Dog Afraid of Thunderstorms?

Is your dog afraid of thunderstorms? We've all heard the quote: April showers bring May flowers... but it also brings some pretty bad storms, too. And if your Miniature Schnauzer stresses out or becomes anxious when loud sounds occur, you know all too well just how miserable he must be when its thundering and lightning outside. 

thunderstorm, lightning
Thunderstorms & Lightning frightened some dogs causing them stress and anxiety.

The loud booming sounds of thunder and flashes of lightning can cause a frightened dog to react negatively and sometimes even put themselves in danger! The list below includes some of the unsettling behaviors displayed by fearful dogs during such events.

Depending on how severe their fears are, these behaviors can range from mild to extreme.

Signs a Dog Fears Thunderstorms

  • Pacing
  • Hiding
  • Trembling
  • Whining
  • Drooling

And sometimes this fear can lead a dog to more destructive behaviors:

  • Urinating or defecating inside your home
  • Destruction of property
  • Physical endangerment



How to Calm Dog During Thunderstorm

First of all, consult with your veterinarian. Your vet can prescribe some calming medications for your Mini Schnauzer, if necessary. In the meantime, you can try some of these at-home remedies to help calm your dog and ease his fear and anxieties during thunderstorms.

Create a Safe Place: Prepare a special area in your home where your Mini Schnauzer can go to feel safe. A room that has no windows (like a bathroom perhaps) would be a good choice. Have a dog bed, blankets, and a favorite snuggle toy in there for your Schnauzer's comfort.

***note: DO NOT lock your Schnauzer in his crate. Some dogs freak out so badly that they may cause themselves harm just by trying to escape from their own crate.

Drown out the noise: Turn on some calming music for dogs to help drown out the loud noises from a thunderstorm and help your dog relax. Or turn on the television or if your Schnauzer is in a bathroom, you can turn on the exhaust fan.

Comfort your dog to a certain extent: While you don't want o over-do-it, you should speak calmly to your dog and assure your Schnauzer everything is okay. If you are home during the thunderstorm, allow you Schnauzer to cuddle up with you on the couch. Turn the TV on and gently massage your Schnauzer while you ignore the sounds of the storm.

***note: It's important that you don't over react yourself to any of the loud roars of thunder. Your Miniature Schnauzer will interpret this as a validation of his fearful feelings and being afraid of the storm.

Use Calming Aids: Comfort Zone with D.A.P. Diffuser can reduce or completely stop stress-related behaviors including: barking, whimpering, whining, chewing, and urinating. It calms dogs during thunderstorms and fireworks or when they are left home alone. Ot choose a calming collar for dogs.

Use other Distractions: Play some indoor games or get your dog distracted by teaching him a new trick for treat rewards. Food and/or treats always trump everything else.

Body Wrapping: According to some experts body wrapping has a calming effect on the nervous system. Using this type of pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. If you don't own a thundershirt (below), you can use ace bandages to create a wrap for your dog or put him in a snug spandex dog t-shirt.

Thundershirt for Dogs: Wearing a Thundershirt can give a dog the feeling of safety and comfort, thus allowing him to settle down and relax. It does so by providing a gentle, constant pressure that has a calming effect on the nervous system, which in turn allows the dog to relax.

Watch how Joe, the boxer reacts to thunderstorms before & after the Thundershirt.



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