How to help your dog through a storm
Storms and inclement weather can be triggering for some dogs. Loud noises, darkness, thunder & lightening, heavy rain and sometimes our own behaviour and reaction can influence our dogs' emotional and behavioural state. Understanding their behaviour, what they're sensitive to and how to provide help and comfort can make the changing weather a breeze.
Create a Safe Space: Designate a comfortable and secure space for your dog to retreat to during a storm. This could be a cozy bed or crate in a quiet room.
Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog for calm behaviour during storms with treats, praise, and touch. Associate positive experiences with stormy weather.
Stay Calm: Remain calm and composed yourself. Dogs can pick up on your emotions, so staying relaxed will help reassure them, and becoming stressed and anxious can equally enhance their nerves and uncertainty. Leading by example allows them to draw on your confidence in order to build their own.
Provide Distractions: Offer toys or activities that can engage your dog and distract them from the storm. Pick up a tough and long lasting chew from the Pantry to keep their minds and mouths busy and clean their teeth at the same time.
Play Calming Music or White Noise: Play calming music or white noise to drown out the sound of the storm - this can help reduce anxiety.
Consider Desensitization Training: Gradually expose your dog to the sound of storms in a controlled manner, starting with low levels of the sound and increasing gradually. Reward calm behaviour throughout the process. Ask the training team at K9 Anytime experienced in dealing with anxiety and phobias to provide valuable insight and training techniques to help your dog overcome their fears.