Managing Thunderstorm Anxiety

Is your dog afraid of thunder? Thunderstorm anxiety is common in dogs. In fact, 67% of dogs suffer from noise aversions. Why? The answer is not entirely clear, but it’s safe to assume their fear comes from not knowing what thunder/lightning is and why it’s SO loud. 

Since explaining why thunder occurs to your furry best friend is off the table, the next best thing we can do is help our pups feel comfortable during a storm. 

But first, you’ll need to know the signs of what storm anxiety looks like in your dog.

Signs of Thunderstorm Anxiety:

Barking: Dogs will often vocalize their anxiety by barking or whining to get your attention.

Panting: Dogs pant for many reasons, but the main three are exhaustion, heat, and stress. If your dog pants excessively during a storm, it’s safe to assume he/she feels stressed.

Lowered Ears and tucked tail: This is a clear sign that your dog is nervous. 

Yawning: Dogs yawn frequently when they’re tired, but a stressful yawn is longer and more intense than a sleepy yawn. 

Shivering or shaking: This signal is pretty clear, most dogs don’t shake regularly for any other reason than if they’re cold or stressed. If your dog shivers at the sound of thunder, this is a sign he/she is anxious.

Hiding: Hiding is a way of trying to escape the noise that is making them feel anxious.

Destruction or self-harm: If your dog excessively chews and tears at furniture or chews at his own paws during a storm, this may be a sign of stress in your dog.

Signs of anxiety can look different in every dog, but having a good understanding of the most common symptoms will help you take action!

Relieve Storm Anxiety:

While there is no cure for storm anxiety, there are several ways you can help manage your dogs anxiety. 

  1. Create a Safe Space – An obvious instinct for pets is to hide from the scary sounds of thunder. Try to create a safe spot for your pup to shelter from the storm. A crate is a great option to comfort your #FBF.
  2. Distractions – Find something more important for your pup to focus on during a storm. If your dog is food motivated, try out some enrichment toys to keep your dog busy. Click here to read our favorite way to build an enrichment toy. 
  3. Calming Treats – Our favorite way to help ease anxiety in our pups when we know a storm is brewing, is with YUP PUP™ Calming Treats. If thunder is in the forecast, try giving your pup a YUP PUP™ treat 20-30 minutes before the predicted storm to help soothe your pup. 

Whether your dog has had a long-time phobia of thunderstorms or you’re hoping to prevent your new pup from developing that fear, these quick tips will help your FBF feel more comfortable and relaxed while the storm rages on. 

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