Spring has officially arrived! You and your dog both may have a little bit of an extra pep in your step with the days getting longer and sun starting to radiate warmth once again. But springtime brings more than a fresh breeze and blossoming flowers; it also marks the return of thunderstorms. However much you may love to relax and curl up on the couch with a good book or movie on rainy days, storms can be an incredibly stress-inducing experience for your dog, even if you’d consider them a typically calm dog.
The good news is that a storm in the forecast doesn’t have to be your dog’s worst nightmare — there are ways to help ease their stress! Continue reading to learn more about why your dog is scared of thunder, how to tell if they’re anxious during a storm, and, most importantly, what you can do to keep them calm.
Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder?
Many pet parents believe the loud noises during storms are solely responsible for making their dog anxious, and while that certainly is a big part of it, there are several other factors at play too.
Here’s your fun fact for the spring: your dog can actually sense when a storm is coming. Thanks to their ability to hear sounds four times further away than humans, dogs are likely able to hear low-frequency thunder rumblings long before we can. According to National Geographic, they also sense dropping barometric pressure, which alerts them to seek shelter. Dogs, especially larger ones and those longer or thicker coats, can build up static electricity in their fur — the same feeling we would get if we were to walk across a carpet and then touch a metal door handle, for example — and the feeling of it makes them uncomfortable and nervous.
Even though they can sense them from a mile away (literally), storms are still a big unknown to dogs…they have no idea what they are and have trouble getting used to them because of their unpredictable nature. The flashes of lightning and scent of rain can even be enough to send some into a tailspin, let alone the thunder. Storms also put a wrench in a dog’s daily routine, which only adds to the stress. Dogs like predictability and consistency, everything storms are not.
Signs Your Dog Is Anxious During a Storm
Every dog is different and has their own way of expressing fear. It’s important to know what to look for so you know how to help your dog. One of the clearest signs a dog is stressed during a storm is if they seek out a hiding place, often in the grounded areas of a home like the basement or a bathtub (which, believe it or not, can protect them against the electric shocks). In extreme cases, dogs become so scared that their behavior turns dangerous and destructive, such as clawing through walls or jumping through window screens.
Common signs of stress during storms include the following:
And again, because each dog is inherently unique, yours may display other signs of stress that are not listed above. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and whether they’re acting in ways they normally wouldn’t. You know your dog best!
How to Calm a Dog During a Storm
Making it through a storm can be challenging for pet parents too. If you’ve ever witnessed your dog during a storm, you probably know all too well how upsetting it can be to watch them tremble with fear and how frustrating it can be trying to figure out ways to calm them down in the moment.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help your dog. Knowing that storms are a big stress-trigger for dogs, we put together an easy five-step calming recipe for you to follow when the dark clouds come out:
Test out all of the steps above, or a combination, during the next storm. With an extra boost of CBD, Kradle® Melts are formulated to work quickly and are perfect for “surprise” stressful situations. If a storm comes up out of the blue, and you haven’t already given your dog a different Kradle® product earlier in the day, Melts should be your go-to. As we note in our Ultimate Guide to CBD Dosage for Dogs, on the days that you know a storm is coming, consider upping your dog’s dosage to two Chews or Toppers instead of one.
Start shopping for our Chews, Toppers, and Melts now to be prepared for the storm season before April showers hit. All of our products are portable and easy-to-use, so wherever you are when a storm arises, whether in the car, at home, or elsewhere, you’ll be able to give your dog the calm they need.
Happy Spring! 🌷