With Met Eireann predicting widespread thunder this Tuesday, Tipperary dog owners are being advised that they can take simple steps that can calm their pet's fears during thunder storm activity.
Thunder heightens fear in dogs and may lead to simple reactions such as excessive barking, though, in other cases, if a dog is left outdoors during a storm they may flee in terror and can run for miles, becoming so disorientated that they become lost.
If your dog is fearful of thunder, they are exhibiting one of the most common phobias that affect dogs. Dogs also react to lightning.
The major problem with thunderstorms is that:
- your dog hears the thunder booms and lightning cracks
- your dog will see the oncoming darkness before the storm
- your dog will feel the storm if he or she is left outside during a storm
- your dog will smell the approach of the storm which is why your dog is so able to predict the storm before you can.
Which means you can take action before the storm hits.
Here is a nine-point plan to help your dog cope with thunder:
- predict the storm
- try and be at home when the thunder hits
- remove your dog from the garden / outdoors
- place your dog in a sound-proof den such as a walk-in wardrobe
- use masking noise
- use pheromones
- use medication / tranquilizers
- practice calming measures such as simply stroking your dog
- teach your dog to tolerate thunder noise