For many dogs the sound of thunder or fireworks is terrifying. A dog’s hearing is much more sensitive than our own, and often times they will hear thunder long before we do. It is natural for them to fear loud noises, although not all of them do. We can be startled or even frightened by a loud, unexpected sound, and so can dogs.
When this happens there are some steps you can take to help your dog. There are few things that can draw more sympathy from pet parents than a dog frightened by thunder. They sometimes whine, follow you closely, smack their lips and shiver. You can see they are scared but what can do about it? Thunder happens. Fireworks occur. You have no control over either of them, so the best you can hope for is a way to help your dog get through the onslaught. Here are some tips to help calm your furry friend.
Most dogs have a place they consider to be a safe spot. Sometimes it’s their crate, or maybe a little cubby somewhere in your home, or any place your dog feels comfortable and safe. Let them go there.
Don’t punish them for any behavior while the racket is going on. They may associate thunderstorms with discipline and become even more frightened.
Background noise can help the dog focus on something other than the frightening occurrence outside. They say dogs can enjoy classical music, but other genres or television sound can be helpful.
Soothe them by talking to them in a soft, kind voice, and let them know you are not afraid and are there to comfort them when they need you. Gently stroking them is helpful too. They can feel more secure when you offer comfort to them. If they are small dogs, perhaps sitting on your lap while the storm passes will help lessen their anxiety.
Distract them with toys or things they like. Puzzles are good. Maybe a treat will help.
Mostly just love and comfort him in the way your dog likes best. He doesn’t understand weather and has no idea what the Fourth of July means, so be gentle with him. He loves you and depends on you and therefore looks to you for help and comfort.