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Thunderstorm Anxiety in Dogs

Does your canine friend panic during thunderstorms? Many dogs find storms absolutely terrifying! Read on as a local Jacksonville, FL vet offers some tips on helping Fido cope with thunderstorms.

Why Is Fido Scared?

No one is exactly sure why dogs are so frightened of storms, especially given that so many cats just sleep right through them. Static electricity could be one reason. Fido may also be reacting to subsonic noises that we cannot hear. Or, our canine pals just may be scared of all the thunder and lightning.

Keeping Your Pet Calm

There are some things you can do to make Fido more comfortable in bad weather. Before a storm starts, take your dog for a long walk, and then tire him out with a vigorous play session. Afterwards, your furry buddy will be a bit tired, so he’ll hopefully be calmer and less jittery. Your four-legged friend may also be more comfortable in his crate or an interior bedroom with bedding, toys, and a treat. Turn a radio or TV on to mask the sounds. Another thing you can do is to try desensitizing your dog by getting an app or CD with thunderstorm sound effects and playing it on nice days. Play it at a low volume at first. Then, as your pooch gets accustomed to it, gradually increase the levels.

Products

Certain products can also help you keep your pooch calm. Look for pet-calming collars, sprays, or treats in pet stores. You can also get your four-legged friend a doggy-calming shirt. These can be really effective at helping our furry pals cope with scary storms. Ask your vet for more information.

What Not To Do

Never punish Fido for misbehaving during a thunderstorm, even if he has an accident. Dogs really don’t understand the concept of punishment, so your canine buddy may not associate his behavior with your reaction. That said, you don’t want to coddle your pup, either. It’s fine to pet him a little, but if you pamper him and shower him with attention, you’ll essentially be rewarding him for acting scared. Last but not least, never leave your furry friend outdoors in bad weather. Your dog may become so scared that he tries to escape!

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Jacksonville, FL pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are happy to help!

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