THUNDER STORMS AT K9 ANYTIME
K9 Anytime raises confident, balanced, socialised, environmentally experienced dogs. K9 Anytimers stand on their own two feet, continually learning from their surroundings and peers to create a calm and well rounded group. With a converted indoor play barn our dogs can shelter from the rain with no interruption to their play day.
When thunder and lightening strikes, a day at K9 Anytime is business as usual.
WHY ARE DOGS SCARED OF THUNDERSTORMS?
Loud, unpredictable noises are one of the most prevelant of dogs’ fears. As they have no concept of what a thunder storm is, what it means or when it will pass, it can be difficult for them to process and cope with, sometimes resulting in destructive, erratic and anxious behaviour.
Dogs will build associations with loud noises or bright flashes, either of which can be the trigger for their fear. Changes in barometric pressure before a storm, or the ability to hear the low frequency rumbles or an approaching storm can also mean that dogs begin to determine when a storm is approaching, and this in itself can trigger their anxiety.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP THEM?
Keep Calm: Creating a fuss and beginning to panic about your dog’s reaction to a storm will only tell your dog that they themselves have a reason to be anxious. As they look to us for reassurance and guidance, seeing that their human is calm and relaxed will be much more helpful to them than a human who is worrying and stressed about an unalterable external circumstance.
Create a Safe Space: Set up your dog’s crate or bed in an area away from any windows, as close to the centre of your house as possible. Covering their crate with a blanket can help absorb any noise, as well as closing curtains and shutting windows.
Distraction: Turn on the TV or Radio to change the soundtrack to stormy weather. Play with their favourite toy or fill up a chew toy to occupy them.
Desensitisation: Accustoming your dog to the noises of a thunderstorm by playing them increasingly loudly over time can allow them to become used to the sounds at their own pace. “[Do this] around the time when good things happen, like dinner, play time or going for a walk,” explains Dr. McGowan. “If your dog is reacting in a positive manner, then you can gradually increase the volume of the noises at a pace that your dog is comfortable with.” Over time, this can help them associate thunder positively with things they enjoy.