It is usually marked by hiding, whining, barking, pawing or even urination. It does seem to be more common in some breeds than others. A dog afraid of thunder can have a variety of reactions, from mild to extreme. Dogs who are scared of thunder or storms may show their anxieties in a variety of ways. So, I can deeply sympathize with the trauma that other dog guardians can feel when they find their dog suffers from thunderstorm phobia.Dogs that suffer from thunderstorm phobia are often also sensitive to other loud noises such as fireworks and gun shots1. “Talking in a soothing manner, and, if your dog likes it, pet them in long, calming strokes.”. While some dogs show mild signs of stress, like licking their paws, other dogs can get so worked up during storms they may get destructive. We are going to talk about how to calm a dog that's afraid of thunder. For dogs who suffer severely from thunder phobias (or canine phobias in general), the level of stress they’re experiencing may require a call in to the experts. When it comes to thunder, it can be terrifying to hear something so big and loud, especially when there is no way for them to understand what it is. © 2020 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. Unfortunately for dogs, it also means thunderstorms, which can upset many dogs to the point of panic. Here’s what we learned. In addition, puzzle toys, kongs filled with peanut butter or kibbles, or anxiety vests are helpful. In some cases, owners are able to trace a dog’s fear to an identifiable trigger. Is this normal? min read. You may wish to consult with your local veterinarian and see if they are willing to prescribe some anti-anxiety medications. But we all know the common symptoms of this fear which can be anything from hiding, barking, whining, or anxiously pawing and scratching at doors. Dogs are scared of thunder. Thankfully there are a number of options for calming a dog scared of thunder. According to one study, about one-third of dogs have anxiety, and thunderstorms are at the top of the list of anxiety-inducing situations. Dogs that are afraid of firecrackers may become afraid of the children who have the firecrackers or may become afraid to go in the backyard, if that is where they usually hear the noise. The most common behaviors associated with your dog’s fear of thunder include restlessness, destructiveness, hiding in small places, barking, whining, sitting or leaning close by the owner, trembling, pacing, panting, drooling dilated pupils, defecating, urinating and trying to escape by running away. Changes in air pressure. Appl An Behav Sci. “Of course, dogs are so much more sensitive to sounds, their hearing is so much more powerful than ours, so they can often detect thunder way before we can,” she explains. Other dogs may have a more severe phobia which leads them to hide, become destructive, or even lose control of their bowels or bladder. Well, due to dog’s keen senses they may experience a variety of things during a thunderstorm that go virtually undetected by us humans. iy_2021; im_01; id_10; ih_14; imh_49; i_epoch:1610318957171, py_2020; pm_12; pd_13; ph_22; pmh_58; p_epoch:1607929136787, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Sun Dec 13 22:58:56 PST 2020; pn_epoch:1607929136787. It does seem to be more common in some breeds than others. “If your dog naturally tends to do those things when they’re upset, giving them positive outlets for that can be really helpful.”. Storms, especially loud and noisy ones, can trigger fear in dogs and cats. © The American Kennel Club, Inc. 2020. But, the question remains, why are dogs afraid of thunder in the first place? No one is exactly sure what makes dogs afraid of thunder. “Dogs descended from wolves and were in dens, and so they still like den-like environments,” she says. Answer a few simple questions and find the right dog for you, Compare up to 5 different breeds side by side, Browse the AKC Marketplace to find the right puppy for you, Browse our extensive library of dog names for inspiration, Find out the best and worst foods for your dog and which to avoid, Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder? In most cases, they will suggest that you use the medication in association with general good preparedness for the storms (especially if they are … Thank you, Daniel Dudgeon, for your A2A: Why do dogs freak out during storms? She also believes it’s instinctual. Published by. I remember my own sense of horror when we were driving cross country from Los Angeles to Pennsylvania and my shepherd mix became extremely anxious during a thunderstorm in Arizona, to the point where my husband and I had to take turns staying in the car with him at night because we couldn’t keep him in the hotel due to his terrified barking. She runs and hides in the closet. Genetics - these set the threshold for “what is stressful” and the default response of “fight or flight.” A dog with nervous parents is probably going to be on the nervous end of the spectrum - breed and breeding matter! Dog afraid of thunder, lightning or fireworks is common in dogs. Chewing and puzzle toys can also help your dog during a thunderstorm. There are anti-anxiety medications that can be used to help your dog feel calmer during a storm. There are a variety of reasons why your dog might bark, or respond aggressively, toward thunder. Dogs are really good at communicating with their body language. “If they like their crate, give them those fun things in there.”. Your dog may also be simply expressing its own anxiety and fear by barking. It would be funny since she's a 90 pound dobe, except that when i find her, her entire body is shaking and she's clearly terrified. https://www.akc.org/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. 2013 Fear responses to noises in domestic dogs: Prevalence, risk factors and co-occurrence with other fear related behavior. Dogs can be afraid of a wide variety of things, including thunder. She suggests buying toys that help with chewing or licking like the Lickimat. Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more. Female dogs and neutered males are more likely to be thunder phobic, as well was dogs that were rehomed2. it is possible that your dog is scared and trying to frighten the thunder away with noise. Thinkstock. Dogs afraid of thunder . Dogs in Cars: Should My Dog Hang His Head Out the Car Window? “It’s a survival thing to be afraid of loud noises, to want to find shelter,” she says. In fact, 2016 research in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior said noise phobias or noise sensitivities are one of the top 3 common anxieties in dogs (poor pups!). Storengen LM, Lingaas F. (2015) Noise sensitivity in 17 dog breeds: Prevalence, breed risk and correlation with fear in other situations. Summertime means sunshine, road trips, picnics, and boat rides. Some dogs try to go under tables, in bathtubs, or in any other places that make them feel secure. I know dobes as a breed don't like loud noises, but she gets frightened even when the thunder is distant and not that loud. Thunderstorm anxiety is a difficult, and often frightening, problem for dog parents to handle. Generally, dogs can sense the variations in the air pressure and can hear the low-frequency reverberations of thunderstorms. 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