Your Labrador retriever Chance is the most fearless pooch you’ve ever met. This muscular four-year-old canine races through the dog park at a dead run, veering just before he careens into the fence. When his canine buddies seem leery of a nearby overgrown field, your rambunctious dog eagerly crashes into the brush.
However, he is truly terrified of thunderstorms. When he detects the first distant rumble, your ninety-pound companion tries to hide under the couch. As the storm nears, he paces anxiously through the house. You’ve even seen him gnawing at the baseboards. You don’t want Chance to injure himself, and you’d like to help him overcome this phobia. Tomorrow, you’ll take him to your Lafayette, LA vet for expert behavioral counseling.
Storm Anxiety Sources
Chance’s storm anxiety can stem from several sources. As the storm strengthens, he might feel small static electricity shocks. The howling winds and barometric pressure changes could make him nervous. However, you’d bet he’s most terrified of the flashing lightning and deafening thunder.
Dogs Prone to Storm Fears
Although any dog can be panicked by storms, herding breeds are especially susceptible to this phobia. If Chance suffered from separation anxiety, or another fear-related condition, he might face a higher risk for storm terrors.
Some unfortunate dogs seem to become anxious over any loud noise. Other canines become unglued over thunderstorms, but fireworks and other obnoxious racket don’t bother them.
Calming Canine Apparel
You’ve seen the snug-fitting doggie sweaters and wraps, claiming to make your pooch feel safer when he’s under stress. Although this non-prescription clothing isn’t guaranteed to work, it’s fairly inexpensive and could be worth your consideration. Get your vet’s opinion first, though.
Cozy Canine Refuge
Give your nervous dog a safe “home away from home” during the storm. Create a refuge within a cozy closet or small interior room. Give him multiple options, and don’t try to confine him. Stock this den with his favorite toys and blanket; and play soothing music that partially drowns out the storm.
Provide some normalcy by giving Chance a familiar obedience command. Softly say “Down-Stay,” and praise him as he lies at your feet. Lavish him with ear scratches and belly rubs.
Your Lafayette, LA vet will provide advice for helping Chance through the storm. If your dog seems afraid of thunderstorms, contact us for expert advice.