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Dogs' fear of thunder

Fear of thunder is a common phobia in dogs. This fear often manifests itself by hiding, moaning, barking, pawing, and even urinating. No one is exactly sure what it is about thunder that scares dogs. It is more common in some breeds than in others.

Anxiety about thunder is difficult to treat; However, anxiety often becomes more pronounced with advancing age. Therefore, it is important to try to treat it.

A dog that is afraid of thunderstorms may begin to show anxious behavior long before the thunder begins. Rain falling on a house roof, the brightness of lightning strikes, or even a drop in air pressure before a storm can be enough to trigger an anxious response. Fear of fireworks is also common in dogs that are afraid of thunder.

Don't scold or be too assertive

When trying to overcome this phobia, it's important not to scold your dog for being anxious or be too hard on him, as this could make the problem serious. Since it will make a connection not only between thunder and fear, but also between thunder and scolding, the scolded dog will become more afraid and its anxiety will increase even more.

It is also not recommended to lean on your dog too much or try to relax; because it shows your dog that you approve of his anxious behavior and that you like it.

Security and sound

One of the first things you should do for a dog who is afraid of thunder is to provide him with a safe place to go during a storm. Dog carriers (used to transport dogs) and under a bed or couch are common hiding places chosen by dogs. Your dog chooses these shelters because he feels protected and muffles the sound that scares him. If your dog still hasn't chosen a spot, show him a spot. To encourage them to go where you're pointing during a storm, you may need to leave a few treats there.

Giving your dog a safe haven to go to during a storm may help with some anxiety symptoms, but it won't address the root cause of the problem. This is more difficult and you will probably need the help of your veterinarian or a behaviorist to identify the problem. The key is to reduce your dog's sensitivity to the sound of thunder or other thunder-related stimuli. Starting treatment earlier will accelerate your positive results.

Habit provides comfort

The work to reduce sensitivity should be done gradually. Essentially, you want your dog to get used to the sound of thunder and see it as normal. This is often done by playing the recorded thunder sound in short bursts and at a low volume.

To ensure resemblance to real thunder, the sound of thunder should sound irregularly. While doing this, also monitor your dog's behavior. While there is noise, try to play fetch or get him to participate in an activity he likes and divert his attention by doing these. If your dog is too scared to participate in these activities, then you may need to reduce the intensity of your thunder stimuli and try again later.

This can be a long process that requires a lot of patience; But in the end, your dog will be much more peaceful during a storm.

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