Many dogs get anxious when a thunderstorm occurs. While a storm is usually an unpleasant experience for most dogs, it can be heartbreaking as an owner to watch your pet go through this. Thankfully, there are a few things you can try to help reduce your dog’s anxiety and keep them calmer and happier during stormy weather. Here are five tips that you can try.
Tip #1: Use a White Noise Machine
White noise machines are designed to drown out other sounds. If you keep one around your dog during a storm, it will drown out the thunder so your dog may not hear it at all. At the very least, the sound won’t be as loud or as intense, which may help reduce their anxiety. An alternative you can try is playing music or your TV at a higher volume to try and drown out the thunder.
Tip #2: Try an Anxiety Vest
Anxiety vests work by applying constant, even pressure to the torso of your dog. It works on the same principle that weighted blankets do for humans, where the light pressure can induce a calming effect. Thundershirt is the best known brand of anxiety vests for dogs, but you can find other brands. It may not have a dramatic effect on its own, but when combined with other tips on this list it can help at the very least.
Tip #3: Give Them CBD Treats
CBD treats for dogs are a newer trend that can help reduce anxiety in general. They can be a big help to give your dog ahead of situations that can make them anxious: car rides, trips to the vet or groomer, thunderstorms, fireworks, and so on. For CBD treats to work best, give them to your dog about 30 to 60 minutes before the thunderstorm is expected to start, so your dog feels the effects from the start.
Tip #4: Make a Quiet, Safe Space
A tip that costs you nothing is to create a space for them in your home that’s quiet and comfortable for them to hide during a storm. If they have a crate they like to lie in, you can put your white noise machine or music player next to it to drown out the thunder. You can also put some sound proofing or blankets over it to further dampen other sound. It can become their personal refuge from storms.
Tip #5: Use Pheromones
A new kind of therapy used on anxious dogs is using the same kinds of pheromones that dogs as mothers give off around their puppies. Adaptil takes that principle and applies it to different kinds of scent-based products that emit these pheromones. You can get a kind of collar that they wear at all times, and will last for up to a month. It can be very helpful during the stormy months. You can also get a plug-in scent dispenser that emits the pheromones, and keep it in the room they like to stay in during storms.
These are some of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety in your dog during a thunderstorm. The best part is that you can combine them together to get better results, or mix and match what you try to see what works for your dog and what doesn’t.