During the summer months, Alberta is known for its thunderstorms. Do your dogs go through a period of anxiety when thunderstorms take over? This is normal.
Canines are susceptible towards getting restless and panicky during thunderstorms. With thunder and lightning storms that occur frequently in Edmonton throughout summers, it’s imperative for you to know how to calm your fur baby in such situations.

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Why does it happen?

There’s no rocket science behind why your pup gets frantic and afraid during a thunderstorm, it’s just the fearful noise that sets him/her off. Your little fur buddies fail to interpret where the noise is coming from, or what it indicates, thus perceiving the noise as something frightening or potentially threatening.

How can you calm them down?

Dogs tend to assort to erratic behavior when they hear the thunderstorm. It is thus important to let them know that they are safe and secure, by soothing them and helping them calm down. Here are a few effective ways you can take up, if you need to calm your furry companion down:

• If your dog goes through a severe case of anxiety or frantic behavior that is possibly harmful, consult a veterinary doctor for possible remedies such as a mild sedation that will help your dog relax and catch a breath.

• If your pupper wishes to retreat in a secluded or covered place in solitary, let it do so. While the thunderstorm is ongoing, your doggy-o might want to go and hide under the tables or between the potted plants, leave him be, that is a coping mechanism for him.

• Try to distract your doggie during a thunderstorm, try diverting his attention to other normal sounds by upping the volumes of your TV or Radio, in order to overpower the noise of the thunder.

• Try to engage your pup in an interactive activity that involves some fun playing between the two of you. This will keep him focused on you and the game, instead of the thunderstorm. Make sure you don’t ignore him, in any case.

• You, yourself can find a spot that your doggy finds safe and comfortable, anywhere inside the house. When you feel a thunderstorm is about to strike, take him to his safe spot to keep him calm and comforted.

• Do not overtly display your affection or refer to the storm at any time. Dogs are way too smart to fall into a trap like that; they can immediately sense what you’re trying to do.

• You could go for the ‘thundershirt’, a product that applies a constant and gentle pressure when worn by your dog, bringing in a sense of calmness during the storm.

• In case the sound of the TV or Radio is making the situation worse, try playing some soothing or gentle music that’ll help your fur baby calm down.

• Try training him for situations like these. Talk to him during a storm, give him treats for good behavior or for staying calm without causing a ruckus and keep him playing like he normally does. This will in turn assure him that a storm is not a catastrophic event that he needs to be afraid of.

Next time around, when a thunderstorm strikes, make use of these simple tricks to make sure that your dog feels safe in such conditions.

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