Cute! Cuddly! Responsibility! Are you ready to have a dog? You need to feed, walk and play with them. And, if your pet has storm phobia, then additional TLC or tender loving care is required.
Firecrackers and thunderstorms are the mortal enemies of our golden retriever, Sky. Fortunately, we only hear firecrackers during New Year’s Eve, but not thunderstorms. We get them almost every week!
Every time we have a gloomy weather, thunder sounds are close by. Sky will jab on our steel gate even before the first thunder strikes. The first time around, we thought she just wanted to go out and walk. When it happened a few times, we realized that she is fearful of thunderstorms.
We tried to ‘cage’ her inside of the house, but it didn’t work. She scratches all of our doors and she pants and cries really loud. And, because she is a big dog, she is able to move our furniture around while trying to escape. When it’s over, our whole house looks like it was hit by a small hurricane. Adjustments must be made or else the WHOLE family will have a nervous breakdown!
Luckily, we came up with three simple ‘tricks’ to calm her down!
Distract her! Sky loves to play with her toy balls. I call it the ‘hockey’ game! I hit the ball and she will run after it. After a few hits, she will give up and rest. The game gave me the idea to play with her BEFORE the thunderstorms begin! We play ‘hockey’ until the thunder claps stop or until she is too tired to care about them! Eventually she will just sit nearby and rest.
Hugs. If I can’t play with Sky and she starts to get ‘wacko’ because of the thunderstorm, I hug her for a few minutes. Eventually, she will lie down, stretch and try to go to sleep. I hold her tight when the thunder gets a little too loud. It works like a charm! Once in a while I also ‘talk’ to her!
Stroke her chest! Sky hates it when I tap her head, but she loves it when I stroke her chest area. When thunder starts cracking and she starts running around, I know her heart is beating really fast. To calm her down, I simply call her over to sit by me and I start stroking her chest area slowly. She sits quietly and waits for the thunderstorm to stop.
Having a dog with storm phobia is challenging. Patience is vital to calm them down. Shouting or yelling at the dog won’t help. It just adds more tension to the dog AND the owner!
If your dog starts wrecking your place due to thunderstorms, deal with it at once. It will only take a few minutes. Help your dog and you will save a lot of furniture and doors! Just follow the guide – Distract, Hug and Stroke!