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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