For most of us thunderstorms are a part of life whether we like them or not, but for our pets, the loud cracks of thunder can be frightening and result in high levels of anxiety.
While most animals seem fearless to their owners, thunderstorms were recorded as their number one anxiety-inducing situation for pets.
A fear of thunder is more likely in dogs than cats, but it is still prominent in all individual animals.
For many owners, there is nothing more stressful than being helpless around anxious pets.
These tips will not only provide solutions, but also allow you to better understand their fear.
While the loudness of thunder is a major factor as to how they react, an interesting fact is that pets are also uncomfortable because they can feel the static electricity through their fur.
Through this they receive small shocks that don’t harm them but would definitely give them a fright. This is often why dogs head for grounded spaces such as the bathroom or dark, closed areas that they can hide in.
It’s not uncommon that anxiety surrounding thunderstorms can transform into a real phobia for pets as they begin to recognise the scent of rain as it approaches.
This can also explain why some pets fall into a bad mood when there is even a minimal amount of rain.
It’s important for owners to act natural in these situations. Pets can sense a positive or negative vibe from their owners and the wrong reaction can affect them more than you would realise.
For example if you try to relieve your pet’s anxiety by providing extra affection and treats, it can make them believe that they are being rewarded for their fearful behaviour which could encourage it in the future.
Similarly, if you punish your dog for being afraid, it will only increase and worsen their anxiety.
The best option is to participate in regular activities that your dog will enjoy to hopefully take their mind off the issue.
These can include playing with their favourite toys or grooming. Also make sure you are projecting a confident and calm attitude as they will often react to what they are seeing from their owners.
Another solution would be to take your pets into the quietest room in your home. Taking them into a calming room will give them a chance to forget about the noise and return to their normal selves. Even attempt turning on the air conditioning or the TV to drown out the unwanted noise.
If their fear is interfering with their everyday life then it might be worth heading to the vet for a check up.
You can also ask if there is any recommended medication that would be worth supplying to counteract the anxiety.