Why do certain dogs become fearful of loud noises such as thunder and fireworks? The dog's hearing is very keen. But some dogs will fear sudden loud sounds, such as lightning and thunder, aircraft roar, firecrackers, etc. They will escape to a safe place such as a bathroom or basement. Even some dogs lose interest in food or refuse to eat. And as long as the sound continues, the dog's emotions cannot be stabilized.
If your dog is afraid of thunder, here are 5 tips for soothing him:
1. Calm Down Yourself
You have to be calm, don't overly console your dog. Constant petting or consoling is often interpreted by pets as a reward for the fearful response — or reinforcement that the fearful response is warranted. Don't shout to your dog. Because the mood of the dog is easily affected by the owner, they may have more extreme emotions.
2. Switch environments when it starts to thunder
Provide a safe place for the dog, such as a kennel, basement, or a place without windows to stay. A familiar environment will relieve the dog's fear. Some pups find that a closet or the area under the bed feels especially safe and secure. If your pet heads for his crate, keep the crate door open so your pet won’t feel confined. Confin may dramatically increase anxiety.
3. Divert Your Dogs Attention
Giving your fido attention in the form of playing, grooming, or other activities he normally enjoys. Sometimes feed him an extra-special treat during these times, such as a small piece of meat jerky or cheese. This diverts his focus, and enjoying the special activities/snacks during the storm has gradually helped to recondition his response.
4. Use desensitization training.
We practice this during the off-season for thunderstorms, usually over the winter. Record the thunder and play it to the dog. Don’t pay too much attention when your dog is upset. Give snacks to rewards when his mood is stable. Then, repeat training.
5. Ask The Vet for Help if Necessary
If none of these approaches work for you, have a candid conversation with your vet. Some dogs with extreme emotions need to take sedative drugs that advise by the vet. In extreme cases, there are medications that can help keep your pup comfortable.
After all, the weather is uncontrollable. Thundering is a terrible thing for many people, not to mention dogs facing unknown loud noises. It would be no good if the dog had a more violent reaction and hurt himself. So the owner's accompanying and scientific training are essential.
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