A veterinary behaviorist can help you establish a desensitization or conditioning program. Kristen Collins, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, explains, “Some dogs simply seem more sensitive and susceptible to developing a fear of noises, and this susceptibility may indicate a genetic predisposition toward the problem.”. If your dog does calm down and stops reacting to the storm, respond with calm praise and rewards. You are the best person to get your dog through the storm so quiet petting will help both of you weather the storm. Act now for the sake of your dog. Jenna Stregowski, RVT, has more than 20 years of experience working in veterinary medicine and has been writing about pet care for the last decade. Many dogs go missing during storms or fireworks. Dogs with severe thunderstorm phobia will need the help of a professional. Testosterone is considered to be a confidence boosting hormone for male dogs. Giving them CBD may be the answer. Many dogs have noise sensitivities, and storms aren’t the only triggers. Then we devise a management strategy and a behavior plan to help change your dog’s association with the storms. What causes fear of storms and other noises? “If owners don’t understand what’s going through the dog’s mind,” Ms. Anderson said, “they shout and throw them in the basement. Essential Oil Safety For Dogs. When it comes to anxiety and phobia, the most effective form of behavioral modifications is counter-conditioning and desensitization. Storm Fear/Phobia. That said, dogs over a year old are more likely to suffer from it. They can often be triggered by something innocuous, e.g. A dog who suffers from a fear of thunderstorms may begin to display anxious behavior long before the thunder begins. Vets call it storm phobia. It can begin in puppies or develop later in adult dogs. The reality is that thunderstorms literally charge the air with electricity, making it easier for static buildup to occur in the coat of your furry friend. However, based on what we do know about dogs, we can speculate. By using the tips and strategies above, you can help your dog feel more at ease and teach them that their home is their safe place. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger an anxious response. In this case, the child's phobia should be addressed, for it may become a serious problem in adulthood. This is why the severity of the signs of your dog’s fear and anxiety about a storm will often increase throughout the summer and year over year. The Challenges of Treating Your Dog’s Thunderstorm Fear. Fear of thunderstorms and other noise sensitivities are becoming quite prevalent in dogs and the fact that it is so common is not surprising. Some dogs will need to be on longer-term medications that are given daily to keep anxiety under control. This is why the severity of the signs of your dog’s fear and anxiety about a storm will often increase throughout the summer and year over year. With thunderstorms, two factors may undermine success. Unfortunately, the fear of storms and other causes of loud noises can worsen with regular exposure. There are several options available to the pet parent to help ease their dog’s anxiety. Five years ago, one got more afraid of storms, the other didn’t. Don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist.. Summer weather is fast approaching and with it will come thunderstorms. Consider distracting your dog from the remainder of the storm by practicing basic commands or playing a game of tug-of-war. Give your dog a "sacrifice" item during the storm. Though many dog owners shy away from these types of medications, the benefit outweighs the means. 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