Whine, hide, refuse food: fear of thunderstorms has many faces. It is clear that the dogs affected suffer and need help - you can take various support measures as a owner.
Your dog is afraid of thunderstorms and wants to hide? That's perfectly fine - maybe he needs the safe hiding place to get used to the unusual sounds. It is important that he has enough retreat options. A place under the sofa or a dog box that is equipped with a cozy blanket are ideal for this. Allow your loyal friend to experience the storm there from a safe distance and learn that nothing will happen to him - maybe he will dare to do it next time.
Your dog may not be hiding, but it looks nervous and tense. Distraction can then work wonders. Get out his favorite toy and try to get him to play - that will make him forget the fear. The same principle works with very special treats: for example a chewing bone that he is busy with for a while.
When dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, they are often afraid of the loud thunder and perceive the unusual sounds as a threat. You can also do something about this. Prepare yourself and your four-legged friend well and familiarize them with the sounds before the typical thunderstorm. Special desensitization CDs are made especially for this, but videos in which thunderstorm noises can be heard are also very suitable. Just let the thunderstorm run off the tape in the background when you play with your dog - over time they can make it a little louder. This is how dogs learn that thunder is just a sound and not a threat.
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Also, don't forget that with the right behavior, you can give your dog a lot of security. Be normal and don't show fear or pity. If you comfort and pity your dog, you will probably only achieve the opposite: he feels confirmed in his fear and becomes even more insecure. Under no circumstances should you scold your dog! On the one hand, he can do nothing for his fear, on the other hand he would combine the thunderstorm noises with a punishment and react accordingly anxiously again in the next storm. However, if you convey to your dog that everything is normal, even if it is a bit louder outside than usual, give him or her security and the best possible support.
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