negative emotion during a thunderstorm.

It is preparation for the next storm. This therapy will enhance your dog’s sense of affection during the change in the environment.

For this, download the thunderstorm sounds from the internet and practice them quietly with your dog and play a fun game with him while the sound is on.

After some intervals, change the sound and award your dog with its favourite food to eat. Over one week, increase the volume of thunderstorm music, gradually.

If your dog is not going to accept this increased volume, because of high sensitivity, keep the low volume for two to three days and then increase it.

This therapy, a long-term solution, will strongly help your dog if you stay with him during a thunderstorm.

In this pattern, the goal is to get your dog used to the sound of thunder and associate it with good things.

But on the other hand, experts say that desensitization can not actually help a fearful dog because in this process you only help a dog to become used to for sound without considering the other factors of the storm that may bother your dog, such as static electricity.

Here are 4 quick tips to calm your dog when Thunder Rumbles

  1. Crating your dog
  2. Use pheromones
  3. Create a safe place
  4. Play soothing music

Provide a snug garment for your dog when there is thunder

A snug garment can help to calm your dog from storm anxiety.

Tight jackets such as thunder shirts may provide a swaddling effect on the dog’s body. It has an impact on the dog and begins working within minutes.

After a small interval, the thunder shirt drifted off the dog to sleep. Some dogs also respond to wearing a fabric-lined cape which claims to protect dogs from static shocks. These products can easily be available in any online store.

Extra walks before a thunderstorm

Try to take your dog for a few extra walks before the predicted time of the thunderstorm. This walk plays the role of natural calming aid which helps to escalate the feeling of relaxation both mentally and physically.

Do not console a fearful dog

Console your dog, during a fearful scenario, can not reduce your dog’s fear but may increase it.

Consolation is an encouragement or an award for the sake of more fear during a thunderstorm. This is not the right key to a solution to handle the situation of extreme fear. At that time, the ways that can really help you, to cope with the status-quo, are described above.

What if all these ways or tips can not be able to calm your dog? Then we have medical guidelines for you that have been taken by our veterinarian’s team.

Not every dog needs anti-anxiety medication, but dogs that are in a horrible state of anxiety will really get the benefit.

Many dog owners use medicines, in the morning, if there’s a chance of a storm. While many other dog owners keep medicines away from their dogs. But medical aid has a significant role to dislodge the over-anxiety of dogs during thunderstorms.

We listed these remedies, hereunder, on the basis of their history and their use.

Ask for help from your veterinarian

If your dog is severely scared during thunderstorms, it’s a good idea to ask for help from your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on how to create a safe and comfortable space for your dog during storms and offer behaviour modification techniques to help ease their fear.

They may also recommend medication or supplements to reduce anxiety if needed. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist to develop a behaviour modification plan to help your dog cope with their fear of thunderstorms.


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