Many dogs fear storms and will disappear under the sofa or basement stairs at the slightest rumble. Especially in the summer, heat storms are stressful for anxious dogs and anxious owners. Not only thunder and lightning are scary for the four-legged friend, but also increased ambient noise caused by wind, rain or hail. With older dogs there is an added concern that fear and panic can be bad for the heart. Learn here how to best calm your four-legged friend during a storm.
Can dogs sense storms?
Dogs can hear approaching storms much earlier than humans because they have much better hearing. This allows them to sense storms long before we do. Many dogs therefore begin to tremble or hide before their owner becomes aware of the storm. 
What to do if the dog is afraid of storms
If you know your dog is particularly anxious, it is best to secure him in the summer with a well-fitting seat belt and a leash that is not too long. If a storm is announced, end the walk early, only take short, familiar walks, or postpone the extended walk until later. At home during a storm:
- Do not leave the dog alone
- close the windows and doors
- roll down the shutters
- Stay calm and composed
- Turn on the TV/radio and enjoy a pleasant, quiet background noise or make a phone call
- Distract by playing or cuddling if your furry friend finds it comfortable
- offer concessions
It is best to act normal and calm and let your four-legged friend know that he can feel comfortable and safe with you. An altered, fearful behavior of the two-legged friend confirms to the dog that something is wrong and increases the anxiety of the four-legged friend. Some dogs are easily distracted by noise, while others prefer to hide. Give your animal family member a chance to retire here.
How to calm your dog during a storm
The best way to calm your dog during a storm is to stay calm. Don’t worry, just keep calm. Otherwise, you will upset the four-legged friend even more. Be sure to avoid vigorous activity or sudden, loud noises. A familiar noise level such as the television or a soft phone call can calm the dog and distract from the thunder. Playing, cuddling or a chew stick can also help.
Chewing calms and relaxes. Give your four-legged friend a chance to eat a dog snack. However, never leave your four-legged friend alone. If your dog is anxiously hiding and won’t be distracted, respect it and give it its sanctuary. You can also make him a hideout out of blankets or set up a carry box. Stay at arm’s length so the animal knows you won’t leave it alone.
It can help your dog to wear Thundershirt. These are extra tight bodysuits that give the dog the feeling of physical closeness without constricting them – similar to a human hug.
Need to comfort dogs during a storm?
Don’t add to your furry friend’s fear and panic, but always let him know you’re there and convey reassurance and reassurance. Through trust, your four-legged friend also learns that he can relax a little.
Do tranquilizers help fear of storms?
If your four-legged friend is very afraid of storms, talk to your vet. Sedative medication should only be given in exceptional circumstances, but it makes sense to be prepared for emergencies.
To do something effectively and long-term against the fear of storms, guided training at a dog school, with dog trainers or animal psychologists is a good idea.
Does homeopathy help dogs with a fear of storms?
If you want to give your four-legged friend something to calm him down when he’s afraid of storms, it’s best to use alternative herbs and ask your vet what will best help your dog.
This is how you train your fear of storms
You can accustom your dog to storms in several ways and start training against fear – also to desensitize the four-legged friend. Special training courses are available with experts for this. In many cases, desensitization works with corresponding storm recordings, which are regularly performed in relaxed situations. In this way, the dog can slowly get used to the ambient noise.
Similar to tricks, relaxation can also be practiced with the dog. Whenever your dog lies down relaxed, you can gently pet him and say an appropriate word such as “quiet”. Over time, the four-legged friend associates the word with relaxation and thus can calm down in fearful situations.
Training with a dog trainer or dog psychologist is most effective. They can identify why your dog is afraid of storms and what is the best way to calm him down.
Is your dog afraid of Christmas crackers?
For many dogs who are afraid of storms, New Year’s Eve is also a real nightmare. And here it is important not to leave your four-legged friend alone and to calm him down as best you can. You can find tips for a relaxed New Year’s Eve here: