How to Stop Dogs From Chewing During Storms

by Pauline Gill
Your pup may have had a traumatic experience that triggers chewing during storms.

Your pup may have had a traumatic experience that triggers chewing during storms.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Storm phobia is traumatic for your pup as well as for you. Whether he pants, whines paces or chews, you are faced with a pet who can destroy your property and hurt himself. The phobia usually develops gradually and will increase during each storm. There are a number of ways to calm your pup, but the first step is to make sure his chewing is the result of a storm, not an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Step 1

Determine if your pup has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Observe when he chews. Make note of what triggers his chewing and talk to your veterinarian before deciding his chewing is related to storms.

Step 2

Bring your dog inside. If he is outside when a storm approaches, put him in an area where there is less chance of hearing the storm, such as the basement. Stay with him until the storm passes.

Step 3

Provide comfort for your pup. Have a special blanket, a dog bed, crate or hiding place available to him.

Step 4

Keep yourself calm. If your dog notices you are nervous, he will pick up on your anxiety. Go about doing your normal activities.

Step 5

Redirect his attention. If he starts to chew on furniture or his body, give him a chew toy and steer him away from windows where he can hear the sounds.

Step 6

Introduce tape recordings of storm sounds. Begin with the sound on low as you play with your dog. Give him a treat and continue to associate happy events while the sound plays. Continue to increase the sound over a period of days.

Items You Will Need

  • Blanket
  • Dog bed
  • Dog crate
  • Chew toy
  • Storm recording

Tip

  • Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication.

Warning

  • Don't pet your dog when he's upset. This reinforces unwanted behavior.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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