Signs your Dog is Scared of Storms

It’s spring in Kansas which means thunderstorms are headed our way. Is your dog scared of storms or fireworks? Many dogs suffer from storm anxiety and a fear of loud noises which develops between the ages of two and four years old. An estimated 49% of dogs show signs of fear when they hear thunder or fireworks.

Signs Your Dog is Scared of Storms

There are obvious signs that your dog is scared of storms, but some are more subtle. Watch your pet to see if they react in any of the following ways:

  • They will find a place to hide. Some dogs will find a confined place that makes them feel safe. This might be a kennel or a closet. If you see your dog looking for a place to go, this could be the reason.
  • Some dogs may be destructive when they are anxious or scared.
  • Dogs may also start to shake or tremble at the sound of thunder or fireworks.
  • Your pet may start barking, howling, or whining.
  • Pacing around the home is another sign your dog is scared of storms.
  • Some dogs will start drooling when they are afraid. This isn’t an obvious sign of fear, but it is a fear response to storms and loud noises.

Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?

So why are dogs scared of thunder? There are several theories on why your pup may react negatively during storms.

  • Your dog may have "canine noise aversion" which means that loud noises scare them. It's so common that an estimated 1/3 of dogs suffer from this condition.
  • Separation anxiety can also play a part in dogs being scared of storms.
  • Finally, animals may be sensitive to static electricity which can cause tingling in their fur, and can experience static shocks during the storm. Needless to say, this can cause anxiety and fear for the dogs.

How to Help if Your Dog is Scared of Storms

  • Talking to your dog in calm tones while petting or cuddling them can help relieve their fears.
  • Invest in a Thundershirt or other body wrap product. These work by applying gentle, constant pressure on the dog’s body which can release calming hormones. This is a similar response that humans have to weighted blankets.
  • Add a drop or two of lavender oil to the back of their necks or on a bandana. Lavender is calming to the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • CBD treats have become more popular in recent years to help calm an anxious dog. Be sure to use the correct dosage of treats for your pet.
  • Consult your veterinarian about a prescription for anxiety for your dog. Your veterinarian can determine which medication and which dosages would be most effective for your pet.

We’re Here to Help

If your pet suffers from storm or fireworks-related anxiety, Cimarron Animal Hospital can help. Contact our office to schedule a visit before the next round of storms hits.

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