The loud noise of thunder or fireworks can unsettle your dog and in some cases, your dog may even run away. In Australia, dogs are lost each year due to storms and fireworks.
Here are some ways to help your pet if they are afraid of storms and and get stressed or anxious at these times.
Keep your Dog Snug and Comfortable
Make sure your dog has access to a place that they see as a refuge, somewhere that they can feel safe. Often it can be as simple as a dark sound proof area like a wardrobe or under a bed.
If they like being in a crate, you could add soft bedding at the bottom, a duvet and several layers of blankets over the top to keep it dark and cosy. Encourage your dog to use the crate by placing some activity toys and their favourite dog food.
Leave the door open so that they feel they can go in and use it as a safe place and then when they want to they can come out again.
If you have two or more dogs, there are two schools of thought, choose which is best for them. Some people separate them so one anxious pets behaviour does not rub off on the other. The alternative is to place them together if they are bonded and use each other for comfort.
Get Your Dog Tired With Exercise
If the weather report predicts storms or if you are aware of noisy activity in the neighbourhood such as firecrackers being let off, exercise your dog so he becomes exhausted!
An exhausted dog may pay less attention or be less stressed and be sleepy through a thunderstorm or any cracking noise of fireworks.
Make sure you exercise your dog for an extended period of time if they are up to it, more than what your dog is normally accustomed to.
Use Some Noisy Distractions
Distract your dog, by playing music or even turning up the volume, while you’re watching your favourite television program.
This will distract your dog and diminish the sounds of fireworks or the noise of thunder, during a thunderstorm.
Keep your Dog Well Fed
Feed your dog before a stressful event. Feeding your dog before the night starts may help in calming them down. When they have their belly full, they’re hopefully more likely to fall into a heavy sleep. Just ensure they have had enough time to go to the toilet before any events!
If you shut the windows and do everything you can to minimise noise, your dog could sleep right through the noise and wake up refreshed.
Ensure your Dog Has Human Company if you can
Dogs feel reassured and safe in the presence of their owners, so try and ensure at least one member of the family is at home to calm your dog in the event of a thunderstorm coming in or if fireworks are set off.
Dogs look to a leader for clues and if your dog realises that you are unperturbed by the noise that’s all around you, they are likely to take a cue from your behaviour and be less likely to panic or feel anxious.
ID Tag Your Dog
If you haven’t already done so, ensure your dog has an ID tag attached to the collar, just in case your dog panics and runs away because of all the noise.
Having an identification and contact information attached to your dog’s collar will make it easier for your dog to be found in case he bolts off and gets lost.
Your dog’s name and your phone number are essential inclusions to make sure you can be quickly reached. In addition, also list the name and number of the company which microchipped your dog.
Natural Calming Medication
If your dog is very sensitive to noise, consider a natural calming medication, such as HomeoPet’s STORM STRESS formula which has 26 herbal ingredients specifically designed for use during thunderstorms and fireworks
The all-natural liquid drops have been developed by Vets and act within minutes to calm your dog and have no side-effects. The formula has been Clinically tested to relieve stress and promote calmness in dogs and cats scared of noise caused by sudden onset thunderstorms or other events.