Best Natural Solutions for Dog Thunderstorm Anxiety
When a thunderstorm rolls on in, your dog may start acting strangely--whining, barking, pacing, hiding in the bathtub, even becoming destructive or aggressive. Thunderstorm anxiety is common in dogs, and it can be very stressful not just for them experiencing it, but for the people who love them as well. We want our furry friends to be happy, and seeing the distress they experience during thunderstorms can be heartbreaking.
Some dog owners think that storm anxiety will go away on its own once the dog realizes that the storm won’t actually hurt them. Unfortunately, the do-nothing attitude doesn’t usually work, and dogs with low-level anxiety tend to become more anxious. It’s better to address the problem head on and help our dogs overcome their anxiety. So, what can we do to help?
For dogs with low-level anxiety, one option is to try to change the associations your dog has with thunderstorms. You can give them treats and play games with them before and during the storm, and they will start to associate storms with food and fun instead of misery, and this will help ease their anxiety.
Another option is to try to drown out the sights and sounds associated with the thunderstorm. The best place to do this is in a comfortable, well-lit room with the shades drawn down. This should block out the worst of the flashing from the lightning. Next, you can play music or white noise to partially drown out the sounds of the thunder. Just make sure not to play the music too loud, as your dog is likely sensitive to loud noises. You can combine this approach with the previous one and give your dog treats and play with them to distract them from the storm.
We also offer a number of treatments for thunderstorm anxiety here at Petwell Supply. If you’re interested in a homeopathic remedy, you can try out HomeoPet Storm Stress, which relieves anxiety symptoms associated with thunderstorms and other weather conditions. If you want to combine anxiety relief with yummy goodness, consider Pet Naturals Calming Chews or Stella & Chewy’s Hemp Oil Calming Chews. If flower essences are more your speed, try out Green Hope Farm Anxiety. We even have a music therapy CD specifically designed to help dogs with thunderstorm anxiety!
Finally, multiple companies make body wraps you can use to comfort your dog during a thunderstorm, and some even make clothes that can help discharge the static electricity that builds up on a dog’s fur during a storm. If your dog experiences severe anxiety during thunderstorms or you’ve tried the above methods with no success, your vet may prescribe anti-anxiety medication for your dog during storms.
Thunderstorm anxiety is no fun for anyone, least of all the dogs it affects. But with the right kinds of intervention, you can ease your dog’s anxiety and make thunderstorms a neutral or even positive experience for them!