8 Ways to Help Fido Cope With Thunderstorms

Is your canine buddy scared of thunderstorms? If so, he’s certainly in good company. Many of our furry patients are very frightened of storms. Here, a Tampa, FL vet offers tips on keeping your dog calm when bad weather rolls in.

Tire Fido Out

When you know that storms are expected, take Fido for a walk before the skies get dark. Then, tire him out with a fun play session. Hopefully, your furry pal will be sleepy afterwards. This will help take the edge off his anxiety.

Desensitize

One tactic that may help is just getting Fido used to the sound of storms. Get a CD or an app that plays storm ‘soundtracks’ and play it at low volume.

Quiet Room

When the skies darken, put Fido in his doggy crate, or in an interior room. Make sure your furry best friend has comfy bedding, toys and treats. Turn a radio or TV on to mask the noise.

Calming Products

There are now snug shirts you can put on Fido during storms. These can really help soothe nervous dogs! Pet-calming treats, collars, and sprays may also help. Ask your vet for more information.

Fabric Softener

Although no one knows for sure, static electricity may very well have something to do with Fido’s thunderstorm anxiety. As you can imagine, being covered in fur when static electricity is high is probably not fun! Try running an unscented dryer sheet over your canine companion’s coat.

Don’t Coddle Him

We know, it’s hard to resist petting and cuddling a scared dog, but don’t coddle your four-legged buddy too much. This will just reward Fido for acting anxious, which could ultimately reinforce his bad behavior.

Positive Reinforcement

When speaking about dogs and positive reinforcement, the standard advice is to use toys and treats to reward Fido. Give your canine pal a special snack or a new toy when it is storming out.

Avoid Punishment

Dogs may express their anxiety in a variety of ways, some of which are easily confused with bad doggy behavior. Fido may pace, whine, dig, or chew inappropriately. Don’t punish your canine friend for acting up. This may just make him even more scared! Ignore your pup’s bad behavior, and focus on rewarding him for being good.

Please reach out to us, your Tampa, FL pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to help!