Possible Reasons Your Dog Is Afraid Of Thunder
Summer Showers, pt 1: 3
by: Neil Kilgore
The darkening on the horizon, the clouds swelling over head, the smell of rain, and the streaks of light across the sky. Thunderstorms tend to make a lot of people ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over the impressive display of nature’s power. However, while you might be grabbing a window seat to enjoy the show, your dog might be frantically searching for cover. There are a number of dogs who get the shivers when the thunder starts to rumble in the sky. It causes them to shrink, run, and try to hide behind whatever will dampen the noise. But why are they afraid? Well, here are a few possible reasons for why your dog fears thunder.
Never Been Exposed to It
Often times, when your dog is afraid of thunder, it’s because of the lack of exposure, which can cause panic and fear. 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. Lack of exposure to thunder and other loud noises can often trigger a panic response in puppies and juveniles which will cause them to flee at the sound.
In these cases, it’s important that you make your dog feel safe and secure during this time. Attempt to distract your dog by playing their favorite game, especially during their first few storms, and you might be able to keep their fear from turning into a lifelong phobia.
Just the sound of thunder in and of itself can be scary for your dog, especially when you get the loud, booming, cracks of thunder. Remember, a dog’s hearing is exponentially better than yours so when it comes to these loud noises, not only is it scary but it can even be painful for dogs. During this time, try playing the radio or turning the volume up on the television which can help create a distraction from the sound and make it a little more bearable for your dog.
This is unfortunate, but isn’t unheard of, especially for rescue dogs, but sometimes your dog might have experienced some trauma in their life which makes thunder particularly frightening. It can be heart wrenching to think about, but the truth of the matter is, there are some bad people out there who don’t understand what it means to love a dog. While there may be little more you can for your dog other than ride out the storm, some love and affection after the fact can go a very long way.
When it comes to handling thunderstorms, your dog is going to do what it does. Typically there are one of two outlets for your dog’s anxiety which is either escapism or destructive behavior. Provide your dog with a safe place to hide and don’t punish them for being afraid and you’ll find that you can make it through the storm with less issue. Finding other, non-frightening things for your dog to associate with instead of the fear of thunder can also help in easing the summer shower panic attack. Above all, be patient and loving, while it might be frustrating when your dog makes a mad dash for the bathroom, you have to remember that this storm, too, shall pass.
“3 Possible Reasons Your Dog Is Afraid Of Thunder”
Guest Author: Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders, and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.
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What do you do when your dog is afraid of thunder?
Do you have any advice?
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2 thoughts on “3 Possible Reasons Your Dog Is Afraid Of Thunder”
Thank you for these tips! My puppies are scared of thunder, they are even scared of the banging noise of doors. I tried to play calming music for them and it did help, eventually getting rid of the “banging” noise fear. Now that they are over 9 months old, the sound of thunder doesn’t bother them anymore. What’s weird is they get even more excited / hyped up, and that I cannot explain.
Hi, Jarred. Who knows what goes on in the minds of our canine friends? Gotta love ’em! Thanks for stopping by Animal Bliss.